Google Glass has an image problem.
Even if you’re a fan of the headset system—which is undeniably an impressive technology—you have to admit too many of the folks you see peering through the device are what Mountain View calls “Glassholes.”
In San Francisco, a recent news item threw this tension into sharp relief: a woman claimed she was assaulted because she was wearing Glass, but then video and past records (like multiple restraining orders against her for doing things like videoing her neighbors with a smartphone) cracked away at her credibility.
Google is now actively trying to fight the notion that Glass is for the obnoxious. Earlier in the year, the company posted a list of etiquette pointers for early adopters.
Don’t “be creepy or rude (aka, a ‘Glasshole’),” they suggest. “Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way.”
Last week, they published a blog post listing the top 10 myths about the headset.
The number one myth, they say, is that Glass is a way to “unplug” from your surroundings.
“Instead of looking down at your computer, phone or tablet while life happens around you,” Google contends, “Glass allows you to look up and engage with the world. Big moments in life—concerts, your kid’s performances, an amazing view—shouldn’t be experienced through the screen you’re trying to capture them on.”
Glass is really for enhancement of your IRL experiences, not a replacement, Google believes.
“That’s why Glass is off by default and only on when you want it to be,” the post continues. “It’s designed to get you a bit of what you need just when you need it and then get you back to the people and things in life you care about.”
The pairs of Glass you see walking around are still very much prototypes, claim Google. The $1,499 devices can only be bought in a handful of select locations, and early adopters are being deemed “explorers.”
However, the rollout is messy. Not only is Mountain View dealing with Glasshole headaches, police departments are independently testing out Glass (bringing on icky surveillance state questions) and governments are passing legislation against Glass use in certain cases, like while driving.
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