The publicity around the developer release of Google Glass is conjuring up questions about how much connectivity is “too much”. This hits the Boomer crowd in a number of places. There are the more-geeky, tech savvy who were in their 30s when the Internet began making us constantly “connected” and “always on”. With that, the “curmudgeons” rose to begin denouncing the “decay of sociality” and the “withering of traditional means of relating” ; at worst, the inevitable “dumbing down” of our brains (so says author Nick Carr).
Is this true? As with most things, it’s probably not any one thing or the other. It seems this is a matter of how we will use the benefits of the tools while managing our connectivity and presence of that connectivity in our everyday lives.
The “Singularity” is the name given to the point where humanity and computers reach a point of convergence. The definitions of such convergence vary widely from a blurring of the distinctions between computing and humanity, to various levels of enhanced living and social functioning. The latter distinction is where we have seen significant advances in the past 20 years, accelerated by the advent of the Internet, and various “connected” devices, starting with cell phones that quickly became “smart phones”. It was only a matter of time and “Moore’s Law” before “wearable computing” came within reach. The “Google Glass” made its appearance in the past couple of weeks, and stories have circulated about the “threats to privacy” from the recording capabilities of the device, and debates about the social acceptability of wearing the devices. Several public establishments announced ahead of their release that they would not be allowed to be worn in their places.
When this device is finally released to the wider public, such discussions will likely skyrocket into popularity. What do you think of the coming of this device? Do you see problems? Do you see exciting possibilities?
Check out a few descriptions and debates:
Google Glass – Home (Google Website all about glass)
- What It Does this is one of the sections that shows what the screen interface looks like
Google Glass – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Google Glass – ABC News – ESPN You’ve seen the videos and heard about Google Glass. Here’s what they are really like to use.
SNL mocks Google Glass (because, well, who isn’t?)
Wear it well: Time to establish Google Glass etiquette
Guys Like This Could Kill Google Glass Before It Ever Gets Off – Wired
(Photo By Thomas Hawk, Used Under Creative Commons License)