Thursday, March 21, 2013

Walking And Web Surfing A Problem?

I enjoy reading Ralph Gardner's Urban Gardner articles in The Wall Street Journal.  And while his writings don't typically match this blog's content, I was drawn in to today's article, Too Much, Too Soon.  In it he makes a very logical point regarding Google Glass, "However, there's something I'd like to say to the good folks at Google before it's too late: Don't. Please just drop the idea. I know it sounds really exciting; even I'm really excited. But it's not smart. It will come to no good for a whole bunch of reasons."

For the most part, he questions our ability to do two things at once.  It may be fine to wear a Google Glass while at our desk or sitting on our couch, but another thing all together when we are outside on the street and sidewalks.  Will Google Glass distract to the point where we forget where we are walking and get knocked over by someone else, or worse, step into the street and get hit by a car.  Will we think we can wear these glasses while driving a car?  We certainly have been told time and time again not to text and drive." But that's the point: Just as with smartphones, it doesn't matter how cutting edge, even architectonic, these devices are. We, their masters, remain profoundly dumb, inept, clumsy, antediluvian.  And for Google's sake, will the first fatality that comes from someone wearing their Google Glass result in a lawsuit and possible class action suit. 

Ralph certainly envisions an upside of information at your fingertips, "Let's say you're walking down the street and spot an especially alluring fellow pedestrian. It will be only a matter of time until you'll be able to aim the lens of your device at his or her face, and using face recognition technology get the individual's address, work history, marital status, measurements and hobbies."  We are in fact already an open book on the web.  Despite the possible uses of Google Glass, the threat of injury, of oneself or others, seems so real.  We have a hard enough time concentrating on where we are going, let alone have distractions cross our path.  Hopefully, Google has thought this through.