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Displays Google Input Devices Upgrades Hardware

I Became a Robot With Google Glass 134

Nerval's Lobster writes "Videographer and journalist Boonsri Dickinson took the second generation of Google Glass out for a spin, and came back with some thoughts (and a video) on the hardware (basically unchanged from the first generation) and the new XE12 software upgrade (which includes many new features, such as the 'eye wink' option for snapping photos). New apps in the tiny-but-growing Glass app store include Compass, which allows you to find interesting landmarks; Field Trip, which allows you to walk around and look up local history; Video Voyager, a tool for sharing videos based on your location; and Strava Run, which visualizes your fitness habits. 'Glass has potential to take off as a new platform because it's not a phone,' she writes. 'The hands-free approach could expand its use to venues as diverse as the operating room and kitchen, unlocking new ways of using the data overlays to augment the real world.' Interesting features aside, though, her experience with the device raises the usual privacy questions: 'For the most part, Glass is a good prototype for this new kind of computer: but do we really need it, and are we ready for it?'"
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I Became a Robot With Google Glass

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  • Wearable Tech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elzurawka ( 671029 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:12AM (#45951025)

    There is huge hype in the media that THIS year will be the year of wearable tech. Until there are better input methods then voice, i dont think it will take off. I hate interacting with my phone through voice, and i feel like Glass would be even worse.

    Wearable tech is still a lot of hype by the industry, and I don't know if the consumer is really looking to spend money on it just yet. I feel like we need a breakout tech to really get people on board, and Glass hasn't done that.

  • by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:14AM (#45951047)

    If he became a robot, wouldn't that mean he was kind of a slave to whatever the Glass told him to do? Like someone was texting his eyeballs messages saying "Order a quarter-pounder-with-cheese and a Dr Pepper"

    If he wanted to say cyborg I'd buy it, or if he "felt" like an android I guess I could accept it.

    But "robot" tends to imply a mechanical device more devoid of free-will or thought than some of the other phrases. Heck, the blurb in which it's used is describing how it's expressing personality.

  • by TheBilgeRat ( 1629569 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:31AM (#45951241)
    It would help if they could design that into a form factor that isn't blatantly a pair of google glasses. I would want my wearable tech to be as inconspicuous and non-intrusive as possible, both to my experience and the public around me.
  • by jigawatt ( 1232228 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:43AM (#45951365)
    We've spent all our time worrying about the singularity as if the machines would eventually gain insight and perspective beyond the best humanity has to offer. Much more likely will be that human cognition falls below the level of a mere machine.

    In short, the big problem is not that machines are thinking like humans, but that humans are thinking like machines.
  • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:50AM (#45951427) Homepage
    Imagine. Those glasses could recognize advertising. Then mask it with other advertising that Google thinks you are interested in.

    For example, that offensive billboard with a barely clothed female could be replaced by a strapping muscle bound shirtless hunk . . . holding puppies or kittens.

    As per Vernor Vinge's story Fast Times at Fairmont High, everyone could tell Google what color and style they want their house to appear to other people wearing Glass. When you see artwork, Glass could replace it with different artwork that you prefer.

    Two people wearing glass want to watch a movie together? All they have to do is agree which wall surface will become the "tv".

    An underground meeting place could have a plain door, but members of the underground group, or invitees to the party would see a sign on the door, and could recognize one another.

    Let your imagination roam.
  • Re:1) yes, 2) no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:50AM (#45951429) Homepage Journal

    Yes we need it. That shouldn't even be a question. Did we need transistors? Did we need the keyboard, the mouse, the gui, the network, the Internet, modern web browsers, tablets, cell phones?

    Guess that depends on how one defines "need," doesn't it?

  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @12:15PM (#45951741) Journal
    Remember "We are the borg..." from Star Trek? Who can't remember that scene when Jean Luc Picard gets turned into a borg.

    The Google glasses kind of look like that. Not to mention that the glasses make anyone look like a grade A dork (Think Screech from Saved by the Bell), someone who's all filled up to the brim with tech gadgets. Imagine that person wearing a camera...looking at you while he isn't talking to you...but perhaps making observational (to someone else who is listening in, belittling) comments about the surrounding he is "Google-eyeballing".

    Remember the first cellphone? It looked like a giant brick...which it sort of was... but it made the user look important....I must have a phone with me at all cost at all times. This will AUTOMATICALLY make you an enemy of the common people, because you're no longer one of them, you're ABOVE them (perhaps not in YOUR mind, but in THEIR are, because you make a spectacle around yourself).

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all about fact...I was that "Screech" geek that filled up his pockets with advanced programmable calculators/pocket computers back in the 80's, heck...I even hooked up a Casio PB1000 to a Packet Radio Modem and a Radio Amateur Radio and a battery...all encased in a suitcase, worlds first portable wireless connected computer right there? Don't know...I was around 12 at the time.

    The point is, such as it is now, it's just geeky because it's not commonplace. I have no idea if it ever WILL become commonplace either. Remember the "Spoon"?...there is no spoon - only Bluetooth. Rarely anyone uses a Bluetooth headset anymore (maybe when driving), but there was a time when we saw every businessman in town wear one of those on his side...looking like he was online and important all the time.'s literally gone, I dare you to spot one today.

    Gets better yet, personally I've even ditched the Smartphone now - because older as I get...I realize that I do NOT need to be connected 24H, when my employer calls me, I usually take a few days to answer (until I've read my mail or so), or if it is all that important...he should have called me on my new "old fashion" dumb phone...that I bought to disconnect myself entirely from the Google Machine and the constant need for synchronizations and endless recharging of a device that sucks so much power it needs a power outlet at least once a day. My new phone, doesn't need recharging before a month has passed, and doesn't know anything else than SMS and Calls. YAY. Freedom.

  • Do. Not. Want. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by waspleg ( 316038 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:25PM (#45954117) Journal

    I don't care if you're okay with annihilating what little privacy remains in your own life. I'm not okay with you using your headset to remove mine. Go fuck yourself.

  • Re:Wearable Tech (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @06:33PM (#45958149)

    Well, let's think about it. What if some parent showed up at the swim meet with a camcorder to film their kid's performance? Soccer game? Marching band? Maybe a birthday party? Those people aren't getting punched in the face today, what if they try filming those events on their phone? When they film it on a head-mounted camera, is it punchy-time yet? No, it's fairly well understood by those present why that person brought a recording device and it's accepted that recording devices are likely to show up at these kinds of events.

    Now, if someone sat down on the subway in the seat across from you and pointed a camcorder at you (whether or not you can tell it's off), that's clearly unsettling and I could very well imagine that person getting punched in the face. It seems there are already fairly clear social norms around when you can record in public. An etiquette for its use has already been established, and in reports from those using the explorer models, I'm already starting to see examples where the writer felt uncomfortable putting on Glass in places like the aforementioned subway. Word about how to recognize the appropriate etiquette will spread in time, and the usage will eventually follow (and of course we'll have people with bad behavior too, much like smartphone creep shots today). Overall, I'm not exactly in a panic about this technology. I'm also not terribly concerned about using Glass to record my kid doing things because the only time I'd take out the Glasses is in typical recording situations.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.