Legislatures are approaching Google Glass with optimism usually reserved for weapons of mass destruction and global warming. Across the country local governments are trying to anticipate all the ways Glass will turn law-abiding citizens into blatant criminals. The latest attack on Glass (or on American society, depending on where you stand on the debate) is the use of technological headwear in Casinos. According to the Associated Press, regulators in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut, and of course Nevada are advising casinos to ask patrons to remove Google Glass before entering.
Board members and regulators agree that Google Glass’ ability to take photos and video unperceived by others could lead to cheating, and other apps could be developed to take advantage of casinos.
David Rebuck, director of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said that even if Glass wasn’t actually being used to cheat at gambling, it would make other patrons feel uneasy and give the perception of cheating – which is just as bad.
Casino owners are taking a similar preemptive attack that West Virginia’s government took on driving with Google Glass. Two months ago they added an addendum to their texting while driving bill that banned the use of any “wearable computer with a head mounted display” while operating a motor vehicle. Critics argued that this was jumping the gun as Glass could create map and traffic apps to aid driving.
Here’s what I want to know: is all of this good publicity for Google Glass or does it make the product lose its appeal?
On one hand, the more bans that pop up, the more the general public starts believing that Glass is being used everywhere, “Wow, in casinos? I didn’t even think of that! People must be wearing them all over for these places to ban them.” But on the other hand, once people get their hands on Glass they might be faced with a list of places it can and can’t be worn, something no other tech advancement has faced since cell phones on airplanes.
We still have to wait until 2014 before we can pick up Google Glass for ourselves, but that might be long enough for the novelty to fade away and let people make smart decisions. Is Glass what they really want and need, or is it just a lot of hype?
Not only does Glass have to face opposition from governments and regulators trying to keep the system fair, they’re also facing the tech bloggers who make a living off of criticizing new products. Last month early adopters were futilely trying to use swear words with Glass, but were facing the same censorship problems Android users saw in the early days.
The Internet has already started calling early-adopters “Glassholes” who are constantly looking to take creepy pictures and brag about their multiple uses. Will the public take off their rose colored glasses and take a realistic look at Glass before it even hits the shelves?