Google Glass – The Next Great Gadget, or Another Hazardous Distraction?

Google Glass – it’s a futuristic device, and, no doubt, an image that came to mind many years ago when people imagined what crazy implements the future would produce. A computer – that is worn – on your face, like glasses. An optical head mount display (or, OHMD) that allows you to basically do anything that you deem necessary in that exact moment in time. Convenient? Absolutely. Google Glass is designed to display everything that a smartphone already does, just in a useful hands-free format.  One feature that is garnishing a lot of buzz is the on-command speaking function. Are you lost and need directions? Simply speak, and Google Glass can immediately find out where you need to be. Want to take a photo? Command Google Glass to do so, and boom – your photo is right in front of you.

Google Glass

Google Glass

While doing some research on this incredible gadget, there was an interesting “issue” – if you will – that was brought to the table. The Google Glass itself looks a bit odd – as in, ridiculously ultramodern, and can, at times, be deemed a bit outrageous to walk around wearing. Keep in mind the fact that this is still a prototype – which means the designers and technicians at Google are still testing all of the features to find out what works well and what does not. Joshua Topolsky, who wrote an article for about his experience with trying out Google Glass, says that while he was wearing the device in a Starbucks in New York City, the cashier looked very intrigued, as well as puzzled, as to what exactly was on his face.

With that being said, there was some news out of San Diego recently that a woman was pulled over and ticketed for wearing, what turned out to be, Google Glass while driving. The ticket was for “Driving with Monitor Visible to Driver”, and the law in which the driver was accused of violating states the following:

“A person shall not drive a motor vehicle if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal that produces entertainment or business applications, is operating and is located in the motor vehicle at a point forward of the back of the driver’s seat, or is operating and the monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver while driving the motor vehicle.”

So, the major question is – while Google Glass has all of the potential in the world to be the next amazing, most advanced piece of technology, does it also pose an incredible safety risk? Like cell phones and texting, does Google Glass have the ability to become extremely dangerous and distracting to drivers? Although it is a hands free device, which automatically gives it an advantage over phones and MP3 Players, it is worn on the face, and does produce text and visuals on the screen, which can ultimately be quite disruptive. Google Glass does not necessarily cause the driver to take their eyes off of the road, as texting does, because of the fact that it follows the user’s line of sight.  GPS’ are even known to pose a threat, because many people still use it visually, even if it’s just for a split second.

Before there is a massive uproar over this, and before the government decides to step in and regulate (or ban) Google Glass from being used while behind the wheel, everyone must remember – this is not even available yet for actual direct distribution. As stated earlier, Google Glass is still a prototype, and is in the “testing process” in order to work out any potential bugs it may have. There really is no “right or wrong” answer. Not yet, anyway. As of this moment, the product has not been tested enough to determine any kind of accurate response.

While Google Glass is causing much anticipated hype and fiery excitement, it seems as though it is also stirring up the potential to be very controversial with safety regulations. Google_Glass_Explorer_Edition1Although there have been rumored projected release dates for the general public, nothing has been set in stone, and one can only wonder – could this recent “safety controversy” affect the future of Google Glass or cause a potential setback for it’s release?

Read Joshua Topolsky’s article about his experience with Google Glass:

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