Who’s the Glasshole Now? Google Dispells Glass Myths

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Woman wearing Google Glass

Google Glass has been under fire since its inception. Tagged with misconceptions, such as the end to privacy as we know it and just another piece of tech to take our time away from life in real time, Glass has taken some serious flak in its short time as a viable product.

Even though Glass is still in the Explorer Edition of its development phase, Google has set out to dispel some of the myths that the naysayers (or, rather, the real Glassholes) have stacked around the product.

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Published on Thursday, March 20th on Glass’s Google + page, Google dished out a quick dispelling in the oft-loved list format.

Clarifying false accusations from “it’s always on!” (no, it’s not) to “why would I want a screen right in front of my eye?” (it’s placed above the right eye, actually), Google is working hard to displace the discomfort many current non-users have gleaned from the outspoken.

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“Myths can be fun, but they can also be confusing or unsettling. And if spoken enough, they can morph into something that resembles fact,” Google wrote last Thursday.

Since Glass went into its beta phase, Google has been working diligently to provide user-positive marketing, but they’ve been met with a resilient blockage of technophobes insistent on labeling the technology as a spy tool, a meta-distraction, and even a blindfold.

Per Google, Glass is simply meant to be the next generation of usable tech, similar to a mobile phone. Remember when smartphones were first becoming a Big Deal and society had to adjust for their integration? Glass is really no different according to Google.

The term “glasshole,” meant to label Glass users as antisocial geeks, should really be displaced back on to the naysayers, the apparent luddites who haven’t taken the time to properly research the product.

Smart technology is growing quickly in our society, from leisure to business to health industries, and Google is seeping in to these industry opportunities as they grow their hardware market.

Glass is, simply put, the next generation of the smartphone, it’s just hands-free (so you can be on your phone while driving!), meaning more convenience for the everyday user.

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Image: iStockphoto

About The Author

Laura Whitener is the managing editor of Firmology, technology focused news and insight for small business owners and online entrepreneurs. Laura graduated from DePaul’s notable Master of Writing and Publishing program in Chicago. She survives on coffee, apples, and Pandora. When she isn't editing or writing, Laura enjoys knitting, adding to her massive book collection, and culinary adventures. You can find Laura on Twitter and LinkedIn.

13 Comments on "Who’s the Glasshole Now? Google Dispells Glass Myths"

  1. Kafantaris2

    If myths are “spoken enough, they can morph into something that resembles fact,” says Google.
    Or as Plato said 2,500 years ago, left unchecked, prevailing false beliefs become truths.

  2. j238

    Spending your life with a computer display in front of you is fundamentally stupid and people who do so will be perceived that way. 

    Google, please dispel this myth.

  3. robertvorthman

    j238  Ironically, technology like Google Glass decreases the amount of time one is using a computer.  This is concept is counterintuitive to those unfamiliar with Google Glass.

    Glass is effective at reducing the amount of time it takes to complete tasks commonly performed on a hand-held mobile device.  For example, a Glass user can receive and respond to a text in less than 10 seconds.  The can ask for driving directions and receive navigation guidance in less than 15 seconds.  They can see who is calling without getting their phone out of their pocket.  They can quickly Google search for answers that enhance their decision making abilities, saving time.  This activities can be performed hands-free and in some cases eyes-free (navigation, texting, searching).

    White-collar workers spend their day in front of a computer.  Are they stupid?  Look around next time you are in a public place, notice the number of people head-down, clinging their mobile device.  Are they stupid?

    Wearing Google Glass doesn’t mean you are staring at or using a computer.  This might sound odd, but a Glass user wears the device on their face when they aren’t using it.  This is so they can instantly access the device when they do need to use a computer.  This is the nature of wearables, their interface and usage pattern is quite different from a hand-held mobile, thus comparisons between the two are often misguided.

  4. Laura Whitener

    robertvorthman Well put. 
    I’m inclined to slightly disagree with you in the sense that Glass won’t necessarily reduce the growing “tech addiction” that’s become a heated topic lately, but as far as convenience and allowing for more in-person social interaction, yes, the technology is definitely capable of being less intrusive. 

    I do tend to find Glass to be a bit distracting when I’m conversing with someone who’s wearing it, but the first smartphones were less than subtle in their early stages, too. I think it’ll be a safe bet that Google will eventually patent and release a classy, subtle design that will integrate in a more seamless manner for both the user and the non-user.

