Google Urges Google Glass Users To Stop Being Weird, Ordinary Human Beings

from the I'm-a-creep dept

Google initially loved the fact that the strange appearance of the not-really-available-at-market Google Glass gets weird looks when people walk down the street wearing it. But as the novelty has worn off in recent months, the company has apparently grown concerned that the product’s target market of young nerds with oodles of disposable income might not be quite the sexy brand ambassadors they had hoped. As such, the company recently released a list of dos and don’ts for participants in the Google Glass Explorer program. Among them — don’t stop and think, or stare dreamily at the ceiling while using Google Glass:

“(Don’t) 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. So don’t read War and Peace on Glass. Things like that are better done on bigger screens.”

Yeah, don’t read books, weirdo! Google also would like it if Glass users would stop being odd in any way immediately, as being “creepy and rude” — or just an ordinary run-of-the-mill hostile jackass — won’t get people excited about that unavailable product attached to your face:

“(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.”

Initially there might have been interesting marketing opportunities created by the confusion of seeing someone with a $1,500 plastic computer on their face, but as the novelty wears off, the product stops selling itself, and Glass wearers have been left relying on their charisma (or lack thereof) in their role as inadvertent sales agents. Google obviously wants to limit the amount of bans on Glass by establishments, but perhaps you’re asking just a tad much of your customers — and of yourself as a company — if you actually believe you have the power to manage the normal personal peculiarities of your seemingly-endless beta participants.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Google Urges Google Glass Users To Stop Being Weird, Ordinary Human Beings”

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DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Smart Glasses are inevitable

There may not really be a cost benefit at this stage. Or maybe the benefit is high only for a very few.

But you know, that was like in the early days of Books. Telephones. Electric lights. Automobiles. Radio. Pocket calculators. Digital Watches. Personal computers. Cell phones. Bluetooth earpieces. Smart phones. Tablet computers.

Each of these things started expensive. Limited benefits, especially for the cost. Benefits enough for those with money. Gradually affordable to everyone. Then common place. Then cheap and ubiquitous. Remember, at one point, toothbrushes, ball point pens, combs, and cigarette lighters were expensive items. There was only one toothbrush per household. Now these items are common and even disposable. Even basic pocket calculators that were very expensive are now fifty cents in blister packs in a bin during fall ‘back to school days’. Same with transistor radios. I guarantee you that smart phones, and tablet computers will get to this point. It is inevitable.

I think that smart glasses and smart watches are just not at the stage yet. But they will get there. Believe it. Or not. But it is inevitable. The benefits are enough that eventually the oddballs will be people who DO NOT have these everyday commonplace items.

Like a Luddite with no: toothbrush, comb, pen, radio, mobile phone or PC.

aside: but some would argue that tech would not exist without Big Content, but that is a different mental illness for another time.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“wouldn’t it be better to strip most of the computer part and let the cell phone do the job while connected to the Glass via bluetooth?”

It’s pretty much like this already. Many of the most useful things for glass require this already. Glass can’t do SMS or GPS, for instance, and you need to connect it to a different device via Bluetooth to get that functionality.

My prediction is that in the end, we’ll see competing devices like Glass that are just another Bluetooth device with minimal smarts of their own. Those are what I’m waiting for.

GreatGreenGeek says:

Re: Possible Professional Use

As an energy-efficiency professional, I’m in and out of buildings all day long, investigating energy use & energy-using systems. The learning curve for a lot of these techs is high – even though most of the engineers on staff are licensed professional engineers, deep expertise in a wide array of technologies isn’t always feasible.

Have a portable technical reference is very useful for identifying energy saving opportunities. If that tech reference is only a few ounces and a few words away, that makes a lot of sense. Pulling up a schematic diagram of an air handler or a chilled water plant as you trace out piping makes understanding what you’re looking at a easier. If you record notes, take photos, and short videos as you go, you’re that much closer to a well-documented findings report you can hand to a building owner, operator, or contractor.

