We just reported on the Google glasses last week. Now, it’s all over the news today that reports have leaked about Google releasing their Google Glasses by the middle to end of 2012. Likely these glasses will be powered by a version of the Android OS and will feature a camera on the front as well as give live heads-up-display information about anything and everything you look at. They will be controlled by a mixture of head tilts and nods, and will be priced somewhere between $250-$600. All very cool news for the world of wearable tech… but do Google’s Glasses spell the beginning of the end for humanity as we know it? Will they spark the Singularity?
WiFi glasses, built in camera, built in GPS units… it’s a dream come true for marketers and data collection agencies. And it’s a nightmare made real for technophiles and conspiracy theorists. To see the potential power of these Google Glasses you have to look no further than Google Goggles which already exists and can turn any photo into data for you.
iSeeYou- Google Glasses Transforming How Data Is Collected
Google’s glasses will transform how data is collected, and everybody is going to want to get their sticky fingers on it. Now instead of just being able to track what you do on your smart phone, data gatherers will be able to track what you look at, where you go, and plaster advertising directly in front of your face. Combine this with facial recognition software, geolocation, and the tendency of governments to demand mega-corporations like Google to store all your data on 3rd party servers… and you have a recipe that will turn any person in the world into a mobile covert surveillance unit that can be tracked day or night.
Everything will be tracked and quantified, any time of day, anywhere in the world, anything that is looked at, ever. Talk about a potential nightmare big brother scenario. Not to mention having to deal with Adsense advertisements in the corner of your eye everywhere you look… William Gibson predicted this in his book Virtual Light in 1993, Neal Stephenson called them ‘Gargoyle’s’ in Snow Crash saying “The payoff for this self-imposed ostracism is that you can be in the Metaverse all the time.” Now it’s finally going to become a reality.
You Will Be Assimilated… But Will You Care?
Sure, this may sound a bit alarmist, and let’s face it… these kinds of things are probably already happening and nobody really seems to care. However, as technology gets more and more pervasive in our lives and our privacy is intruded upon to the point of tracking even the things we fix our gaze upon, it begs the question- where does it stop? At what point do we as a race just decide to surrender all vestiges of privacy and give over our entire lives to the ever pervasive “cloud” of data and metrics? Is this what it will take to spark the singularity, turn us all into techno zombies, become part of the borg collective, the true hive mind, the Great Link, or even Cybermen…
On the other hand, imagine being able to get real time data on anything and everything you could want just by looking its way. Instant data in your face for anything- instant wikipedia articles, price comparisons, reviews, coupon offers, translations… Imagine the potential applications in journalism, entertainment, education, and more! It’s an exciting new world out there and next gen wearable technologies like Google’s Glasses are going to change everything you know about modern living… for better or worse… (or both).
What do you think? We await your response.