  5. robertvorthman

    Laura Whitener

    Thanks.  I think
    Glass will increase tech addiction.  Once people are exposed to the power
    of wearable heads-up displays, people won’t want to leave home without them,
    even more so than they wouldn’t want to leave home without their phone, because
    these devices are so much more useful than hand-held phones.

    I’ve been wearing Glass
    all day, every day, for almost a year.  I’m
    definitely addicted.  When I do
    end up using my hand-held mobile, it’s starkly apparent how awkward it is tap
    on a digital representation of 19th century typewriters.

  6. Laura Whitener

    There’s an interesting juxtaposition!
    What are your social interactions like while wearing Glass? Do you feel awkward or do the people you’re talking with feel awkward?

    And, in that stream, when you give commands to Glass, do you find that you get weird looks? 

    Obviously, Glass isn’t as subtle (yet) as Bluetooth is, but I assume that the social integration is somewhat similar? 

    I’d love to know what you use Glass for the most… top three functions, in your opinion?

  7. robertvorthman

    Laura Whitener robertvorthman  
    Wearing Glass can feel awkward, but since Glass is so lightweight, I forget that I am wearing it.  Due to rampant misconceptions, it seems some people around me may be uncomfortable.  Occasionally, I notice people staring and then quickly look away when I turn to look at them.  Mostly in restaurants.

    Most people don’t say anything about them.  Many people mistake them for regular glasses, or assume they are a medical device and don’t want to bring it up.

    People who do ask me about Glass are excited to see them in person and inquisitive.  Reaction is overwhelmingly positive.  I have let hundreds of people try them on.

    Giving Glass voice commands can be awkward.  I cup my hand around my mouth to redirect my voice towards Glass, allowing me to speak softer, and as a social cue to others that I am speaking to a device, much like a phone user raises their hand to their face during use.  Glass’s voice recognition is astonishingly sensitive and accurate.  Sometimes people next to me do not even notice I am speaking to Glass because of how softly I am speaking.  My friends are impressed that I can do this without them noticing while riding in a car together.

    The social integration is somewhat similar to bluetooth headsets, and reminiscent of how cell phones and headphones were at first unusual but now commonplace.

    My top three functions:

    Driving Directions
    Glass as a GPS is amazing.  I can enter a destination and begin receiving guidance in less than 15 seconds.  I can enter a destination with voice, receive navigation with guidance with bone conduction audio, and change my destination entirely hands-free AND EYES-FREE.  Once one memorizes the command “ok glass, get directions…” there is no need to look at the display.  The display only illuminates when giving instructions to turn, it is almost always off.  When one is viewing the display, it is floating over the road at a focal distance nearer to cars.  It is much quicker to glance at meaning less time distracted.  Google Glass is the safest GPS I have ever used and I feel that it’s adoption by drivers will save lives.

    I can receive a text in less than three seconds and reply in less than seven.  The ability to be able to send a message to anyone, hands-free, at anytime is powerful.  I can be carrying groceries, walking dogs, holding a beverage, etc, and this does not prevent me from texting.

    Hands-free photography and videography allows me to capture whatever I see at anytime.  I can take pictures I would not otherwise have the opportunity to capture, because I don’t have to stop what I am doing and get out my camera, often infeasible when engaged in an activity of photographic interest.

    P.S. I seem to have double posted my initial comment.  If you can delete it that would save space on this page since my first comment is so long.

  8. Laura Whitener


    Fixed the double posting!It’ll be interesting to monitor the social acceptance of Glass as it becomes more prevalent, and how social etiquette adjusts itself to accommodate innovative tech.

  9. robertvorthman

    Laura Whitener robertvorthman

    Thanks for fixing my double post.  By the way, each time you replied to me, I got an email notification which I read on my Google Glass.

  10. j238

    robertvorthman I haven’t followed this thread after starting it.  Would have been almost hypocritical to do so.  

    You asked, “Look around next time you are in a public place, notice the number of people head-down, clinging their mobile device.  Are they stupid?” 

    I know that was meant rhetorically, but it’s important for you to know the answer.  

    Yes.  People who spend their lives staring at their electronics are stupid to do so.

  11. robertvorthman

    j238 robertvorthman  

    I agree with your sentiment.  It is a sad reality that people spend their lives staring at their electronics.  Fortunately, mobile computing is evolving from hand-helds to wearables.  This greatly decreases the time it takes to perform common tasks, reducing the amount of time people spend staring at electronics.

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