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March 24, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:13am

Five Google Glass debunked myths…debunked.

CBR tackles five of Google's recently debunked 10 myths of Google Glass.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Google has published a list on the official Google Glass Google + page debunking what it describes as the top 10 myths surrounding Google Glass.

The list, posted on March 20, comes as the device continues to have a mixed reaction from the public and a month after Google told its explorers how to avoid being a Glasshole.

CBR tackles five of Google’s debunking myths.

1. Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world


Google attacks suggestions that wearing Glass distracts users from the real world.
"Instead of looking down at your computer, phone or tablet while life happens around you, Glass allows you to look up and engage with the world," it said.

But experts are worried the technology could distract wearers to the point where it causes potentially dangerous consequences.

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In a piece for the New York Times in 2013, researchers from the University of Illinois and Union College said when the mind is engaged, wearers could fail to see something that would "otherwise be utterly obvious".
"Google Glass may allow users to do amazing things, but it does not abolish the limits on the human ability to pay attention," they said.

A woman was also issued a traffic ticket in October 2013 for speeding and distracted driving after being stopped while wearing the futuristic spectacles.

Web and mobile app developer Cecilia Abadie claimed the device was not switched on at the time and was cleared of charges in January 2014.

The UK Department of Transport has banned drivers from using the Glass technology before it even launches in the UK.

2. Glass does facial recognition and other dodgy things


Another misconception addressed in the list says the device supports facial recognition technology, which Google says is not going to happen even if it were possible.

However, Emotient, a San Diego-based company, is working on a Google Glass app that can tell users what other people are feeling based on their facial expressions. The Sentiment Analysis protoype app detects and processes facial expressions of individuals and groups that the user would see to determine positive, negative or neutral emotions. The software, which is currently available on Glass for Beta testers, can also measure deeper emotions such as joy, surprise and anger, and tell if you’re feeling confused or frustrated.

There is also another Glass app being developed by a company called FacialNetwork that claims to take a photo of a stranger, and then find out who they are.
NameTag uses facial recognition software to send photographs wirelessly to a server, which compares it to millions of records, returning the photo back with personal details and other photos.

While Google’s policies do not allow for Glassware that supports any form of facial recognition technology, the app is currently available on Glass for Beta testers, so who knows what might happen in the future?


3. Glass is banned…Everywhere


Google said the same guidelines around recording with mobile phones (locker rooms, casino floors etc) apply to Glass.

However, many casinos in America have already forbidden Google Glass over fears that it could facilitate cheating, while restaurants and bars, most recently a San Francisco bar called the The Willows, have banned customers from wearing it over concerns that customers are being watched.

Lawmakers in West Virginia are already campaigning to prohibit motorists from wearing the glasses and a campaign group has also been launched, called Stop the Cyborgs, which is pushing for public transport and areas to display signs that ban Google Glass.

4. Glass marks the end of privacy


This post notes that the same was said when the camera was invented back in the 19th century.

But what concerns privacy advocates is that the embedded camera could be used to film people and record conversations surreptitiously. The device, for instance, has no exterior recording indicating light on the presently available model, so it is difficult to tell whether you’re being recorded or not. A survey of 4,000 adults in London found that 20% of people want to ban Glass over such privacy concerns.

Mat Honan, a reporter at Wired who spent a year trialling Google Glass, also posted an article detailing public apprehension.
He said: "I won’t wear it out to dinner, because it seems as rude as holding a phone in my hand during a meal. I won’t wear it to a bar. I won’t wear it to a movie. I can’t wear it to the playground or my kid’s school because sometimes it scares children."

5. Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford it

Glass Explorers are privileged and not everyone who would like a pair is fortunate enough to be funded by work, Kickstarter and Indiegogo or to receive it has a gift.

What’s more, Google added a new range of titanium frames and sunglasses to its collection back in January 2013. The frames, designed to work specifically with Google Glass, come in four different styles and three shades, costing $225 each, while the sunglasses, available in Classic and Edge-style frames, cost $150.
These prices are on top of the standard $1,500 cost for existing Google Glass wearers, which brings the total cost to $1,724.

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