In what seemed like one of their usual April Fools pranks, Google recently announced Project Glass, a research and development programmed aimed at developing interactive online head-mounted displays. Yes, this is apparently what the future holds for us – the ability to look like a complete tit as you wander around wearing cybernetic spectacle frames muttering to yourself under your breath as you ignore everyone around you in a desperate attempt to impress your Twitter followers with a pointless status update. Personally I can’t think of anything more awful.
I can’t decide if it’s the physical implementation of it that I find so off-putting (bluetooth headsets are bad enough – do I really want to combine them with a pair of goggles that make Geordi La Forge look stylish?) or the fact that its taking technology to a previously unimaginably level of invasiveness. No longer will technology merely be a tool to aid us or make our lives more convenient but instead it will be an obtrusive necessity, shoved in faces whether we like it not. Literarily. Do I need what essentially equates to a voice-activated iPhone constantly hovering three inches in front of my eyes? I don’t think so.
I can see how it would appeal to some people though. Are you so unmotivated and lazy that you don’t even want to reach in and take your phone out your pocket in order to write a Facebook update? Then Project Glass is for you. Are your emails so incredibly exciting and important that you need a large flashing notification to appear in front of your eyes when you receive a new one regardless of the time or place? Project Glass is the answer. Are you so bored with your sex life that you want to read the latest Stephen King novel whilst making love? Well in that case I’d recommend the Dark Tower saga but Project Glass might also be a tad more convenient than taping a Kindle over your partner’s face.
Maybe I’m getting old, maybe I’m geting bitter but I want technology to enhance my life not distract me from the things that are important in it. Y’know, like real flesh and blood friends and family. I mean, even in the official Google Project Glass video the protagonist takes a moment to excuse himself from he friend he just met up with in order to check in at a little van that sells coffee and announce to world that he’s just arrived. As if anyone actually cares.
Also note that he did it psionically without speaking. One can only assume that unless Google have also invented Project Telepathy the final system will require this to be done via voice activation (resulting in plenty of awkward moments as your friends run up to you and shout the command “Facebook update: I’m a dick” into your headset). Oh, how I’m so looking forward to the day of witnessing person after person enter a coffee shop and utter the words “Check-in: Starbucks” to themselves.
Yes, this is what we can all look forward to in a few years – a future in which we won’t be able to tell the difference between a Project Glass user and a short-sighted schizophrenic.
Photo credit: eatmorecrisps