As a product that is both on-your-face and in-your-face, Glass is set to become a lightning rod for a wider discussion around what constitutes acceptable behavior in public and private spaces. The Glass debate has already started, but these are early days; each new iteration of hardware and functionality will trigger fresh convulsions. In the short term, Glass will trigger anger, name-calling, ridicule and the occasional bucket of thrown water (whether it’s ice water, I don’t know). In the medium term, as societal interaction with the product broadens, signs will appear in public spaces guiding mis/use1 and lawsuits will fly, while over the longer term, legislation will create boundaries that reflect some form of im/balance between individual, corporate and societal wants, needs and concerns.
In Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants thesis, Google Glass is an inevitability – we could see it coming a mile off. Ban it if you like, ignore it if you like, but you can’t un-invent it or the technologies it bundles together.
We are surrounded by thousands of cameras and microphones everyday in the hands of our fellow citizens. Some even play with surveillance drones at the weekend.
All of this technology will only get more common, cheaper, smaller.
What are we going to do about it?