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This week in Weird & Wonderful Web, we take a look at what the Internet really thinks of Google Glass. Some people are in love with this futuristic device, others hate it. And then there are those who aren’t afraid to say what they really think, even if their views make the rest of us cringe for a few seconds.

Google Glass, for those of you who have been living under a rock so long you’ve never even taken a selfie, is a wearable device which brings the capabilities of a smartphone to your face. And it’s absolutely brilliant, pretty good, mildly interesting, or a pointless waste of time, depending on your point of view.

The Good

There is a sizable part of the Internet which believes Google Glass is going to succeed in a big way. Not least of which is our own Chris Hoffman, who, when Project Glass was unveiled in April 2012, explained why he thinks it heralds an awesome future 5 Reasons Why Google's Project Glass Is The Future & Why That's Awesome [Opinion] 5 Reasons Why Google's Project Glass Is The Future & Why That's Awesome [Opinion] Google’s Project Glass has everyone talking. It’s a glimpse of the future of augmented reality, wearable computing, and better integration of the Internet and technology in our day-to-day lives. Imagine replacing your smartphone with a... Read More .

Another fan is Mat Honan of Wired, who recounted his experience of wearing Google Glass for a whole year. He isn’t entirely sold on the current device, but is clearly excited about the direction the concept is headed. Even if it means being called a “Glasshole” from time to time.

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The two videos above both feature YouTube technology stars 10 Technology YouTube Channels You Can't Miss 10 Technology YouTube Channels You Can't Miss Read More who are positive about Google Glass, though both have some reservations about it. And then there is the webcomic xkcd, which uses Google Glass as the latest example of a piece of technology that everyone has an opinion on.

The Bad

After the good, comes the bad. And there are plenty of people, tech bloggers or otherwise, who think that Google Glass is destined to fail. This includes yours truly, who is a little scared of the augmented reality future Why An Augmented Reality Future (Google Project Glass) Scares Me [Opinion] Why An Augmented Reality Future (Google Project Glass) Scares Me [Opinion] At the beginning of April Google unveiled Project Glass, a new effort to bring smartphone functionality to your eyeball(s). And that's not me overstating the case. This is a HUD (Heads-Up Display) offering augmented reality,... Read More Google Glass suggests is heading our way.

Also resolutely unsure about this future in which we all walk around with computers attached to our faces is Matt Champion. He wrote a lengthy piece detailing 35 arguments against Google Glass way back when the device was still in its infancy. Whether his views have changed since is unclear. Mine certainly have to a certain extent.

The two videos here are very different, but both are ultimately negative towards Google Glass. The first is a spoof of the One Day… video that kickstarted the Google Glass parodies The 7 Best Google Project Glass Parody Videos The 7 Best Google Project Glass Parody Videos After months of rumors regarding a move into augmented reality, Google finally unveiled its Project Glass initiative at the beginning of April. Apart from a few photographs of annoying models wearing an early version of... Read More . The second is a rant by what sounds like a young girl, albeit a very eloquent and geeky one. And then there is webcomic The Joy Of Tech, which takes a dystopian view on Google Glass.

The Ugly

And so we come to the more ugly viewpoints on display. They show how some people’s opinion of Google Glass has sailed way past bad and become downright nasty.

A.J. Jacobs, writing for Esquire, decided to test Google Glass by using it in the ways he was warned against using it. The results are both hilarious and enlightening, but show just how much Google Glass could change the way we interact with each other.

Meanwhile, revered tech journalist Robert Scoble did something of an about-turn on Google Glass. He started out as a huge fan, advocate, and evangelist for Google Glass, but while he still loves his own device, he no longer thinks it’s the next big thing, as detailed in a piece titled Why Google Glass Is Doomed.

The two videos above mock Google Glass rather mercilessly. The first is a parody showing how Google Glass could be used to uncover an extra-marital affair. The second is a parody from Smosh which shows some of the awkward moments that could happen thanks to Google Glass.

We finish with webcomic Endless Origami, which suggests Google Glass is a precursor to the plot from The Terminator. OK, now I’m truly scared.

Conclusions

As we have seen, the jury is still out on Google Glass. It could go on to revolutionize the world as we know it, prove to be an interesting diversion for the next few years, or disappear into obscurity as quickly as it arrived.

Let us know your thoughts on Google Glass in the comments section below.

Weird & Wonderful Web… A compendium of online awesomeness.

  1. tinkicker
    January 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Oh...for the record, and in case my comments have painted an inaccurate picture of my opinion on Google Glass...
    I'm all for it! I think it's going to mature into an indispensable aid in all kinds of industries.
    - The medical field...no-hands medical scans while the wearer is administering first aid.
    - A home inspector/mine inspector/all kinds of inspectors can hands-free take total video/notes of whatever they're inspecting.
    - Engineering...I thought of a bridge inspector right off the bat, but that falls under the above statement, so I can see apps that can look at a fault in a structure and simultaneously project solutions over the structure in a layered fashion to illustrate how the fix needs to be applied.
    - Surveying
    - A farmer could walk his property, looking at areas of excessive erosion or drought or flooding and apps could present engineering solutions to the problems.
    Basically, any task requiring visual analysis could be augmented by Glass to present immediate, in depth solutions at the point of observation.
    I know Google isn't really trying to assimilate us...I was just having an immense amount of tongue-in-cheek fun with that...but of course, it would be much more productive/profitable(?) for Google if we WERE assimilated.
    All of the above being said, you might notice that my ideas involve professional uses, not personal voyeurism lol. I think that safeguards should be in place to prevent privacy intrusion with Glass. I have no idea how that could work, but I know it would be very complicated, and involve people opting in or opting out of being the subject of observation, just like how we can set privacy settings in Facebook or whatever.
    It WILL BE a very tangled, litigious area in our lawsuit-happy culture.

