Imagine being able to access anything on your Android without touching it. Imagine being able to view anything on the screen without being anywhere near it.
Imagine being able to send and receive messages, and all kinds of other alerts, directions, information all without moving your hands at all! Google’s Project Glass is futuristic, but is already causing some dissent in the present.
While it offers a whole new way to access our everyday computer tasks, and even helps people with certain special needs, it also has its downsides.
Voice activation is a thing of wonder, when you think about it, and while it has already become a part of our lives with things like smartphones and other voice recognition programs it is only half the way toward the ultimate freedom with your Android (and possibly other) applications. The other half of that system is the Google Glass project.
If you’re not already aware of the Google Glass project, here’s the basic rundown. Google glass offers most, if not more than, the functions of an Android (basically, but bear in mind that since it hasn’t been released to the public as a final product yet, this statement may or may not be one hundred percent accurate) through a pair of glasses that can not only recognize and act on the sound of your voice but can also display graphics in front of you, seemingly in thin air. Visions of things like Minority Report computer systems come to mind, since the Glass project has the possibility of tracking things like eye movement and hand movements, allowing a whole new dimension to the interface between man and machine. This is the crux of the argument that most people have taken one side or another on when they first hear about the project. Is the project taking us too close, too integrated with our technology, or is it going to be a new wave of access to the collective systems across our cyber world?
Many people had this same argument about smartphones, and cell phones before that. Saying that we will become too dependent on them. Saying they are something that only [insert handy expletive here] people would carry around and use (like the arguments I have heard against Bluetooth earpieces). Saying that they just wouldn’t be useful or that we would be using them as a way to put up another wall between us and the real world. All these arguments I have heard, but I have actually heard precious little about the pros of such an invention, not to mention the inevitability of it as logical next step in our technology.
Mobile technology has had it’s opponents from the beginning but the fact is, from the start, it has been driven and appreciated most by people with disabilities like blindness or hearing loss or being unable to speak. Mobile technology has helped these people with voice directions via accurate GPS information, vibrations to indicate the next turn or local waypoint, and text to speech applications. Mobile technology brings these things and more to people who are disabled in one way or another and if that isn’t a good enough reason to develop and sell it, I have to point out the entertainment value of such a thing. Americans are a society driven in large part by our tastes and desires for ever more and new entertainments. The Glass project brings all the current entertainments right into our vision, with very little in the way of intrusive hardware. It can even give a visual wireframe overlay of whatever it is viewing, to help those with limited vision see. While it may have its drawbacks, just as the smartphones and other advances have, it also has the power to raise the quality of life for who knows how many people, disabled or not. Doesn’t that make it worth it? Until next time, my friends.
Check out more about the Google Glass project here.