Wearable computers have long since been the meat and drink of science fiction writers, soon though they could be the reality.
Google has been talking about its Google Glass technology for some time, but now the hardware has finally made its way out of the labs in Mountain View.
The technology, if you haven’t heard about it, enables you to have a sort of heads-up display in your field of vision as though you are some kind of futuristic soldier. The idea is that it frees up a lot of the functionality that you have in your PC or phone so that you can search out things without having to stop what you’re doing. You can also join a Google Hangout whilst doing, well whatever it is you happen to be doing.
The glasses come with 16GB of storage and the ability to film what you are looking at. This sounds like a very scary situation. If you see someone wearing the glasses, you don’t know if they are filming you and uploading the footage to their Google Drive account.
This kind of technology will clearly have many technological benefits, but we really need to think about this invasion of privacy. At the moment you generally know when someone takes a photo of you, a friend or family member. With technology like Google Glass you won’t know if someone is taking a picture of you. This doesn’t mean that we should necessarily clamp down on it, it is just something that people need to be aware of.
As it stands at the moment with the glasses costing over $1,000, this won’t be a big issue overnight. This first release is just the start with the likes of Apple, Microsoft and even sunglasses maker Oakley thought to be interested in developing rival hardware. Look a few years down the road though and all our glasses could have this sort of functionality and then all our lives will be on film, in a searchable, indexed database. Now if that doesn’t sound like science fiction I don’t know what does.