A new digital age.

Yesterday, my friend +Alex Leiphart shared this story: http://goo.gl/Id4mrJ ("AMC movie theater calls FBI to arrest a Google Glass user"). AMC called the FBI, who then snatched Glass off the innocent man's face and interrogated him, all because they believed, without evidence nor proof, that a man was recording an entire movie, simply because he had Google Glass. The FBI even challenged him: "they wanted to know what does +Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie." And that's just part of it.

Let's stop the hysteria we constantly create around new technologies.

Let's start a genuine conversation now. Comment with your thoughts below.

I certainly think it is fine for people to think Glass is not that great or all that it says it is -- some of my friends hold, or held, different beliefs and are some of my most valued opinions. In fact, that's awesome that people think differently -- the world only advances because all our thoughts are not uniform. The resulting debate is important and helps society advance. It's equally as important though that those that want to argue against it use legitimate, unexaggerated talking points after having tested what they are arguing against instead of spreading assumptions.

It seems people think Glass is almighty, believing that it knows what its users are thinking and controllable with just their minds. And those people are the ones that only assume Glass only helps users do bad -- to sneakily record movies, to cheat and more -- while never trying it for themselves. Instead, what really happens is that users have to say "Ok Glass" aloud or touch to operate it. Even the light on the screen is visible when on. In many cases, it is more noticeable than a smartphone.

However, this year, +Google Glass is expected to launch widely as well as with compatible prescription lenses. When this happens, I have no doubt a more vigorous debate will start in society about Glass.

With prescription lenses, Glass will be a required item for those who need it, just like the man in the story. But what about in the bathroom? Or when driving (just like I do with the clip-on sunglasses with Glass right now)? Users would not be able to just tilt Glass up on their heads like they currently do, as then they wouldn't be able to see.

Would society trust Glass users enough? Would users be expected to carry a second pair of regular prescription lenses? Would a large enough portion of society educate themselves enough to know that it is very visible when Glass is on and recording?

What do you think? 

A prototype of Google Glass with prescription lenses, courtesy of a Googler (via Phandroid.com).

Right now, the "rest" position for phones is in the pocket, still attached to the body. That's equivalent to placing Glass on top of the head. Or even just off. In both positions, the devices are virtually unusable.

When taking tests where teachers don't require students to put phones in the backpack, do we expect Glass to be in its rest position on the head or will it be treated differently by requiring it to be placed in its case and away from the body? When watching movies, is that expectation the same? What about when driving -- can we use it as a GPS?

That's the job of Explorers -- to live life with Glass, to take the risk of encountering ignorant people but also more generally, to educate a (for the most part) fascinated public on this new and exciting technology that has a potential to change everything we do. But the bigger responsibility at hand, the job that we all carry, Explorers or not, is the one to prevent hysteria and to speak truth to stupid.

Yet, for every stubborn person, there's a hundred more open-minded learners that dare to try Glass before passing judgement. And the smiles and awe that I have personally seen is reward that out-compensates any negativity expressed by those that are so afraid of change.

And for each negative story we hear about Glass, we hear so many more of how it is fundamentally changing the very nature of our world, from providing firefighters with the tools they need more safely and quicker and doctors with the required materials without tying up their hands to the way it helps us to just get back to living life, by bringing us ordinary people all closer together while helping capture the moments that truly matter in our lives.


I'm proud to be a Google Glass Explorer.