Last year I wrote a lengthy rant about how the Google Glasses both amaze and terrify me. It was basically a cautionary middle finger to SkyNet and the Big G's underlying modus operandi that all of life is one giant algorithm. Chalk it up to a sometimes-ornery worldview: I guess I just prefer to view life as a seemingly-random clusterfuck than behind the lens of a made-for-profit augmented reality machine.
Today Google dropped a new video showcasing the headset's features, interface, and the overall experience. They're calling it "Google Glass." It's mesmerizing in the way that everything Google does is mesmerizing. Essentially, it's a wearable voice-commanded Smartphone. So you'll now be able to say "Google: Bars with good beer" to see what bars near you have decent selections on tap. Or "Google: New sex positions" for research purposes before, say, actually having sex. Hooray, technology!
I'm sure there will be lots of cool covert uses for the Google Glasses someday in the not-so-distant future. But now I'm less amazed or terrified of the Google Glasses than I am just bored by them.
The idea that the Google Glasses are basically just a more natural-looking POV video camera with voice commands bothers me. GoPro already does a pretty good job recording high-def videos of what we see. All the social and sharing features are very Facebook-esque, with makes me think the Google Glasses will be the next hot must-have for a diagnosed narcissist. "GLASS: TEXT MY FRIEND AND SAY YOLO." Is that all you've got, Google? An overpriced Siri? People are going to look hilariously stupid muttering phrases to themselves to get the Google Glasses to actually do something. As a reluctant consumer to plug-in to the matrix, I want more, damnit.
The Google Glasses could be really revolutionary if Google eventually incorporates all of Google's existing tools into the mix. For example, Google Translate. Imagine wearing the glasses within earshot of a couple speaking in French, with the glasses projecting an English translation of what they're saying. Almost like a real-time, real-life Babblefish in closed captioning. It would take eavesdropping to new heights. Or perhaps mobile gaming. Could you imagine if there was some sort of wink-controled video game with characters running up and down the actual landscape in your periphery? That would be badass.
Maybe the future is now and I'm just being a stubborn holdout. But if this is all it is, it's pretty fucking lame.