These high-tech specs with a built-in computer have the geek world abuzz, but wearing them in polite society requires decorum. Here, an open letter to very early adopters
DEAR GOOGLE GLASS WEARER,
Congratulations! You’re one of the privileged few who’ve scored a pair of GoogleGOOG +1.94% Glass, the futuristic eyewear that puts a tiny, voice-controlled, Wi-Fi-enabled computer on your face. It’s the most anticipated gadget since the iPad, iPhone or iAnything, really. And the best part? You members of Google’s “Explorer Program”—mostly app developers and supernerds—will be testing Glass in the wild months before the general public will get to wear it, fingers crossed, at the end of the year.
Soon you’ll be able to view emails, text messages and maps on a translucent screen hovering in the upper-right corner of your peripheral vision. Breaking news alerts will appear right before your eyes. You’ll snap photos just by saying, “OK Glass, take a picture.” In other words, you’ll be able to perform tasks everyone else has to do with their grubby hands and filthy smartphones—what Neanderthals!
Google says there will be thousands of you Explorers wearing Glass around town over the next few months. I’m jealous, even though it looks dorky. (Just go to the “White Men Wearing Google Glass” Tumblr for proof.) I’ve spent some time with Glass here and there, mostly asking Explorer pals if I can try theirs, and every time, I almost cried when I had to give it back.
I’m looking forward to the day when Glass is so ubiquitous that wearing one doesn’t make you look like a cyborg. But, at the moment, I’m a little concerned. New technology has a way of bringing out our rude and annoying side—just think of the guy who walked into you while composing a text or the woman in line at the dry cleaner who was shouting into her cellphone. And because Glass is a wearable device that calls attention to itself, you early ambassadors have to be on extremely good behavior. I’d hate for you to squander any goodwill toward Glass before the rest of us have a go at it. Here are some basic rules of etiquette for you—and future Glass wearers—to keep in mind:
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