Google Glass has been receiving a lot of press time lately, some good and some bad. Yesterday, the company published a guide as to who should and shouldn’t wear Glass and the health risks associated with it. For example, Google says people under 13 or who have had Lasik eye surgery should not wear Glass because it can cause eye strain and lead to problems for vision that is still developing. Then, of course, you have people like Robert Scoble who claim that Google Glass is the best thing to ever be invented. With all of this put aside, however, there is one thing that can and will lead to problems for Google, and that is the public use of Glass.
In the short lifetime of Glass, we’ve already seen restaurants and stores ban the product citing privacy concerns. In fact, this morning, a petition to ban Google Glass went up on the White House website. Right now, Google leaves up to the user to decide when it is OK to use Glass in public, but the Wall Street Journal thinks that an etiquette guide is needed for the product. In a report, the website published a breakdown of guidelines it thinks Google Glass users need to follow when it launches to the public in 2014.
The report says that it is important for people to only use the video recording functionality in places that are appropriate, and not in “locker rooms, public bathrooms, business meetings, movie theaters and anywhere else where wielding a camera would be improper or offensive.” Because there is no recording indicator light on Glass, it is impossible for other people to know if they are being filmed by Glass or not. The Wall Street Journal also advises people to not use Glass voice commands in public and to not talk on the phone via Glass in public, either.
Essentially, it all boils down to basically not being creepy.
“All it’s going to take is for one Glass wearer to record or photograph someone or something that shouldn’t have been filmed to ruin Glass for everyone,” the Journal explains. “Let’s not incite lawmakers or angry mobs. Stick to photographing kittens, consenting friends and those totally amazing pancakes from your favorite brunch spot, OK?”
The issue about people knowing when they are being recorded can be solved by Google putting an indicator light on the side of the device that flashes when the camera active. We honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen when the product does launch to the public.
In the end though, it’s all common sense, or at least it should be. Just don’t be inappropriate and be that guy who ruins Glass for everyone.