  2. tinkicker
    January 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    It's hard for me to judge that, Dave, from my Lifeflow Rejuvenation/Recharge Chamber in Block 17, Row 3, Column 6, Cell 46 of Google Cube Epsilon, now cruising toward Betelgeuse in the Orion constellation. Gotta' go...assimilation crew is preparing to beam aboard a starship that was hanging around where we reentered normal space.
    I'll get back to you on the Google thing.
    P.S. - Resistance is futile.

    :D Have a GREAT day! I am...it's my birthday!

  3. Tinkicker
    January 26, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    All I know is that when Captain Picard was forced to have a Google Glass surgically attached to his face by the Borg , his personality went to crap.

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Oh, he did, didn't he. So, Google is trying to assimilate us all?! ;)

  4. Dave
    January 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    What really gets me is people making these nasty comments about Glass and they know nothing about it, never wore it, but fast to tell everyone about it.

    For example, bben talks about texting while driving. He is probably the first to pull out the phone while driving to text. Glass is much safer because you shouldn't have to take your eyes or concentration off the rode to send a simple text to someone. Even the tilting action to activate glass doesn't have to take your eyes off the rode. Then, you just speak your text. But yet, bben talks about all this stuff with glass and really knows nothing about it.

    Second, most people are not using Glass to watch videos. Where would you get such a thing? But yet, that was the first thing you said. Not knowing anything about Glass, its easy for you to say that.

    If one was to spend $1500 just to do half the stuff in the negative videos above, then you just wasted your money. You could do all of that with a smart phone. It's just stupid videos. Don't think the Glass wearers are actually doing half of those things.

    I am a Glass wearer. Anytime I'm out, I have my Glass on my head. Its not on most of the time. It doesn't distract me from conversations or getting things done. It's an enhancement to my everyday life.

    Lastly, I've seen the comments similar to the Tweet above "I love technology, but if you come near me wearing that Google Glass, Imma stab you." Most people who see me with my Glass are very curious. I always ask them to try it on and most do and actually change their view on the negativity of Glass. If you are one of those who wanna stab me or kill me for being on YOUR road with Glass, make my day! :)

    • dragonmouth
      June 5, 2014 at 12:58 pm

      "I am a Glass wearer."
      Which explains your comments. However, please do not generalize based on your own behaviour. Just as there are responsible smartphone users who do not use them while driving, there are responsible Glass users. They may even be in the vast majority. Unfortunately it is the few Glassholes who give all the others a bad reputation.

      "Glass is much safer because you shouldn’t have to take your eyes or concentration off the rode to send a simple text to someone. Even the tilting action to activate glass doesn’t have to take your eyes off the rode.(sic)"
      Again you are generalizing based on your experience. Even a casual observation of drivers we share the road with will show you that they are very easily distracted. When they are having a conversation with their passenger(s), they look at the passengers, not the road. If the conversation gets animated, the drivers gesticulate, taking their hands off the wheel in addition to having their eyes on the passenger. Drivers using hands-free phones will often act as if the person they are talking to is a passenger, i.e. look at the passenger seat and gesticulate. The drivers may know not to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel but old habits die hard.

      "You could do all of that with a smart phone."
      Another generalization. Yes, you're right but how many people buy Glass for its practical uses and how many buy it for its "gee-whiz" and "look at me!" factors? As the old ads used to say "When you've got it, flaunt it!"

    • David L
      June 5, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      I don't understand how you can say my comments are generalizing when you didn't comment about what the article was about. I only responded to the statements from the article. I'm not really generalizing, I'm only stating facts about my experience and use with Google Glass. You are right when people can buy Glass for all kinds of reasons, but aren't you generalizing when you try to compare how many buy Glass for the "look at me" factor? It seems to me like you have the same attitude that the writer of the article has. Do you have Google Glass? It sounds to me like you are jealous of the fact and that you would join in with someone calling a Glass user a Glasshole. That's just my observation...

  5. Henk van Setten
    January 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    We don't need to worry at all. From a Darwinian (evolutionary) point of view, glassholes are a sadly doomed species that will soon go extinct. The reason being that whatever they may be focused on, it's standing in the way of actual real-world reproduction ;-)

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Ha, good point. Then again, there's a new Glass app designed to be used while you're having sex, so this tech may not spell the end of the human species altogether.

  6. Ram
    January 26, 2014 at 1:38 am

    I hope Google Glasses get banned everywhere.

    • bben
      January 26, 2014 at 10:48 am

      Cool tech - But I have yet to find a real use for it that would make me actually want to wear it.
      Watch a video while walking down the street? No
      Query some obscure fact without pulling out my cell? No
      Answer a text while driving ? Hell no.
      Apply metadata overlay to the real world while trying to walk at the same time? - Who put that damn trash can there? Glass doesn't show it so it must not really exist.
      Still waiting, Any ideas?

    • Dave P
      January 27, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Really? Why do you want them to be banned everywhere?

      It sounds like you're happy with your smartphone. You may change your mind if Google Glass (or something like it) becomes standard though.

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