Have you heard about Google Glass? ARE YOU EXCITED?? Soon we will have the ability to purchase this revolutionary product that will give us the same features we already have on our phones but without all the hassle of needing to glance slightly downward.
Glass has been described by some as a “hands-free, voice-activated, augmented-reality headset”—and by me as a “dork monocle.” What’s important is this: Google wants you to want one. The company has been hyping Glass for months. And it’s sold a limited number of prototypes to people it refers to as “Glass Explorers” because that doesn’t sound nerdy at all.
Guy in nightclub: Hey, how you doing?
Girl: Okay. What are you wearing over you eye?
Guy: It’s Google Glass. I’m a Glass Explorer.
Girl: [Immediately marries any other guy close to her simply to ensure this conversation comes to an end.]
Google Glass represents a big step forward for society. No longer shall we stare rudely into our phones in the presence of others. Soon we shall technically make eye contact while actually browsing LOLCats.
Sure, even before it’s commercially available, Glass has for privacy reasons been banned from many strip clubs and casinos—but that’s not going to hurt sales too much. How many could Charlie Sheen have bought, anyway?
And sure, Glass looks ridiculous. Google has spent a fortune on photo shoots in which preposterously gorgeous men and women who would never wear Glass, wear Glass. Even they look like they’re dressed up for Comic-Con. Push Google Glass over your ears and nose and even Bluetooth Headset Guy will gesture in your direction and ask: “Hey, who’s the asshole?”
But I have a soft spot for Google. I’m predisposed to like any company that’s done so much to help so many find pictures of naked ladies. And there’s certainly no denying that Glass has a long list of features. For instance, you can use it to snap a photo. That’s exciting, right? You’ve probably got only one or two or three devices that already do that. So now you can have one more!
True, some scientists say wearing computerized eyewear for long stretches could mess up our “neural circuitry” and affect how our brains process sight. But on the other hand, you can ask Glass questions! Questions like, “How long is the Brooklyn Bridge?” or “Why does everyone keep looking at me like that?” Heck, you can even use the Google hangout software to video chat with your friends—and they can see what you’re looking at! Think of all the time you’ll save not having to describe your parents’ basement.
There are other advantages to being a Glass owner. For instance, the vast majority of non-nerds will likely refer to what you’re wearing as Google Glasses—thus presenting you 200 times a day with the opportunity to firmly set folks straight. This is a terrific way to meet new people and have them think you’re a knob.
And let us not overlook the potential impact of Glass on our mating rituals. We are mere months away from a wave of young, single men arriving at bars with the same thought in their heads: “Surely, attractive women will be powerless to resist the allure of my face computer.”
Why does the world need Glass? According to Sergey Brin, one of Google’s co-founders, Glass is more than a gadget. It’s an emancipator. It’s going to free us all from having to hold a mobile phone in our hands and manipulate it with our fingers—a process that Brin refers to as “emasculating.”
Two things about that. One, is it possible that Sergey Brin is using his phone wrong? Mine sometimes gives me cramps in my fingers but never in my man parts. And two, is gently flicking a small screen in order to gain access to the vast repository of human knowledge contained within the Internet really that onerous a task?
Brin says it is. He thinks of fingers on screens and asks: “Is this what you’re meant to do with your body?” Whereas with Glass, you can put your body to use as nature intended—absorbing punches from the guy in the men’s room who saw you glance over and thinks you may have snapped a photo of his junk.
Follow Scott Feschuk on Twitter @scottfeschuk