Google Glass is the New Normal


Prepare to wonder if people are recording, and then to not care.

When I saw them on the street, I wondered, “do they know that they look ridiculous?” And then I realized – I was about 500 yards from the Moscone Center during Google I/O, perhaps the world’s most likely spot to encounter someone with the new Google Glass – and it hit me that this is now normal.

No, it’s not normal for the average person to sport a Google Glass appliance (not yet) and that person would definitely feel uncomfortable saying “Hey Glass, Take a Picture of Me Doing This,” but how different is this – really – than carrying a computer around with you in your pocket all of the time. Many of us do exactly that, and yet the spectre of someone wearing a camera on their face seems to cross the “Uncanny Valley” and make us feel uncomfortable.

It is completely normal to want to record your existence, to capture the now, and to save precious memories for years and decades to come. My initial reaction is one of a digital immigrant who remembers what life was like before handheld computers, “What would you use that for?” The answer is probably, “everything.”

Today’s teens and 20-somethings don’t necessarily share the myopic view that computers are single purpose or that they are destined to be on a Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, or Mobile. They are interested in a world where computing is rapidly becoming wearable and invisible. They are interested in a world where new possibilities are invented almost every day. And they are interested in stretching the boundaries of being connected so that their whole life is accessible. Gordon Bell of lifestreaming fame would be proud.

So what is the new normal? The New Normal is to expect data to be collected all around you. The New Normal is to use the images and video and audio that we didn’t remember capturing into new collages and insights and thoughts that shape the fabric of our lives as surely as the advent of instant color snapshots changed my childhood. We have no idea what lies ahead. We only know that it looks a little bit like Google Glass, and that it will talk back to us when we are lonely. Perhaps one day it will even make conversation. What do you think?

Originally published on Medium

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