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Going Mobile with Google
January 23, 2014 8:13 PM   Subscribe


 
Sex with Google Glass.
posted by empath at 8:41 PM on January 23


The most tantalizing promise of Glass is that it allows travelers to lift their heads from their smartphones and guidebooks, and engage with the landscape without having to forgo the technology on which they’ve come to rely: maps, the Internet, email, digital cameras. They could tour a city and simply rattle off instructions like “record a video,” “get directions to the Spanish Steps” and “message Mom.”

You've got to be kidding me. That is not "engaging with the landscape." It's adding a veneer of virtual reality to what actually is. It's living inside the internet.

Google Glass is a neat concept, but the more I hear and read about it I think maybe it should just have stayed a concept. I'm sure there are ways it could be used to benefit society, but as far as casual use I think it has more potential to just drive people apart or become too reliant on technology. At worst, I envision some kind of a virtual-reality nightmare where you look inside your fridge wearing Google Glass and get advertisements for grocery stores, snacks, etc.
posted by sevenofspades at 9:35 PM on January 23 [6 favorites]


So, Google wants to back up all 650 gigabytes of my personal photos.... then run face recognition against all of them (which Google Picassa has already done for me privately, but they have the NSA database to tie into)... the privacy implications are not good... odds are at least one person reading this comment appeared somewhere in the background of one of those photos.

We don't allow photos of our sproutlet on the internet for a reason... this would just negate the whole ball of wax.
posted by MikeWarot at 10:30 PM on January 23


Saw a link to Sex with Google Glass today: If you feel like stopping everything, just say "ok glass, pull out". Not making this up.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:21 PM on January 23


I'm happy for the people who want this, but personally the things the article describes come close to my idea of travel hell -- more group tour bus than actual traveling. Being confused and having to ask strangers questions is not a problem to solve, that's simply the preconditions to having interesting interactions with people and learning something new.

I'm not saying Google is evil or wrong or bad, but that the article was kind of sad, in the same way that McRibs are sad to anyone who has had even mediocre barbecue.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:00 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


I'm confused- I can't figure out how to click through the advertisement to get to the article.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:08 AM on January 24 [3 favorites]


then run face recognition against all of them (which Google Picassa has already done for me privately,

Why would you do that?

I'm happy for the people who want this,
I'm not. I

At worst, I envision some kind of a virtual-reality nightmare where you look inside your fridge wearing Google Glass and get advertisements for grocery stores, snacks, etc.

At worst? That's the goddamn aim. That and some sort of panopticon.
posted by Mezentian at 4:15 AM on January 24


I can't speak for the glass stuff, but the majority of these function only with a consistent data connection. In my experience, a consistent data connection is not something that most travellers would be able to take advantage of, particularly when they are somewhere likely to make use of the more advanced translation features.
posted by Mil at 5:10 AM on January 24


I can imagine young ruffians running some kind of local RF broadcaster to fuck with tourists' Glass, mistranslate signs, send them tumbling into canals, etc.
posted by stinkfoot at 5:23 AM on January 24 [1 favorite]


Welcome abroad! To call U.S. dial: +1 followed by 10-digit number. Intl rates apply; voice rate is $1.00/min. Data pkgs of $30/120MB, $60/300MB, $120/800MB available at www.myatt.com. You may turn off data; otherwise, Pay-per-use rate of $19.97/MB applies. AT&T Free Msg.

This is why I don't use my carrier locked smartphone when I travel outside the country.
posted by birdherder at 5:30 AM on January 24


You've got to be kidding me. That is not "engaging with the landscape." It's adding a veneer of virtual reality to what actually is. It's living inside the internet.

No, not really. It's a heads-up display, that's all. It lets you get very small amounts of information while you're doing something else. It's not much of a distraction at all, and it's certainly less of a distraction than looking at your phone. Most of the time it just sits inert, waiting for you to tell it to do something. You tell it what you want, it does that thing, then it's off again. It doesn't actually overlay what you're looking at - you have to make a small but conscious effort to interact with it.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:50 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Yeah, barring a sudden upheaval in the mobile data universe, relatively little of this will come to pass for a casual traveler.
posted by aramaic at 8:27 AM on January 24


No, not really. It's a heads-up display, that's all. It lets you get very small amounts of information while you're doing something else. It's not much of a distraction at all, and it's certainly less of a distraction than looking at your phone. Most of the time it just sits inert, waiting for you to tell it to do something. You tell it what you want, it does that thing, then it's off again. It doesn't actually overlay what you're looking at - you have to make a small but conscious effort to interact with it.

