23 April, 2013

A To Z Challenge: Technology And The Next Big Thing (That Could Invade Your Privacy To Extremes)

Technology is science applied to real-life problems. Physics equations and observations are all well and good--but technology allows the enormous range of scientific fields to play a very large part in people's everyday lives. The term technology has various uses: It can refer to a specific subset of machines (such as space technology) and it can refer to the total knowledge and capability of a society.

To be honest, the second part of this post (the "recent developments" section) came to me before the introduction. Google Glass is a piece of technology I've been wanting to post about for a while and the A to Z Challenge seemed like an ideal spot, seeing as I've already proposed some controversial subjects in previous posts.

Antonio Zugaldia, CC-BY-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Google Glass is a pair of glasses with the capabilities of a smartphone. You give it orders to give you directions, send messages, take photographs and videos, etc., and all while wearing the device as feedback appears in a small screen on one side of the eyeglass frame. While some people (me included) don't like the idea of having multimedia so close to one's actual eyeball, the privacy concerns have to be the most argued-over bit (though there are also concerns about distracted driving and so on).

The problem? There is no way for someone else to tell if a person wearing the glasses is recording--which could mean your face is unwittingly being uploaded to Google's servers and could be played back by the person who recorded the footage, or, perhaps, by governments; facial recognition software could be applied to identify crowds of people just because someone walked through a busy location with Google Glass recording. There aren't any limits to when someone can record, either; imagine all the moments most people would absolutely not want saved for another person to see.

Google Glass is scheduled to arrive some time in 2014, according to the Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt.




Will you be wearing the new Google Glasses once they're released? If you run across someone wearing them, will you be worried?

-----The Golden Eagle


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd hate to be on Candid Camera!
We really are just a few steps away from the humans in Wall-E.

Liz said...

I don't know why we need such technology, but then again, I'm sure that it'll be useful in certain situations.

What they need to do is to install some sort of light so that people around you would know if yours were on or not. Something small and unobtrusive, but visible nonetheless.

mooderino said...

I'm looking forward to this next stage of our evolution. Assuming it works, of course.

Moody Writing

Andrew Leon said...

The best defense, at that point, will be that there will be so much of that kind of thing out there that most people will just blend in and no one will notice anyway.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't really want to talk to people with google glass on their face. I think it would be highly distracting to me.

mshatch said...

There is a part of me that loves the idea and another part that is as horrified as you are by the prospect.

shelly said...

This sounds scary to me.

Hugs and chocolate,

Tweeted this.

Pat Hatt said...

Big Brother will love it as they track everything. Stupid, can you imagine the privacy invasions? You wouldn't be safe anywhere.

Jeff Hargett said...

Next step: ocular implant.
Final step: We are the Borg.

Amy Jarecki said...

I really don't want them looking at me naked :-/

Rusty Webb said...

I think at some point, the idea of having any sort of privacy in a public place will be forgotten.

I doubt I'll be an early adopter to Google Glasses, but I would like to own a pair once they've had a gen or two to work out the kinks... and be made to look better while being worn.

Krista McLaughlin said...

I have to agree with Jeff's comment above. One more step and we'll be the Borg.

I'm not a fan of that Google Glass thing. Sounds a bit too creepy and intrusive to me.

Timothy Brannan said...

Are you kidding? I am all over that! I have been waiting years for a device like this. I wish I could get one now.

Tim Brannan
The Other Side and The Witch
Red Sonja: She-Devil with a Sword
The Freedom of Nonbelief

JeffO said...

Honestly, I don't see it being all that different from having fifty percent or whatever of the people in a crowd having a smartphone. You can't always tell what people are recording now with their phones, and stuff is instantly uploaded to Youtube, Facebook, etc.

That's not to say I like it, though. I don't like the idea the tremendous amount of privacy we give up on a daily basis, to Big and Little Brother (yeah, I know, and here I am, blogging, etc.).

D.G. Hudson said...

Distracted driving, perhaps even walking if one eye is watching a tiny screen. I don't know. . .


