I almost hate to do this, but here are 5 reasons why Google Glasses would suck:
1) You’ll die.
You think it’s distracting to talk on a cell phone and drive? What happens when people have little maps flashing over their eyes to get directions? Or when they take video calls in the car? Or cross the street, and get distracted by the alert box?
But maybe people will be totally responsible.
2) We hate glasses.
Remember 3D television? They sold almost half of the display models. The lesson we learned is that people don’t like putting bulky objects on their faces. I need glasses to read my monitor from a comfortable sitting position, and I don’t even wear those.
3) It won’t work.
I know, I know – we just saw how it would work. The difference is that real-life head-up displays are either totally passive or controlled by hand-held controllers. Pilots don’t shoot missiles by blinking. If you’ve ever tried to use a webcam to navigate the internet, you know that eye-tracking interfaces are the most frustrating thing since heat-sealed packaging. I don’t personally love the idea of blinking at the wrong spot by accident, and opening a call from a crazy ex.
Add to that the fact that you probably won’t be able to see. There’s a really good reason we don’t make transparent screens outside of sci-fi films. Do you want black text? What about when you’re looking at the asphalt? With constantly shifting light levels and backgrounds, you’ll have to stand still and focus to even read – which kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
4) Everyone will be talking to themselves, and we will all go insane.
It’s happened to us all: a guy walks into the elevator and asks, “Hey, how’s it going?” “Good,” you respond, as he turns his head to give you an odd look, just as you notice the bluetooth in his far ear. Now imagine this, compounded by everyone, speaking personal commands to their own digital slave.
The horror is too great to comprehend. My first thought was of a bunch of people on a bus, all talking to themselves. “Remind me to turn on the oven when I get home,” says one guy, awkwardly avoiding eye contact with anyone. “Open bookmarks,” says another. “Where is my husband?” asks another lady.
You’ll soon lose your mind, and begin rambling to yourself to “make the voices stop.” Sadly, no one will no the difference, because they will think you’re talking to your glasses.
5) Software constantly identifying everything you see – is that what you want?
Remember when we freaked out because Google/Apple were tracking our location all the time? Here’s an idea – let them identify every person and object that you interact with, all the time. I’m sure the federal government will have no interest in a limitless supply of wandering video cameras, and that corporations won’t be interested in mining the data.
These are just five of the least cynical reasons I could imagine for not wanting Google Glasses on my face. I’m willing to settle for a future where I can buy a single replacement for a smartphone, laptop, e-reader, tablet, and desktop.