Chapter 3. Societal Issues with Glass and How to Avoid Them in Your Projects

Glass makes for a fascinating case study in consumer psychology. In the spring of 2013, it seemed like everyone at some point had an opinion on the then-unreleased and uber-mysterious Google Glass—most loving it, many diametrically opposing it, others deathly afraid of it. One of the biggest challenges Glass faced was that everyone tried to figure it out, pigeonhole it, and create perceived stigmas around it—again, even before it came out. Even after the Explorer Edition was released, many people who hadn’t even tried it attempted to pass final judgment on what was essentially still a closed beta.

When word of the release of Google Glass starting getting more of a buzz with the mainstream press, several distinct issues surfaced and rapidly created mammoth global speculation and what renowned tech sector pundit and journalist Jeff Jarvis deemed unnecessary “technopanic” about health concerns, safety, privacy, and wearers’ appearance to others. Throughout its history, albeit brief, the window to innovate introduced by Glass is constantly being juxtaposed against the supposition of nefarious actions by some entity.

Because of the intent for Glass to be used by practically anyone, anywhere, and at any time, it’s been not only the talk of the programming community, but also a lightning rod for controversy based on assumed impacts and ill-informed perceptions dealing with everything from personal safety of the ...

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