Google I/O kicked off today with not much fanfare around Glass. From a pure awareness stand point, Glass is the best thing that happened to Augmented Reality since the iPhone. And as a champion of the Augmented Reality industry from way back in 2007 – I am an avid supporter.
But Glass Explorers* make me angry (*users of the Google Glass prototype.)
I am not angry at Explorers because they love to walk on the street with Glass so that passerbys stop and ask them about it (although passerbys just want to take selfies with Glass)
And you know what, I am not even angry at their eagerness to pay an exuberant amount of money to be testers in the most expensive beta program ever.
All that doesn’t bother me so much.
As Jon Stewart says : Intolerance shouldn’t be tolerated.
You know why I am angry at Glass Explorers?
Because they totally mistake the purpose of wearing.
In the Daily Show’s “Glass Half Empty” segment a Glass Explorer explains: “it’s basically a cell phone on your face.”
“Make calls, get email, surf the internet…accessibility to everything on your cell phone” but now “right there on your eye”.
This is a bad case of skeuomorphism. Arrrgh!
Can’t escape the comparison to Dumb and Dumber.
The “Glass Half Empty” Explorer argues: “With Glass you maintain in the here and now…”
So far – that’s brilliant. With Augmented Reality you Play in the Now.
But then he continues: “when I check messages I am looking in your general direction – I am not distracted.”
Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any more explorer. Or dumber.
My friend (and I mean it from the bottom of my heart), if you are reading a text message while talking to me – you ARE distracted. And looking in my GENERAL direction is like farting in my general direction.
Maybe these are just run-of-the-mill explorers regurgitating talking points.
So I asked a [very] senior [and very smart] member of the Google Glass team what’s the most compelling Glass app he’s seen so far. He didn’t flinch when answered: “Texting.”
This makes me mad!!!
The second Law of Augmented Reality design clearly states “Augmented Reality must not distract from reality”.
If it does distract you – it ventures into virtual reality which is an escape from the real world. The fundamental purpose of Augmented reality is to make you more aware of the real world and make things around you more interactive. Because in an interactive world everything you do is more engaging, productive, and fun.
The Simpsons’ Days of Future Future episode warns us about the consequences of not paying attention to the real world:
An incident that brought my anger to a head: A senior member of the Glass team which recently participated in a Glass Class at AWE 2014 didn’t agree to be video-taped or mentioned by name while at the same time was wearing Glass and [could have] recorded us all…
When I calm down, I’ll show what I consider good uses of Augmented Reality.