Google Glass has captured a lot of attention due to its unique design and functions. Wearable technology has been cited as the future of technology and Google have excited tech fans with the next generation of wearable tech, set to take the Gadget market by storm. There is little doubt that the concept is brilliant and exciting, but the device has sparked a number of concerns that Google have had take into consideration, some of which could potentially make or break the success of this new device. We explore these below:
1. Are there any health risks?
There is much advice telling us not to sleep with our mobile phones under out pillow or talk for too long without a hands free kit. While the proof that mobile phones can do more serious damage is a bit thin on the ground, there are reports that they can cause headaches and sleep disturbance to name but a few minor issues. I am not suggesting you would plan to sleep in your Google Glass, but surely wearing them for 12 hours a day could spark some debate on whether or not they are doing any potential damage. Google Glass emits electromagnetic radiation and although it has not been proven that this type of radiation specifically causes health problems, extended exposure to radiation has been scientifically proven to cause some serious health issues and have been linked to brain tumours and decreased brain functionality, and perhaps less seriously, behavioural problems in children. Hopefully with the right advice from Google their customers will be able to enjoy Google Glass with no health concerns, but it does make you wonder how Google will put our minds at rest on this subject as the launch of the technology nears.
2. Can you really wear them when driving / cycling?
Google Glass was originally tipped as the next great accessory for Cyclists and drivers. You can use Google Maps and get directions whilst keeping your hands firmly on the wheel, so it seemed like the ultimate hands free device. However only recently The Department for Transport has issued a ban drivers using Google Glass, and for good reasons of course. Using a mobile phone whilst driving is illegal as it has been known to distract drivers, and Google Glass could do the very same thing. Whilst Cyclists still have the right to wear the device it remains to be seen if it will cause any problems or distractions to them. Hopefully Google have already started firmly considering this pitfall and working on developing some kind of ‘sleep mode’ so that drivers can wear the Glasses as usual without being distracted, but not being able to use them as an alternative to a Satellite Navigation device, may take away some of the fun of the product. Plus we hope that motorists pay attention to the ban and ensure that there are no additional accidents as a result of Google Glass.
3. Will they be waterproof?
We know the British weather is almost always unpredictable. One moment you are walking in sunshine and the next thing you know the heavens have opened and you are soaking wet. Stopping your iPhone getting wet is one thing but avoiding rain pour on your Google Glass when an umbrella is absent is another task all together. Rumour has it Google Glass is waterproof, something that was indicated by one of the testers has he pictured himself wearing them in the shower (shoulders upwards thankfully). It does remain to be confirmed that they are 100% waterproof and what advice will be given to users to avoid potential water damage. Even if they are waterproof, we can’t help but worry they may not be the safest thing to wear in a lightning storm!
4. Will they be banned from Public places?
We have nearly all been in a scenario where we have been asked to turn off our mobile phones or refrain from taking photographs or video images in a public place. Museums, theatre and cinemas are some but to name but a few. It is pretty easy to keep your mobile phone in your pocket, but Google Glass is pretty visible to everyone meaning that they could well be banned in a number of places. There have also been a number of debates around privacy and whether or not Google Glass infringes public privacy, so it remains to be seen how these issues are battled by Google in the near future. Although Google have stated that there is a light that comes on when Google Glass is recording, and therefore you can see when this function is being used, it is still a concern to many.
5. Are they bad for your eyes?
Remember when your mum used to tell you not to sit too close to the television or you would go cross eyed? Well, you don’t get much closer than with Google Glass. Even Google have advised that no one under the age of 13 should use the technology as their eyesight may still be developing and no one who has undergone eye surgery should use the device. While Google Glass has been tipped to be the next big accessory, Google are advising potential customers to ease into use as the technology could cause a strain on the eyes or headaches. They could issue a future warning diving to keep use to a minimum and if Google Glass is something for occasional use rather than everyday wear then it could make the hefty price tag harder to justify.
As well as all the questions above, there are also questions about keeping your tech safe should you invest in Google Glass. People are often scared to advertise their valuables to potential thief and Google Glass is about as obvious as it gets. Whilst they may be harder to pick pocket from your head, if you are expected to take them off for various reasons, the risk of loss and theft could increase. Luckily nowadays specialist Gadget insurance companies such as Protect Your Bubble exist. Protect Your Bubble cover everything from games consoles to Smartphones, so if and when Google Glass becomes mainstream it is likely that cover will be available for peace of mind.