A video has been posted online that echoes concerns about the introduction of Google Glass, the web giant’s augmented reality spectacles.
Whilst the video is clearly a spoof, it chimes with worries about wearable technology that can shoot video, take pictures and broadcast whatever the user sees.
The glasses, which are due to go on sale towards the end of this year, contain a battery, a tiny computer, a camera and a wireless link.
They give the wearer a “heads up display” which they can activate using simple voice or finger commands.
US blogger Mark Hurst, writing on Creativegood.com, says: “Anywhere you go in public – any store, any sidewalk, any bus or subway – you’re liable to be recorded.”
He continues: “Now add in facial recognition and the identity database that Google is building within Google Plus …[and] the speech-to-text software that Google already employs … any audio in a video could, technically speaking, be converted to text, tagged to the individual who spoke it, and made fully searchable within Google’s search index.”
Joshua Topolsky, an technology journalist who is one of the few to have tried out Google Glass, wrote on TheVerge.com about how he wore them as he was followed by a film crew into Starbucks. Staff asked the crew to stop filming, but he “kept the Glass's video recorder going, all the way through."
Google co-founder Sergey Brin clearly doesn’t share these concerns, instead predicting that the glasses will give people a new, more natural way of interacting with each other digitally.
Sergey Brin on the New York subway wearing Google Glass
He recently told the Technology, Education and Design (TED) conference in Los Angeles that using the glasses was preferable to walking around hunched over a smartphone.
“Is this the way you’re meant to interact with other people,” he asked. “It’s kind of emasculating. Is this what you’re meant to do with your body?”