About a week ago, I was sitting in a restaurant, and I noticed these four business looking people sitting at the table next to me. One of them has his iPad pulled out checking for updates on CNN, another has his iPhone underneath the table texting like no one is able to notice, a third with his Macbook on the table, and the fourth guy was sitting there, alone and shunned while the rest were pulled out of reality and into the consumption of media.
Welcome, to the modern world
“We are lonely but fearful of intimacy. Digital connections offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. We expect more from technology and less from each other”
In the video above, Joe Kraus talks about this new movement called Slow Tech. It’s pretty much a warning letter to everyone that says, “Hey, what you’re doing is great, but let’s sit back for a moment, because this might have some bad long term effects.” And, I think that what we are seeing is bad long term effects. The next generations are growing up in this consume, consume mentality, that we need pretty much shut ourselves out. It’s not like we can’t function offline. We just don’t want to. So, how can we compensate?
Enter the glasses
Augmented reality is the future. Let’s say, a friend asks me a question, like:
What movies are playing?
Normally, this would require me to stop, pull out my phone, unlock it (password protection takes a bit longer), open up the Flixster app, find the nearest theatre, and look at showtimes. This takes roughly two minutes. In the meantime, my friend has been cut off from conversation, and this device has created a wall between us. From watching people, I’ve gathered that most put their phone on the table after doing something like this. Again, this creates a gap between the people. If that phone goes off, immediately, the person picks up the phone and sees what the notification was.
With Google Glass, I could simply say:
What movies are playing near me?
Google Now processes my query, takes into account my current location, and boom, it has got an answer for me. Any notifications could be subtle and in the upper corner where I can dismiss it, without breaking eye contact with my friend.
This is only one instance of where Google Glasses would be useful. In Google I/O’s keynote three days ago, Isabelle Olsson, one of the lead designers of Google glasses, spoke about when they were approaching the design, they wanted to make sure that the technology wasn’t distracting. That a parent could take a picture of a baby, without the baby looking at them like they were holding a camera, but like they were looking into their eyes. The Google Glass is strategically placed above the right eye, as to not call too much attention to itself. This device truly looks like it could change the way we communicate with technology.
Why Google Glass Let’s You Explore
Google Glasses keeps the user involved with the moment. Nothing is pulling these skydivers away from the experience they are having, but it’s being saved. It’s like, whenever there is something really cool going on, like a flashmob, people are staring into their devices recording it, but they aren’t truly watching it, living it. This device keeps the user in that moment.
And that’s pretty cool.