Google advises its specs wearers not to be "Glassholes" It takes one to know one.
It seems that at long last the steady drip of public concern about several aspects of Glass capabilities (video and audio recording without the subject being aware of it being a major case in point) has at last overflowed the bowl and seeped through into the white shag pile carpet in the executive suite where it is causing some nasty brown staining. We know this to be the case because senior Google executives have deigned briefly to cease sipping their ambrosia daiquiris and descend from their Olympian heights to 'interface; with mere mortals.
Yes, Google execs have admitted that users of Google Glass are frequently regarded by the hoi-polloi as "creepy and rude" and so have written the first Google guide to the etiquette of using their expensive specs.
Here's a quote from Google's Vade Mecum of Condescending Homilies for Glass Users: "Don't be creepy or rude (aka, a “Glasshole”). 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. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers".
"Glassholes" and "Explorers" eh? Well "Glassholes" is pretty close to what many people in the real world call the acolytles worshipping at that particular technology altar but "Explorers"? No, they don't call them that. Mind you, the words they do use invariably end with the letter 'S' - but they tend not to begin with a 'G' but with an 'A' or 'some other punchy letter of the alphabet culminating with the good old 'W' word that rhymes nicely with a piece of heavy nautical equipment.
Google plans a much bigger release of second-generation Glass(es) this year (a few were available to the especially-favoured at the end of 2013 and these special ones - the Explorers - were allowed to nominate three friends, who, in their turn could become 21st Century virtual equivalents of Lewis and Clark.
Google says "Our Glass Explorer community, which consists of people from all walks of life, actively participates in shaping the future of Glass. With new technology comes new questions, and our Explorers help to answer those questions.
The statement continues, "Since the program started, our Explorers have gotten a lot of attention when they wear Glass out and about." Well, that's true enough, after all the did pay US$1500 for the privilege of being a guinea-pig.
Google'sHeadset Etiquette advice consists of a list of do's and don'ts. The "do's" include; " Ask for permission. Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends. The Glass camera function is no different from a cell phone so behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others."
Among the don'ts is a warning not to "Glass-out". "Glass was built for short bursts of information and interactions that allow you to quickly get back to doing the other things you love. If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you’re probably looking pretty weird to the people around you."
Another piece of advice is not to wear Glass "and expect to be ignored". "Let’s face it, you’re gonna get some questions. Be patient and explain that Glass has a lot of the same features as a mobile phone (camera, maps, email, etc.). Also, develop your own etiquette. If you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag". "Before someone does it for you and to a different part of your anatomy". Alright, I added the last sentence myself but - give me strength.
Apparently reactions to Google Glass "range from the curious – 'Wow! Are those the ‘Google glasses’? How do they work?” – to the suspect – 'Goodness gracious do those things see into my soul?!'
No mate, a lot of reactions will be a bit more Travis Bickle-like: "Are you looking at me? You looking at me? You recording me? You recording me? Then who the hell else are you recording? You recording me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the (expletive deleted) do you think you're filming?" Followed by the sound of breaking glass and violence being visited upon the person of some hapless chappie or another.
You know it's going to happen - handbook or no handbook.