Now now, we'll have none of that level-headed realism here, thank you very much. This is the Moral Panic Over the Latest Technological Threat to Our Very Souls room and I'll thank you to remember that.
posted by yoink at 8:41 AM on January 24 [2 favorites]


We don't allow photos of our sproutlet on the internet for a reason... this would just negate the whole ball of wax.

Helpfully, all it takes is some family friend with a camera (now with instant Wifi upload!) to post a photo on Facebook, which does the heavy lifting of crowd-sourcing the face-detection to the most reliable group of human interpreters available: everyone you know.
posted by odinsdream at 9:35 AM on January 24


Maybe we'll get free taxi rides.
posted by juiceCake at 9:53 AM on January 24


Yeah, barring a sudden upheaval in the mobile data universe, relatively little of this will come to pass for a casual traveler.

It looks like the prices are awful for Americans traveling abroad, but that's not a universal problem. Traveling within Europe, the data charges can be much better. For example, my (British) phone company offers a deal in which, on any given day abroad, I can choose to pay £3 then call, text and use data exactly as I would at home. So I already get a fair bit of use from Google translate and maps when I'm abroad (both of which have surprisingly good offline modes anyway), without worrying too much about data costs. I assume the same is true for lots of other Europeans travelling in the area, and possibly for people in other parts of the world. And as more cities and towns get widespread cheapish public WiFi, particularly around tourist attractions, this becomes less of an issue anyway.

So while I still think Glass in its current form is silly (if nothing else, it's hard to use voice control in public without both looking silly and irritating people within earshot), there's nothing inherently unworkable about the ideas. Unless you have an American phone contract, I guess.
posted by metaBugs at 10:36 AM on January 24


if nothing else, it's hard to use voice control in public without both looking silly and irritating people within earshot

This has been eliminated by the use of Bluetooth and wired headphones. You can find people walking down every street talking to someone who isn't there. There isn't any difference here, except you don't say as much.

Also, a lot of things can be done without voice control, using gestures and the touchpad.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:45 PM on January 24


Yeah, barring a sudden upheaval in the mobile data universe, relatively little of this will come to pass for a casual traveler

Or, for Americans, just use T-Mobile. I'm taking advantage of the free international data and text in Japan right now and its awesome. Sure, its only 2G, but that actually turns out to be fine for Maps, Translate, GMail, even the web. Other than video its just fine (maybe slower than I'm used to, but quite usable). Didn't even have to configure anything, it just hopped onto Softbank when I got off the plane. (All this for only $50-$70/month, no extra charge for the international features)

I mean, if you go to a country with poor mobile infrastructure, this is true. But in Europe, East Asia, etc its now super cheap for Americans. Not sure what the options are for other countries.

I don't want to sound like an ad, but this is a huge deal for Americans who like to travel some and don't want to deal with getting and configuring SIM cards when they go.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:01 PM on January 25




Through A Face Scanner, Darkly
NameTag, an app built for Google Glass by a company called FacialNetwork.com, offers a face scanner for encounters with strangers. You see somebody on the sidewalk and, slipping on your high-tech spectacles, select the app. Snap a photo of a passerby, then wait a minute as the image is sent up to the company’s database and a match is hunted down. The results load in front of your left eye, a selection of personal details that might include someone’s name, occupation, Facebook and/or Twitter profile, and, conveniently, whether there’s a corresponding entry in the national sex-offender registry.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:05 AM on February 1


So, when is Grindr (and the straight version I can never remember) going to come out with a NameTag-style app?

On a related note, I may never leave the house again.
posted by Mezentian at 12:52 AM on February 2






Glass Explorers
Since the program started, our Explorers have gotten a lot of attention when they wear Glass out and about. Reactions range from the curious – “Wow! Are those the ‘Google glasses’? How do they work?” – to the suspect – “Goodness gracious do those things see into my soul?!” Luckily as the Explorer Community grows, so does their collective wisdom. We asked some long-time Explorers for their advice, and here it is:
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:33 AM on February 19


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