Google Glass advice: how to avoid being a glasshole
(From today’s Guardian Newspaper)
Google’s smartglass guidelines for early adopters: stop being creepy, don’t be rude, and don’t try to read War and Peace
Google has given some official advice on what to do and perhaps more importantly, what not to do, while wearing the company’s Google Glass smartglasses to avoid being a “glasshole”.
Early adopters of Glass, derogatorily called “glassholes”, have come under fire for using it in socially unacceptable conditions where mobile phones aren’t allowed, for being creepy filming people without their permission and for being rude, staring off into the distance for long periods of time.
Glass has gone far beyond the confines of Google employees with its extended “Explorer” early adopter programme. As Google states, it is definitely in the company’s best interest to get its first smartglass customers to behave, as “breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers”.
To try and help Explorers avoid being glassholes and breaking social codes, Google has compiled a list of solid suggestions pulled from the experiences of early Glass adopters, and some of them are really quite funny.
Stop looking like a tech zombie
Glass was designed to avoid the need to stare down at a smartphone or device to get information, placing snippets of text just outside your field of vision, but that can have some pretty creepy consequences.
If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you’re probably looking pretty weird to the people around you.
Google helpfully suggests that reading things like Tolstoy’s 1,225 pages of War and Peace probably isn’t the best idea, suggesting that “things like that are better done on bigger screens”.
Use some common sense
Google encourages Explorers to try Glass in all kinds of situations, but it would probably be best to avoid activities that could see wearers land on their faces.
Glass is a piece of technology, so use common sense. Water-skiing, bull-riding or cage-fighting with Glass are probably not good ideas.
At $1,500 (£900) a piece, Glass might be hi-tech but it is not exactly robust when it comes to high-impact sports.
Glass probably doesn’t contribute to a romantic meal
The idea of smartglasses being worn in public is new, and people are curious. Passersby will stop and stare, ask questions or maybe even react badly if you turn to face them, so Google helpfully suggests that taking Glass off might be the best idea.
If you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag.
Of course, you also have the fact that your date might be creeped out that you have a head-mounted camera pointed at them all night, regardless of whether or not you are recording their every move.
Stop standing in the corner of the room being creepy
Apparently the temptation to record the every move of people going about their day is insatiable for some Glass Explorers. Google suggests that Glass wearers should treat the camera function like they would a mobile phone camera – ask permission and stop being creepy.
“Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends.”
Some people are pretty tetchy when it comes to being caught on camera, just ask the paparazzi.