It is probably safe to say that Google is one of the world’s most innovative companies (if not THE most *cough* *cough* …Apple). But as Peter Parker’s uncle would say: “With great power comes great responsibility”. With the breakneck speed Google are pushing out new and innovative devices, are they leaving behind a large section of the market that doesn’t adept to change that well? The Google Glass eye wear product has certainly pushed the envelope on not only a technology front but also social acceptability. Google’s innovative product has led to widespread speculation about privacy and its overall integration into everyday life. So much so that it has been banned in parts of the US.
Google Glass has been available in the US for the better part of 9 months, and some establishments are opting to outlaw the eye wear. Nick Starr, a Seattle based network engineer found out the hard way that his expensive gadget isn’t allowed in the Lost Lake 24h diner in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. According to Nick, he is a regular at the diner and has on occasion worn his Glass to lunch, but on his last visit was asked to kindly remove the headset as it was making some customers uncomfortable. Starr demanded to see a written policy banning Glass, but when the server wouldn’t budge he left.
Little did Nick Starr know that he had walked into an establishment owned by one of the more vocal anti-Glass restaurateurs. David Meinert (the owner of Lost Lake) made headlines in March when he preemptively banned Glass from another establishment he owns, Seattle’s 5 Point Cafe. In another interview with Forbes, the owner admitted to having several staff meetings to indicate that patrons should remove their Glass when entering the any of his establishment. Jason Lajeunesse (Meinert’s business partner) commented: “It’s about privacy. It’s one thing to take out a camera and capture a moment, people see you doing it, they have a chance to step out if the want to. With Glass people don’t have a chance to do that. We want our customers to feel comfortable, not like they’re being watched.”
As with the ascendancy of the cell phone, new technologies do take time to be totally accepted and integrated into everyday social life. But are we becoming too accepting of potentially invading technologies and software? Are we just signing up and giving away details about ourselves too easily? The future is a faced paced, technology friendly world. We must just make sure we don’t lose our individuality and humanity along the the way…