ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Google Glass: What it could mean for society

By Joey Lee

Take a stroll down any metropolitan city today, and you’ll notice something common among the people you pass. Whether they’re queuing up for Starbucks or headed back to the office, chances are, they are holding a smartphone in one hand, and gazing at a smartphone at the same time. 

Saying that the digital age is upon us, is a severe understatement; we’re knee-deep in it. As the rush of Apple’s new tablet and smartphone releases dwindles down, lodged at the back of everyone’s mind remains the looming wait for a brand-new product that might revolutionize everything—Google Glass’s finalization. 

The Explorer edition was out in the market for a couple thousand dollars, which was snapped up by the tech lovers who could afford the rather hefty price tag. But it was soon apparent that it was no more than a prototype—a brand new experience, but one still riddled with problems. 

When the creases are smoothened out though, and the price becomes justifiable, one has to wonder how big of an impact will it actually cause on our already-technologically-immersed generation? With rumors already spreading about the possibility of the mysterious floating barge on San Francisco Bay being a possible Google Glass store, it’s only right that we contemplate how this device could change our society.



This is a huge area to be explored. Imagine being able to learn a new language on the go, either by screening educational shows or having a visual that translates regular conversations to the language of your choice. Or perhaps thousands of facts could be compiled for optical travel guides,  from the geology to history as you explore a new country or region. Google Glass would eliminate the absence of interaction that would exist with just smartphones and tablets, as well as the extra time needed to settle down to attend a class. Instead it may be possible to turn the learning process into something that happens as we go along with everyday life.

Classes as we know it might change; perhaps eLearning might become a bigger thing, or even Sugata Mitra’s recent TED-winning idea of a “School in the Clouds” would incorporate Google Glass into their plans. With Google Glass, classes about geography and history could be transformed into a virtual walkthrough of environments and historic landmarks, and thus revolutionizing school as a whole.



This might be a little tricky; especially when you essentially have a smartphone on your face all the time. Distractions might occur a little more often, but on the flipside, work could be sped up if Google Glass was put to good use. Emails could be resolved on the move, desktops would become less of a necessity, and the distinction between work and life would blur a little further. Although in the hands of a workaholic, this might cause some trouble.

Google Glass would essentially link humanity to the Internet even further than it already is, which does bring about some pluses—such as people being more up-to-date with current affairs and governmental politics.



The entertainment industry would definitely get a boost, with the optical device possibly paving paths for new gaming experiences. Having always been a dream from the past, Google Glass would make even simple iPhone games feel extraordinary, and give a new dimension to the gaming experience. TV shows and even movies could be watched in a much more convenient manner, and perhaps even allow wearers to watch music videos while listening to new songs. 

The best part though, would (hopefully) be salvation from the decreasing amount of social interaction in society, and allow a reduced amount of accidents that happen just because someone was too busy staring at their smartphone to avoid it. No more looking up and down repeatedly while walking and scrolling through Twitter. You will have the ability to do both at the same time almost seamlessly.


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