Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Google Glass: A New Perspective (Welcomes You To A World Through Glass)

Google Glass
Photo by tedeytan via Flickr
It only took a few years for smartphones to replace point-and-shoot cameras as the most popular way to take a picture, but the principle was the same — hold the camera up, check your view through the screen and snap a shot. Functionally, photography really hasn't changed in decades, until now. Google Glass is the new wearable technology that resembles a pair of eyeglasses and houses a high-definition camera in the frames. Wearing Google Glass, users can take pictures and record video on the go. It's innovative. It's revolutionary. It will just about ruin photography as we know it.

Voice Commands

Photo by mjaysplanet via Flickr
Google boasts Glass's hands-free capabilities and voice commands to take pictures and record video. Users mutter "take a picture" and that's exactly what Glass does. The idea sounds groundbreaking in theory, but it doesn't translate well to reality. Think about your smartphone and how often you use its voice command. Probably rarely, and if it's for pictures, likely never. A recent study found that 85 percent of iOS users have never used Siri since upgrading. And it's likely that the 15 percent who do, don't use it for anything photography related.

The novelty of voice commands will wear quickly and Glass users will beg for a button to press when taking pictures, if they haven't ditched the headset altogether.

Privacy Issues

Google Glass has a courteous red LED indicator to alert outsiders that a photo or video recording is coming their way. This is to prevent socially invasive people with no boundaries from secretly and creepily snapping shots on the street. It's a pretty noble feature from Google, but developers already found their way around this privacy feature and disabled the red light with third-party software. Now, whenever you see someone walking down the street with a pair of these specs, you'll never really know what's going on behind the lens.

On the other side, tin-foil theories surface saying companies or the NSA can use Glass cameras to create an advanced network of street surveillance without the owner's knowledge or consent. It's a theory that would sound crazy just one year ago, but today it isn't so invalid. Google Glass does have built-in Wi-Fi, so a Centurylink connection in the home gets you online, but it also pairs with an Android phone. There's rarely a moment these aren't online.

POV Perspective

Photo by brunosan via Flickr
Instagram ushered a new era of unprofessional box-shaped photos. Our children will look back on all the pictures we took after 2011 and assume camera technology digressed. In the same way, Google Glass will introduce a new trend of awkward point-of-view perspective pictures and any creative angles will go out the window. On the bright side, there's no longer a need for selfies. Just let a person get uncomfortably close and you now have a new Facebook profile picture.

Make It Fashionable

If Google Glass wants any sort of mainstream implementation, it will need to team up with Ray Ban or Oakley to release a fashionable edition that more people will wear. Google Glass isn't available to the public until 2014.