We’ve been hearing a lot of hype about Google Glass, a new project that’s purporting to be the next step of mobile computer devices. If you’re not part of the back-to-basics movement in internet culture, it actually sounds like a pretty fascinating idea: a computer headset that brings all the functionality of a smartphone right in front of your face, so you’re essentially connected to digital information 24/7. Now you don’t even have to whip out an iPhone to find out exactly where that restaurant is, you can just fire up that Augmented Reality street view program or call a friend on the video phone. It looks like the Scifi fans were right about what the future’s going to be like, and it’s going to be distinctly cyborgish.
However, the rest of the world may be slower in catching up to the “always switched on” direction computing seems to be going in. Earlier this week, the “father of wearable computing” Steve Mann got into a bit of trouble at a Paris McDonald’s while wearing his EyeTap, an earlier version of what Google Glass aims to do. Apparently, McDonald’s has a no-camera policy in its restaurants, which posed a bit of a problem since the EyeTap is directly attached to Mann’s skull (now that’s some hardcore futurism). According to the post, Mann ended up assaulted by three McDonald’s employees trying to remove the headset forcibly. McDonald’s has since denied Mann’s claims.
Get an explanation of what exactly the EyeTap does here:
As technology continues to get bigger and shinier, it will be interesting to see how stores, restaurants and other public and private venues react to the idea of consumers always having a camera at the ready. I got kicked out of a department store myself once just for having a camera in a bag on me- apparently window display design theft is a thing in the department store world. My prediction: they’re going to come up with a wireless way to shut off the device’s automatic camera functions where you’re not supposed to take pictures, like in airports.
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