Fri. Jan 28th, 2022

Google is, once again, taking the Average Joe’s modern technology one step further. For some time now, Google has been developing the next step in social media platforms: Google Glass, modern world technology you can wear.
Google Glass is a pair of glasses equipped with a computer processor, mobile internet, picture and video capabilities, and the unique ability to stream live feed of whatever the user is seeing to his or her friends. Additionally, Glass has the ability to direct users with GPS on walking, biking, or driving routes.
The device has two methods of user operation: touchpad and voice recognition. A touchpad is located on the side of the headset where users can swipe through options, while voice recognition is available for various other functions, such as picture taking. In order for a person to take a picture, one must simply say: “Glass, take a picture.” Additionally, Google Glass features audio feedback via bone conduction, no ear buds or headphones necessary. The resulting sound is virtually inaudible to a passerby.
Sergey Bin, one of the co-founders of Google, appeared on Ted Talks for a discussion of Google Glass and its features and uses. In addition to catching footage from virtually the same viewpoint as the user, Google Glass frees up both hands. Bin mentioned the project made him realize how much of his life revolved around pulling his phone out of his pocket and standing around. He would detach himself from his current task, take care of business on his phone, and resume whatever activity from which he had abstained only after putting his phone away. Now with Google Glass, he can take multi-tasking to the next level and simultaneously receive the best of both worlds, without a cell phone constantly pulling him away from the task at hand.
Yet such advantages will not come without risks. New technology always brings about changes in society. With Facebook and the rise of social media came cyber bulling, concerns over private information going viral, and accountability for information posted online by users. Though we approach any innovation with an open mind, we must remember each step forward in progress brings with it a new set of problems. Several reviews posted online discuss one of the biggest fears potential consumers have: the headset’s ability to record videos.
Drew Olanoff from Tech Crunch gave his personal review of the device, stating when he tested Google Glass in public, others often asked if he was recording everything going on around him. A safeguard must be developed in order to prevent such a powerful feature from being abused. Additionally, Olanoff notes the lack of apps available for Glass at this time. While that pitfall will likely be remedied quickly, the first generation of users will encounter challenges finding and using quality apps.
Google Glass will certainly prove to push the boundaries of social media further than ever before, bringing people ever closer to an age in which everyone is constantly connected to one another. We must remember that with every new step forward, new problems will inevitably arise. Google hopes to release the product early in 2014, but the question remains: are we ready for this next step?
Adam Farence is a third-year student majoring in history and French. He can be reached at AF764146@wcupa.edu. 

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