New google glass cause concerns, controversy

Tyler Wicker and Tyler Wicker

Google’s new augmented reality device is already causing controversy, despite not yet being released to the general public.

The device, called Google Glass, is a pair of glasses that acts as a smart phone. According to Google, the Glass can find directions, search for information, translate sentences into different languages and even give flight times and locations, all at the sound of the user’s voice.

The feature of the Glass, which is causing the most controversy, is the device’s ability to record video and take photos without anyone but the user knowing.

The Glass has already been banned in many casinos, strip clubs and movie theaters because of its video and photo features. Many people are worried about privacy issues that could come with the features.

Jerry Schnepp, assistant professor in the department of visual communication technology, said he thinks the concerns are justified.

“We are talking about a device that allows you to take photos without anybody knowing,” Schnepp said. “I love to go to concerts and they always try to stop people from taking pictures, but now that all cell phones have cameras, it’s almost impossible.”

Schnepp said the Glass will make it even more difficult to control camera use in places where they’re not welcome.

Sophomore Ariel Burnett said she thinks we sacrificed privacy for more advanced technology.

The laws need to stay updated to accommodate for the advancing technology, she said.

“Institutionally we should be trying to keep up with advances so that it’s harder to violate privacy,” Burnett said.

Another problem that is creating controversy with the Google Glass is the idea that humans are becoming too dependent on technology. Schnepp said he thinks this is already a problem.

“People already totally rely on their GPS,” Schnepp said. “I ride my bike around campus and students almost run into me because they can’t stop looking down at their phones.”

Schnepp said that he thinks the Glass will at least be safer than texting because it allows users to look around while interacting with the device instead of having to look down at a screen.

Despite the difficulties, Google Glass does have some people excited for its benefits. Recently, a surgeon performed the first surgery with the device, recording the operation and streaming it to an iPad in the same room.

Schnepp said that it could be beneficial to see how to do something through the eyes of the person demonstrating it.

“You can already use YouTube to learn how to do almost anything,” Schnepp said. “The same concept can be applied to the Glass.”

Senior Kyla Wireman said it’s great how accessible the Glass is.

“The Glass has everything we need in technology,” Wireman said. “It’s expensive, but it’s worth it.”

Wireman said she agreed that society is too dependent on anything Internet-based, but that the benefits outweigh the consequences. She likes the idea of using the Glass for social media purposes.

Technology enthusiasts will only have to wait until the fall of this year to get their hands on the Glass. As for the future of augmented reality devices like the Glass, Schnepp said he expects big things.

“I don’t think the science-fiction future from the movies could be that far off,” Schnepp said. “It’s amazing to think there is more computing power in the little Glass than there was in the first rocket to the moon. Technology is getting more complex fast.”