The technophiles among us are celebrating a truly amazing innovation from Google.
Google Glass, which is still in development, looks like a set of glasses without lenses. Via voice-activated commands, users of the technology can make a phone call, record a video, take a picture, or even surf the Net, as the information display on the frames is projected not onto a screen but onto the user’s field of vision. Yikes!
A Wall Street Journal article reviewing the technology says that Google co-founder Sergey Brin sees Google Glass as “like a less obtrusive smartphone.” Brin, the article says, will set the automatic camera feature to take a picture every ten seconds as he is playing with his kids. He finds this to be a benefit because he doesn’t have to worry about taking his smart phone out of his pocket. Lord help the mere mortals who dish out big money and try to duplicate this feat, only to find that they paid for a very expensive missile to be launched across the room by an energetic toddler.
I suppose it would be nice to be able to take pictures from a device that balances on my nose and to be able to check the magnitude of the most recent Browns loss on espn.com without moving. In one sense, I can agree with Brin that there is an appeal whenever I can integrate powerful technologies seamlessly with life.
I think a word of caution is in order, though. The more “unobtrusive” technology becomes, the more it inundates our lives with potentially useless information. Sergey Brin is clearly a more intelligent man than I, but I can only imagine that not all of the random pictures he takes every ten seconds of his children are going to make it onto the wall.
Hopefully we remain mindful, even as we celebrate the information accessibility afforded by new technologies, that it is this very accessibility that tempts us to capture a ton of information that isn’t worth processing. Back in 1979, Pink Floyd ironically bragged about the blessing of having “thirteen channels of [expletive] on the T. V. to choose from.” Now we have hundreds of channels. I wonder what their assessment would be today.
Feeling too busy to focus on things that really matter? Maybe you need to do some unplugging. And if unsubscribing from this blog is part of that process, we are not offended.