The Question Of Glass And Privacy

Google Glass is available now, but there are strings attached. Photo courtesy Google

Google Glass is available now, but there are strings attached. Photo courtesy Google

Google Glass, glasses Google created, have been in the works for quite some time, and now they’re finally available … sort of. You have to write 50 words or less on Google+ (+ProjectGlass) or Twitter (@projectglass), and be 18 years old or older to let Google know what you would do if you had Glass. If you’re chosen, you’ll receive a special invitation to become a Glass Explorer, and you can then pre-order it for $1,500 and attend a special pick-up experience in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

I haven’t had a chance to experience the Glass myself, but from the what Google’s video shows, it looks impressive. The outward appearance of the glasses is relatively plain for all the hype, but apparently it uses a Siri-like interaction (similar to the iPhone) to take voice commands. You invoke it by saying “OK, Glass,” then your instructions (e.g., “take a picture”). The Google team decided to build out the glasses with these voice commands after testing many nonverbal head-gestures and deeming them too weird, annoying or uncomfortable.

Google Glass has the potential to record everything you do in a day with its built-in camera and microphone. Just think, you might be able to play back everything you did in a day, from everyone you talked to, to everywhere you shopped, to every road you drove on.

The disturbing thing is Google could perhaps use this to track you and your preferences to flash customized ads at you.

I can see the lack of privacy making some people lose interest. The question will be if the benefits of Google Glass outweigh the potential loss of privacy.

On the plus side, if you’re lost and need a map and/or instructions to find your way, this would be perfect.

Facebook could possibly become a major player in helping Glass reach its widest audience and a major developer in the social networking features.

In addition, the device receives data through WiFi on its own, or you can tether it via Bluetooth to your smartphone to use 3G/4G data while you’re out and about. There is no cellular radio in a Glass, but it does have a GPS chip.

From what I understand, it’s decent to wear around and not horribly uncomfortable. Google Glass will come in gray, orange, black, white and light blue. I can see potential for it to be a must-have item for techies and those who can afford it this Christmas season.

Patent Secured for Tetris Online

I often receive comments from people not from Hawaii that we lack in the technology community. I agree to a certain extent; however, it’s things such as this that help to build it up: Honolulu-based Tetris Online Inc. secured its first patent for infrastructure of an interactive computer game that provides online gamers an improved “real-time” game experience. This new innovation allows for both online and mobile device players to enjoy an enhanced gaming experience.

In techno-speak, the infrastructure allows gamers to play against and interact with other live gamers and “apparently live” participants in what looks and feels like realtime play.

It’s nice to see more of this come out of our great state.