Of course, that requires a tech-savvy workforce, which I have to say is a rarity in MEP engineers. Sure, we know computers & amp meters, but when it gets to leveraging the most out of consumer electronics, we are – as a whole – laggards.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Possible Professional Use

yeah, but…
both semi-smart phones and tablets do these things already, (and – i would claim- better)…
i can see where the hands-free aspect could have some use for -say- a mechanic who actually has wrench in hand and is looking up the nut in question gets torqued at X ft-lbs, whatever…
i mean, i have no doubt that google goggles (really, that should have been the name) in some form will evolve to be useful, if not ubiquitous…
but, smart phones are ubiquitous NOW, but i bet 90-99% of the users are using them for angry birds, etc, and NOT field manuals of machinery, interface to systems, etc…
it is WAY overkill for most of the users doing stupid stuff…
(NOT that there is anything wrong with stupid stuff, but it isn’t task/work related that contributes to REAL efficiencies in the workings of the world…)

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Possible Professional Use

I don’t deny it is useful. It’s just that it’s being done wrong. Glass should be an extension of your device (tablet, phone, maybe even notebooks) as the iwatch things. Maybe they can improve the screen with time (seems very impractical to keep looking up to see the tiny screen, I’d have bad headaches probably). It’s as John said above, in the ende they will become extensions.

Anonymous Coward says:

They have a bit of a problem with glass. Least hostile to wearing it are those who already wear glasses. They need prescription lenses. So once they shell out for those, they want to wear it the whole time. But if they have the framnes on the whole time (and the camera cannot be removed without leaving a lethal sharp bit that may stick in your face), they may be pulled over by traffic cops / thrown out of the cinema / given weird looks in a locker room.
There should be a very visible LED when it’s filming that EVERYONE can see, and the camera should snap off the frames. And as the prev posted said, why not run the thing from a nearby smartphone ? Perhaps Bluetooth is not yet up to full bidirectional real time video…

Rekrul says:

Re: Re:

They have a bit of a problem with glass. Least hostile to wearing it are those who already wear glasses. They need prescription lenses. So once they shell out for those, they want to wear it the whole time. But if they have the framnes on the whole time (and the camera cannot be removed without leaving a lethal sharp bit that may stick in your face), they may be pulled over by traffic cops / thrown out of the cinema / given weird looks in a locker room.

“You want me to remove my Google Glass? Sure no problem, however you should be aware that they’re my only glasses with prescription lenses in them and I’m blind as a bat without them. Could you please send someone over to read the menu to me? Oops, sorry I didn’t mean to knock over the dessert cart! Oh, sorry, excuse me! Pardon me! Sorry miss, I’m sure the restaurant will be happy to provide you with a replacement bowl of soup and take care of your dry cleaning bill.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Why google glass will never work

I’ve always thought Google Glass was a horrible idea that will never work, and here’s some reasons why.

1) What if you already wear glasses (like me)? You look and feel really stupid having 2 pairs of glasses on at once. And even if google has a way to make google glass double as your normal pair of glasses, it’s expensive to craft the right lens, you need an eye doctor to get you the correct measurements.

2) Don’t sit/stand too close to the TV or it’ll hurt your vision. How many times have you been told this as a kid? I’m very skeptical that it’s safe having a computer monitor less then an inch away from your eyes, and I can’t possibly be the only one. I don’t want to damage my eye sight even farther.

3) Glasses don’t really fit when you first put them on. They need adjusted properly, otherwise they’ll hurt your nose or the side of your head for being too tight, or fall off for being too loose. It’s not always a simple task to adjust them just right either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why google glass will never work

1) I don’t really know Google’s plans for prescription glasses but I’m sure they have one. They’d be fools if they didn’t find a way around that particular problem and it’s one of price and money so ultimately it’s easily solved.

2) Ah the good old days of CRT televisions. The whole don’t sit too close to the television thing came about because the televisions of the time used electron streams to draw the pictures they displayed. This had the side effect of releasing ionizing radiation into the room, not enough to cause real damage even after a very long time of exposure but enough to make sitting right in front of it less healthy than sitting further back. Modern LCD and plasma displays don’t have this problem. Additionally staring at an unmoving point for very long periods is not healthy but that’s not what the glasses are, they keep the display in your vision even as you look around.

3)That’s akin to saying a new car is difficult to get used to so no one will buy new cars. The market doesn’t work like that. Even if it’s not a simple task to adjust them it’ll take a massive design flaw before that changes it’s marketability at all.

