The purpose of a technology assessment is to investigate, analyze, and make recommendations about how to address the personal, social, and environmental impacts of technology (Ohler, 2010). I will use the “de-tech-tive” process to assess Google Glass.
InvestigateGoogle recently announced a new product, Google Glass. This headgear will be available to the public by year’s end. It consists of a small display situated on a frame that resembles eyeglasses and will project text or video into your field of vision.
The Glass pairs with your smartphone using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to access the Internet. You can use your voice or your finger to take photos, record video, initiate video or voice chats, send messages, search Google and translate words or phrases.
AnalyzeCNet has list 5 potential uses for Google Glass:
TV enhancement: users will be able to look up athlete’s stats, view the IMDb page of an actor, or get more information on products or services offered during commercials.
Biofeedback: in an effort to get healthy, users can monitor their heart rate, calories burned, and steps taken superimposed during your exercise regimen.
Face recognition: during that awkward moment when you can't remember an individual’s name Google Glass will prompt you.
Instructions: cooking, baking, or assembling furniture.
Navigation: whether users are driving, biking or hiking they will have a constant image of their surroundings and directions to their destination.
The use of Google Glass is not without controversy. Google Glass will destroy the notion of public anonymity; everyone potentially could become “big brother.” Also, anywhere cameras and other recording devices are unwelcome; the same would most certainly go for Google Glass
As responses to Google Glass, some establishments have already said, “you are welcome, but your Google Glass must stay outside”
Some of these establishments include: gentlemen’s clubs, casinos, and movie
theaters. According to the CNBC article, “they encountered a lot of that as
they made calls for this piece: From the TSA to Bank of America, spokespeople
were not yet ready to speak to the particulars of Google Glass but reiterated
general statements about protecting the privacy and personal information of
staff and customers alike (2013).
There are already concerns about mobile phone usage and brain cancer because of the microwave frequencies that are emitted from mobile phones. I’m sure scientist and researchers will be interested in studying the effects of having a small computer mounted near the brain and the possibility for cancer. Privacy is another issue because of the inconspicuous manner in which photos and video can be captured and conversations recorded all without the knowledge of any of the parties involved. Another concern would be operating a vehicle while wearing Glass because it will project text or video into your field of vision. So, there is the potential for distraction just as texting and driving. While the technology has the potential to provide functionality some safety and privacy measure must be evaluated.
(2013, April 8). Retrieved from CNET: http://cnettv.cnet.com/best-uses-google-glass/9742-1_53-50144287.html
CNBC. (2013, April 9). Retrieved from Yahoo: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/google-glass-wont-welcome-everywhere-142244315.html
Ohler, J. B. (2010). Digital Community Digital Citizen. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.