Normally I’m a big proponent of emerging advancements in the technology industry. I lust after the latest gadget out there, and welcome technological innovations that will better my everyday life. When Google first took the wraps off of Project Glass, the project that will soon make augmented reality glasses…umm, a reality, I was excited for the next iteration of connectivity.
Fast forward to this week and an announcement from Google that the products have entered testing at Google HQ. Robert Scoble noticed Google executive Sergey Brin wearing a prototype at a fundraiser, and noticed a blue light flashing off his right eyeball, indicating the devices are indeed operational in some respect.
But as I’ve taken time to digest exactly what a future world with Google Glasses might look like, I’m not quite sure I like what I see. As a society, we’re already glued to our smartphones enough to the point that it’s not uncommon to see blog posts geared towards helping us disconnect and enjoy the world around us pop up on a daily basis. While it’s certainly easy to put your phone in your pocket or leave it on your desk for a while, it’s a lot harder to take off a pair of connected glasses, at least it will be when Google Glasses hits version 2.0.
See, the prototypes that are making the rounds today are a standalone device built for people with good eyesight or who wear contact lenses. It’s hard to see folks who wear glasses on a normal basis putting on a second pair of glasses with Google’s augmented reality system built-in. The prototypes as they exist currently will not be the final product. Instead, when Google Glasses makes its way to consumers in 2013 (and beyond), it’ll likely be sold either as a standalone glasses product, or as a lens that gets built into someone’s regular pair of glasses that people take with them everywhere.
While this certainly isn’t a problem in and of itself, it quickly becomes one when you consider how poorly our brains are able to handle multitasking. Argue with me all you want, but studies have repeatedly shown that we are awful at multitasking. When we multitask, instead of doing one task exceptionally well, we do two tasks half-assed. This is why drivers run the risk of deadly crashes when they decide to use their phones to text, email, or Twitter while driving (guilty, as charged). We simply aren’t that good at multitasking, and the thought of millions of people using augmented reality glasses while trying to partake in everyday life is frightening.
So no, I will not be rushing out to buy Google Glasses when (or, if) they reach the consumer market. My smartphone and tablet is enough for me to get my mobile connectivity fix, thank you very much.
Agree? Disagree? Sound off and have a conversation about the future of connectivity in the comments below.