All that said I’m not that excited about them, I’m curious how they’ll do, but otherwise…meh

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why google glass will never work

You can get perfectly good prescription glasses for under 20$ online (simple prescriptions) and under 100$ for more complex. Some people have dozens of pairs, Google needs to make these real cheap. But even if cheap they still look horrible (the google thing). Do people really wear smart watches? Really? I’ve never seen anyone wearing one and I’m in tech. Deeply uncool.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Why google glass will never work

“What if you already wear glasses (like me)? You look and feel really stupid having 2 pairs of glasses on at once.”

No need. You can already get Glass on frames that can accommodate normal prescription lenses. The electronics are removable, too, so you can even switch to different frames if the mood fits you.

“Don’t sit/stand too close to the TV or it’ll hurt your vision. How many times have you been told this as a kid”

Lots of times, but it is and always has been bullshit.

“Glasses don’t really fit when you first put them on.”

Exactly like any other pair of glasses.

matthew says:

Re: Why google glass will never work

Just to let you know. The whole “sitting to close to a TV thing is an old wives tale made up inorder to keep kids from watching to much TV. And after years of it being told it has come to be thought of as true to most of the public. The reason for most eye problems with people is purely genetic. When you are a kid still growing your eyes are susceptible to growing wrong based on family history of eye problems. And if your an adult with perfect vision you are most likely not going to ruin them. So the google glass actually wouldn’t contribute to much eye problems. The only thing that it might cause is fatique. Your eyes do get tired from focusing on anything close up for to long and you might get tired but it is unlikely that it would ruin your vision.

Pragmatic says:

Re: Where is our favorite troll?

@RyanNerd, I thought at first that they were all (have you noticed the absence of the others?) were trying to “prove” they had been censored by virtue of their posts not showing up even as greyed-out lines indicating they had been hidden, but their narcissism wouldn’t permit their e-voices to go unheard for so long, so… what gives? Have they finally given up?

That said, I have to say the quality of discourse has risen in their absence.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Why do you assume that everyone using Google Glass is recording stuff? The main thing that interests me about the concept is that I’d be able to do a lot of what I use a smartphone for without having to hold something. If I had a set of the glasses, 99.99% of the time I wouldn’t be recording a thing. Would you still be a dick to me?

Perhaps you should reserve your ire for people who are actually doing things that you dislike, rather than just because they own a particular type of hardware.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Google isn’t the first manufacturer of Augmented reality glasses and certainly wont be the last so that 1500 will certainly drop down in price and I’d expect when it hits fully Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will all have it for less than 1500.

Also you do realise that Google is not required on your computer (unless you have a chromebook) you have the ability to NOT use any Google products and can even.. Shock horror use alternatives.

rycho (profile) says:

In another time...

If Glass had been created back in, say, the 50’s it would’ve been lauded as a great contribution and benefit to society, putting aside the lack of technical ability that existed at the time for the hypothetical to work.

It’s interesting to observe how in today’s environment of abusive government activities, widespread mass surveillance, and heightened safety/privacy concerns, products like this are viewed with a very different perspective, and by different I don’t mean rose-coloured.

Woadan (profile) says:


Clearly many of you do not even know how the device operates.

If you are taking a picture or capturing video, it will be obvious either through hand gestures (taps and swipes to the right side of the device) or voice commands. You could have it set up to take a picture by way of an exaggerated wink, bu you still need a tap to get it started.

I have found that it’s easier for me to tilt my head back and say “OK, Glass, get me directions to [insert address]” and let it give e tur-by-turn directions via the device and not my phone. (With earbuds in my ear, I don’t have to worry about noise from the road, vehicle or music interfering.) The map only shows up just before an intersection or turn, so it isn’t overtly intrusive.

While I am driving, with just a tap, I can have it read a message or news story to me. Admittedly, the stunted voice of the computer is a bit jarring. But my ears are on the story, and my eyes on the road and traffic.

Maybe the problem with Glass is that people just don’t know enough about how it works. If true, then perhaps the good folks at Google should spend more time educating us about what it is, and is not, than admonishing Geeks to not be Geeks.


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