Our View: Google’s high-tech specs are just another distraction

DKS Staff

Google announced last month that it plans to release its highly publicized Google Glass by the end of 2013. With a series of eye-catching promotional videos and runway models sporting the product, Google is attracting a lot of attention to its high-tech glasses. With the product, the company aims to get people talking face-to-face — instead of burying their noses in their smartphones — by looking directly at each other through digital lenses.

While the technology Google is implementing in its product is advanced, impressive and seems to be pulled right out a sci-fi novel, its practicality is an obvious question many consumers are bound to have. If we ditch our smartphones and trade them for a pair of glasses, which are designed to amuse our every whim, just how much face-to-face socializing are we actually going to achieve? With its voice-activated controls, Google Glass is going to result in hoards of people muttering to themselves instead of to each other. It’s the next phase of annoying Bluetooth devices.

There’s a concern about the safety of Google Glass. If we’re wearing these while driving or crossing the street and get distracted by commanding our glasses to take a snapshot of a pretty sunset, there’s a greater risk for accidents. It happens with drivers, now illegal in Ohio, sending texts, tweets and Instagrams while behind the wheel. If there’s the illusion that their eyes are still technically on the road, then the risk of distraction is even greater.

Google Glass fetches a hefty price tag — estimated at around $1,500 for its debut — more than the cost of a smartphone, tablet or most laptop computers. The product has definite perks beyond the novelty factor, such as hands-free web browsing and integrating technology into our everyday lives in a way that has never been done before. But we think the glasses are not going to replace smartphones any time soon. There’s a certain comfort in being able to put your head down and distract yourself with email or texts on a phone. Something tells us professors might not be so keen on students being able to literally “see” the answers to a test through their glasses, either.

Give it some time before you save up your hard-earned dollars to scoop up the first pair of Google Glass you see. With new technology always comes glitches and frequent upgrades. We’re excited to see how other companies can use this “heads-up display” technology in the future. But until the kinks are worked out and the concerns are realized, we aren’t going to trade in our phones for glasses.

The above editorial is a consensus of the opinions of the Daily Kent Stater staff