Social Factors

Using Glass almost immediately creates anxiety in the people around me. Perhaps because of recent news events, people seem to be newly aware of surveillance culture, and how a device like this plays into larger social changes. Of course this has been true for a long time, and part of my own motivation for becoming a Glass Explorer was to see how and what such devices can do, how covertly, etc. Of course the other side of that is an intensely geeky desire to try it out and play and see what kinds of new experiences the device makes possible.

One of the most interesting potential features is, I think, the ability to host a hangout with Glass, where I as the glass user am broadcasting to my online buddies in real time through the Google Hangout function. So far my attempts to do this have been limited to forays around the yard with my own laptop as the recipient of my video gems, but I have hopes to pursue this feature further to see what we can do with it.

I have mixed feelings about how visible using this device makes me. Initially I wanted to be careful about not hiding my activities in principle – fair warning to all and sundry that I could be recording. However, the headset is so noticeable that now I wish it could be a little less obtrusive. Walking down the street strangers approach me. In coffee shops wearing the device invites conversation. While I suppose I could make some new friends this way, it isn’t ideal, especially in urban environments where anonymity is somewhat desirable.

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