Google has a new list of official Do’s and Don’ts for Glass Explorers (read: the NSA’s favorite customers).
The Do’s are fairly self-explanatory. As a Glass Explorer myself, allow me to translate the Don’ts.
Glass-out. Glass was built for short bursts of information and interactions that allow you to quickly get back to doing the other things you love. If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you’re probably looking pretty weird to the people around you. So don’t read War and Peace on Glass. Things like that are better done on bigger screens.
Also not recommended: watching 14-minute-long videos, which you can do but it will overheat the side of your face and give you an afternoon of the “weird squints.”
Rock Glass while doing high-impact sports. Glass is a piece of technology, so use common sense. Water skiing, bull riding or cage fighting with Glass are probably not good ideas.
“Walking,” in many cases, falls under the heading of high-impact sports, especially if there are any of the following in your path: other people, trees, poles, long unobstructed stretches of sidewalk.
Wear it and expect to be ignored. Let’s face it, you’re gonna get some questions. Be patient and explain that Glass has a lot of the same features as a mobile phone (camera, maps, email, etc.). Also, develop your own etiquette. If you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag.
This. This, hundreds of times.
I have a confession to make, which is that, as I type, my Google Glass is sitting in a very safe padded box in my apartment, gathering the fanciest, costliest, and most interactive dust possible. And Google knows why. It’s because every time you wear the dang thing outside, you have to be ready to give total strangers a guided tour of a technology that you, personally, are still unable to control. It’s like walking a stranger’s dog.
“Awww,” people say, approaching and squatting down. “Can I pet him? How old is he?”
“Uh,” you say. “I think — seems — seems like he’s threeish.”
“Does he do tricks?”
The other person proceeds to throw his or her arms around the dog and warmly intone “Whooshuguboy? Whosuchaguuboy?” while you stand there and try to look like this is something you routinely do yourself. Once the person leaves off you pet the dog uncomfortably once or twice on the wrong part, and the dog shoots you an offended look.
Picture this, but for Google Glass. Actually, a better analogy might be if the other person instantly forced the dog to do something you were unable to undo, and then the dog overheated, and then you couldn’t find your dog charger, and then all your friends left in high dudgeon.
Google Glass is the pregnancy of technology. Not in the sense that it gives you nausea, causes swollen ankles and nine months later you emerge with a baby, but in the sense that the instant you put it on, you stop being a person and become an interactive exhibit. Strangers feel entitled to come up to you and ask you things like, “Is that Google Glass?” “Hey, is that Google glass?” “What is that?” “Is that the Google Glass?” “Can I try it?” “Hey, is that a watermelon?” “Is that Google Glass?” “How far along are you?” “When’s the due date?” It has some clear advantages over pregnancy — you can store the Glass in your bag and put it back on when you get home, so all these interactions can be avoided — but once it’s on, you have to be on, too. Sometimes you just want to be a cyborg without explaining yourself to anyone.
Be creepy or rude (aka, a “Glasshole”). Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.
Yes, that’s right. When you wear Google Glass, you are in the future, and in the future everyone will be a walking advertisement for electronic enhancement programs responsible for maintaining brand presence at all times. Also, sometimes, if you move your head suddenly a computerized voice will say something and startle you.
The future is going to be amazing.