Google Glass was always a pretty naff technology. I mean, look at it.
The video demo’s I’ve seen are actually embarrassing and a little bit of sick comes up when you watch someone proudly running it through its very limited paces.
The users look like failed extras in Minority Report or maybe The Matrix. (But perhaps they’d win a place in Doctor Who, c. 1979, or the original Star Trek – the TV Series).
But its downfall isn’t just technical ineptitude, or aesthetics.
It’s also about privacy invasion.
Walk into a bar with these dudes on and people think you’re the FBI, at best, or a hit man/burglar casing the joint.
It’s a case of function (or perhaps lack of it) over form and although it’s taken an eternity I think Google finally saw through the rose-tintedness and did the right thing.
More on invasion of privacy of a sort
On a tangentially related subject I’ve been keeping my mouth shut about the Charlie Hebdo killings, because it’s a very sensitive subject. But there’s an elephant in the room that is gradually being noted as the initial shock wears off. (Both Question Time and This Week touched on it last night, as did a report in this week’s Drum Magazine.)
Charlie Hebdo has (allegedly) been baiting the extremist fringe of the Muslim religion for some time; repeatedly running ‘sacrilegious’ cartoons. (I think the use of the word cartoon is a deliberate ploy here to downplay their seriousness.
The fact is these are not ‘cartoons’ these are satirical political statements (in illustrative form) and are intended to lampoon and demean this extremist faction.
Now, I have no real issue with that in a world of free speech – most religions deal with it on a daily basis and although for some (many?) it may cause (deep?) offence they have a mechanism for dealing with it and rising above it.
The vast majority of Muslims do too.
But this is no typical group of people. They are highly attuned to criticism and rather than ‘rising above and turning away from’ satire and criticism, as Mohammed preaches, they use it as an incitement to go to war.
They’ve set fire to Charlie Hebdo’s offices in the past as a warning and they’ve killed in Denmark.
But still Charlie Hebdo ploughed on. Regardless of the danger.
Some call this brave. Some call it foolhardy.
Whichever it is though, to constantly bait this extraordinarily aggressive and moral-free terrorist cell was to put Charlie Hebdo right in the firing line. (Even the founder said so yesterday).
And that had real and terrifying consequences.
The value of privacy
People value their private values. Whether that be a bar owner in Kansas who doesn’t want a computer nerd wandering around his space shouting commands to his spectacles or a deranged Muslim Fundamentalist looking to ‘protect his religion’ and seeking opportunities to put to use his extensive training.
And it’s all kind of scary.