Google Glass: Augmenting Minds or Helping Us Sleepwalk?
2013 02 01

By Catherine Happer | EpochTimes



Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google along with Larry Page, was photographed recently on the New York subway wearing Google Glass, the company’s latest offering to augment your mind. But will our minds be truly augmented?

The Google Glass “glasses”, if connected to Wi-Fi, show information on a screen about what the user is seeing – based on Google search data – such as location and recognisable people and brands. While Google Glass is still in development, Google is expected to begin shipping the device to enthusiasts within the year.

The idea of wearing glasses that mediate between the user and reality might still seem a little far-fetched, a little sci-fi – maybe something to have a few minutes of fun with. But bearing in mind that the computer in these devices can take photos and video of what, and who, is being seen, and share it immediately for further online interaction, it seems that’s not what Google has in mind.

These devices are meant to be worn for substantial periods of time. They perform the kinds of functions – albeit in a more obtrusive way – that are currently taken care of by smartphones and tablets, the technologies we are increasingly tethered to as we live our daily lives. To simplify things, this time we’ll wear the device on our faces.


If it’s not difficult to see Google Glass as a simple continuation of the relationship humans have with technology, it’s even easier to see some of the problems being exacerbated.

Previous technophile turned techno-pessimist MIT professor Sherry Turkle writes in her latest book about the way users of mobile devices engage in compulsive behaviour – which she describes as being “always on” – cradling their technologies in bed in the middle of a sleepless night, checking emails quickly in the middle of reading a book to a toddler, logging on to Facebook just as the lights have gone down in the cinema.

In such cases, genuine emotional engagement with our physical reality – and other human beings – is sacrificed for online performance and interaction.

Shifting sands

Every day new activities are transferred from the physical arena to the digital one. The death of the record shop has switched the experience of browsing the aisles to browsing the iTunes library. The workplace, the one space where even the shyest among us were forced to socialise, is often now a laptop on the kitchen table. There’s even been a radical change in the way we fall in love – not just through online dating agencies but via flirty Facebook posts and Tweets.

If we really put our minds to it, we could do almost everything without face-to-face contact with other humans.

For a growing number of people, this shift represents freedom – freedom not to go to work every day, and who can be bothered to get in the car to go to the supermarket anyway? But in return we seem to be handing more and more control over to the technology companies who facilitate these changes.

Rather than chat through our ideas with a colleague over the coffee machine, a great many of us now think in front of the computer – or rather we now think with the help of the computer. Type any word into Google – however simple, however vague – and Google will offer a whole list of potential thoughts you might be having. Some turn out to be better than the original thought.

[...]

Read the full article at: theepochtimes.com








Google Glasses Are a Prescription for Disaster

Project Glass - Wikipedia







Related Articles
Could this photograph change the future?
By Hiring Kurzweil, Google Just Killed the Singularity
The Pluto Switch: Mystery Google Device Appears in Small-Town Iowa
Google starts watching what you do off the Internet too
Google voluntarily plays copyright cop, punishes violators in search results
Android-powered Google Glasses: The augmented reality HUD dream is coming
Details of Google’s Project Glass revealed in FCC report


Latest News from our Front Page

Illegal Aliens Cleared For U.S. Military Service
2014 10 18
The Pentagon announced a new policy allowing illegal immigrants the opportunity to enlist in the armed forces, Thursday. USA Today reports that the new recruitment policies will focus on people with "high-demand skills" like foreign language acumen and health care training: "For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will ...
Bronze Age Sundial-Moondial Discovered in Russia
2014 10 16
A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds. The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises. The sundial might be "evidence of ...
Humans may only survive 68 days on Mars
2014 10 15
Space enthusiasts planning a move to Mars may have to wait to relocate: conditions on the Red Planet are such that humans would likely begin dying within 68 days, a new study says. Oxygen levels would start to deplete after about two months and scientists said new technologies are required before humans can permanently settle on Mars, according to the study ...
Tom Sunic’s letter to the US Ambassador to Hungary
2014 10 14
October 11, 2014 Mr. André Goodfriend Chargé d’Affaires Embassy of the United States of America Szabadság tér 12 H-1054 Budapest Dear Mr. Goodfriend, As an American citizen I would hereby like to express my concern over the recent decision by the Hungarian government to ban the National Policy Institute (NPI) conference which had been scheduled to take place in Budapest from October 3 to October 5, 2014. ...
"Vampire grave" found in Bulgaria
2014 10 14
A "vampire grave" containing a skeleton with a stake driven through its chest has been unearthed by a man known as "Bulgaria’s Indiana Jones". Professor Nikolai Ovcharov – a crusading archaeologist who has dedicated his life to unearthing mysteries of ancient civilisations – said that he had made the discovery while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city ...
More News »