Google Glasses: Really cool or just plain creepy?

Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, was spotted on the New York City subway last weekend wearing some pretty cool headgear. Rumors have run rampant in the tech world since Google’s Project Glass was teased last April, and now it appears as though the technology is almost ready to go.

According to The Independent, Google Glasses (not to be confused with Google Goggles) are “capable of giving an ‘augmented reality’ to viewers – or telling them lots of stuff about who and what they are seeing, they could transform our computer habits beyond even the astonishing advances of recent years.”

“These are the Google Glasses that Ray Kurzweil talked about and one of the things that concern me,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “There’s no way to stop this technology. I am not saying this technology is bad. I’m saying you better be aware of the approaching singularity – the combination of man and machine because it is coming.”

While the technology is certainly remarkable, the intended usage, as Glenn explained, is a little sketchy.

“If I’m wearing the Google Glasses, I look over to Stu and on my lenses it says ‘Stu Buguiere’ and it tells me everything I need to know about Stu,” Glenn explained. “In the finished technology, once you hit the singularity the computers know what you’re looking for. It will sift the Internet for the information you’re looking for. And it will know I don’t care about his dog’s name. I’m interested in the things that interest me – the connecting points that we have.”

In this example, the glasses would tell Glenn about Stu’s career in broadcast and radio, so that when Glenn met Stu he would be able to bring all of this personal information into the conversation. Stu, who doesn’t have the glasses, would have no idea how or why Glenn knows all of this information.

While this may seem relatively harmless in situations where the people involved have pure intentions, the capabilities of these glasses could prove dangerous.

“If somebody nefarious was involved, they could come up to you: ‘Mary, how are you? So good to see you. We went to school together.’ Nefarious purposes are awful… You open yourself up to blackmail,” Glenn said.

“You have to know that the singularity is coming. There’s no way to stop this technology. This technology is coming,” he continued. “Are you telling me that this kind of technology is not important for our national security? You’re telling me that the government can’t use this kind of stuff?”

Take yesterday’s inauguration events, for example. “You’re telling me that sitting in a giant crowd yesterday at the inauguration, you didn’t want to have a few Secret Service agents around the president, around the first lady, walking near them, and just scanning the crowd,” Glenn asked. “You’re not going to look for cameras anymore, but people with glasses.”

“The future is bright. The technology is coming around the corner,” Glenn concluded. “Really exciting stuff, but freaky, freaky stuff as well.”

  • snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    All technology in and of itself is neutral, it is what anyone decides to use it for that makes it a boon or bane for them and the world around them. We cannot avoid change happening, only deal with it as best as we can.

  • Sam Fisher

    If it looked a lot better than maybe but it just looks freaken weird.

  • Scott Todd

    Having all our technology wiped out by an EMP sounds better and better all the time.

    • Nathanael Dale Ries

      Why? You want people who rely on pacemakers, robotic limbs, artificial organs, etc to die? You want mass famine when we can no longer cool our fresh produce, meat, and dairy products? Our current civilization relies and benefits from electricity in major ways. An EMP would not prevent these technologies from eventually coming to be, since the infrastructure would eventually rebuilt, but it would cause harm to many millions of people in the mean time.

      • Scott Todd

         I was exaggerating a bit.  Of course I wouldn’t want those folks to die, but given that our capacity for technological advancement has far outstripped our moral capability, I don’t trust anyone with the near god-like power this technology will create.  Those who fancy themselves our betters will use it to force their will upon us.  Seems we’re in for a good bit of misery either way.

        • William Jesse Miller

          That has always been the case though. Europeans and the native americans. Vikings and their ships for the time…. Our moral capability have never changed. 

        • Justin Coonradt

          God like power? I understand your concern but aren’t you exaggerating again? Its glasses that give small bits of info. I’m pretty sure it’l have its limitations just like any social site on the internet. Sure people will abuse it and use it for wrong ends but honestly that’s just humanity. We could be living in the stone age and someone would abuse the rock that gives us shelter and helps us hunt by beating someone else over the head with it. 

  • Anonymous

    AND in the times of the end mankind will gain GREAT technology ! Hurrry,Huuurrrrry, HHHHHUUURRRRRRRRYyyyy!!  I’m ready let’s do this

  • Anonymous

    This is just an extention of things like facebook, or social media. People who get involved in it will be victims of it. That paper in New York didn’t need some fancy google glasses to point to all the gun owners in New York. What ensues will determine the outcome.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm. Is owning a pair of these glasses the same as owning a gun? Will we have to be registered and pass a background check to get a permit to wear? Geewiz! Maybe we need to get one before those are banned too. If they are banned then will only bad people have them? I’m moving to Mars, lol.

  • Anonymous

    Next up: the bi-directional Google brain implant mandated by law to be installed at birth.

    • Nathanael Dale Ries

      Why would you need an implant, it can be done wirelessly…

      • Anonymous

        Network physical layer unique MAC address for location tracking and targeted operational commands, er, uh, advertising.

  • Melanie Clark

    Seriously?  Big Brother is watching you!

  • Enoch Strife

    Blackmail? All the people I REALLY went to school with ignore me like the plague when I bring that fact up.

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