Nick Wilford said...

It sounds a bit outlandish now but so did mobile phones once. I think I would definitely act differently around someone wearing them though.

laughingwolf said...

some corps already ban google glass; i stand with them....

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Going way beyond Orwell's vision of the world, here. I'm not sure I'm ready for this being caught on camera unaware. I mean I don't always have my makeup on for heaven sakes.

Tara Tyler said...

loving these lessons in various fields, but physics and the possibilities that bring sci fi closer to reality intrigue me most!i have a pair of tthose google glasses in my futuristic novel, but they dont like to use them =)
and couldnt google come up with a better name?!
they need a better marketing dept!

nutschell said...

ive seen the commercial for these glasses and boy it looks amazing!

Michael Di Gesu said...

This bit of technology doesn't thrill me. I think it's a total invasion. Why should anyone have that option to record ANYONE's image at will...

I hope this things get banned. I really do.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I can see it happening, which is frightening.

The Golden Eagle said...

Alex: *shudder* That's a creepy idea . . .

Liz: That would be quite useful.

Mooderino: And we don't all end up in some post-apocalyptic nightmare? Yeah, at least it will be interesting. :)

Andrew: That's what Eric Schmidt is arguing, apparently.

Charles: I'd just keep looking at Google Glass and probably be unable to talk normally.

Mshatch: It's a seriously mixed bag.

Shelly: Thanks for spreading the word!

Pat: Nope. Escaping the grid is hard these days . . . and it keeps getting more difficult.

Jeff: Resistance is futile.

Amy: I wouldn't want that, either!

Rusty: What a sad idea.

I know Google has started talking with an eyeglass designer so they look like regular glasses.

Krista: Same here.

Timothy: Well, they'll be out next year!

JeffO: Interesting point. But at least when someone's pointing a phone in your direction you can actually see that they're doing so in a lot of cases.

D.G.: It's a bit of a scary idea.

Nick: Me, too.

Laughingwolf: I'd heard of businesses banning Google Glass on their properties--I don't blame them. I'd be more inclined to go to a Glass-free place.

Lee: LOL. There are times when I don't want people to record what I look like, too.

Tara: I actually thing Google Glass is a pretty cool name, with the alliteration and everything. Though it certainly could have been more original.

Nutschell: It's an impressive piece of technology.

Michael: Some places have pre-emptively banned the devices. I don't know if any governments will.

Diane: Indeed!

Sandy said...

As with most things with regard to technology there is a good and a bad side. The good of social networking helped them get the bombers recently, the bad is too many people do stupid things and don't seem to know what's ok to make public and what isn't. And like the twitter situation yesterday when they got hacked people assume if it's on the net it's true and as a result the market suffered. I don't know. Don't believe I would wear one, partially cause I get dizzy enough with my ti-focals and movement...something there would drive me nuts. A-Z

Mary said...

This sounds frightening and like quite an (enormous) overstep to me. No, i won't wear them, and have no desire to talk to anyone who wants to wear them. It all sounds too Orwellian for my taste. :)

Jagoda said...

I've read about contact lenses in the not too distant future that would act similarly. I must admit, part of me likes it a lot. Another part is also concerned about privacy and boundary issues.

Paul Tobin said...

All technology has moral aspects to it. I think that technology develops far faster than our abilities to absorb the ramifications of it.

Deniz Bevan said...

I still think this is a weird invention. You're right, I don't necessarily want things that close to my eyes. At the same time, I'm more of a reading type - I don't want to be giving myself or my "smart" glasses voice commands... Especially not in the middle of the street!

The Golden Eagle said...

Sandy: I'm sure it would drive me bonkers as well to have something flashing in my face all the time.

Mary: It does sound like something Orwell would write, doesn't it? Or at least it has the potential to become that kind of thing.

Jagoda: There is a cool element to the technology--it's just the law hasn't caught up.

Paul: Oftentimes, that does seem true.

Deniz: I'd feel weird talking to my glasses in public!