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Surrounded by Google Glass

At a conference teeming with Google Glass wearers, this glasses-wearer felt out of place.
October 1, 2013

Until today, I had never been around more than one or two people at a time wearing Google’s yet-to-be-released head-worn computer, Google Glass. Then I walked into the Glazed Conference here in San Francisco, an event focused on wearable technology put together by wearable tech incubator Stained Glass Labs.

Glass wearers were everywhere: chatting in the halls, attending panel sessions, eating lunch, occasionally stroking the touchpad on its side. There were short people, tall people, slender people, chubby people, all united by their headwear.

It wasn’t that the majority of people at Glazed were wearing Glass, but that the people who were wearing it really stood out. Not really because of Glass’s bright hues, though they do factor into it (you can’t really be that incognito with bright orange or blue or stark white eyewear). It was more about the little, prismatic display in the corner of the wearer’s eye, and how I couldn’t shake the feeling that they might be at least splitting their attention between me and something else projected in their field of view. I know this wasn’t the case (you can see a tiny mirror image of what’s on the display when a person wearing Glass is using it, and many of the functions are voice-operated), but the feeling was impossible to ignore.

I left wondering if in-person interactions will be more and more like this in the next few years as wearable technology improves and spreads. Hopefully, it will also get less distracting.

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