Google Glass Even Makes Censorship Cool

As more and more tech geeks (sorry, “early adopters”) get their hands on Google Glass, articles, vlogs and tweets keep surfacing of all the cool new tricks that users can do. Most recently, we discovered the ability to take a photo with just a wink. Yes, that person suggestively winking at you at the gas station is also saving a picture for later. Awesome.

But one of the cuter – and arguably less creepy – aspects of Glass is the built-in censorship to keep the messages and thoughts of users expletive-free. Now whenever the wearer tries to swear with the voice-to-text application, they will only send a series of hashtags. For example: Why won’t this #### work?

glass1Don’t worry, we’re not living in a world where major corporations tell us what we can and can’t say – at least not yet. Google doesn’t have a hidden agenda with plans to start censoring “I prefer Bing.” According to CNET, Google just wants to avoid accidentally adding swear words where they weren’t originally. This way, someone who is trying to send a text saying they were cut off by a trucker doesn’t accidentally send something less G-rated.

This doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t stand by its software, it just realizes there are worse implications for getting the word “shin” wrong than say… orange. Or zebra.

Google also did this when they launched the Nexus One in 2010. The technology was still young and they were trying to avoid a potential PR crisis. No company wants their phone to be known for listening to innocent words and transcribing them into something inappropriate. Countless users would post on Reddit about it, someone would inevitably create a tumblr page and all the overly conservative mom groups would petition the White House. Sometimes it’s better to be mocked by early adopters than to have the mommy bloggers against you.

shutterstock_58694575Naturally, Glass users who feel that saying “Dagnabbit” doesn’t fully convey their emotions are quite up-in-arms. They were dismayed at the lack of f-bombs in their texts in 2010 and are experiencing déjà vu. Really Google Glass? You were supposed to be cool. You were supposed to be hip. We want to text with the level of profanity usually reserved for an episode of Jerry Springer, don’t try to stop us.

Keep in mind we’re still in the early days of Glass. Once the gadget reaches the masses there will be plenty of novice hackers trying to figure out ways to override the system which will give tech bloggers fodder for creating tutorials. How-to: swear with Glass, 4 Ways to disable the censorship feature, Swearing with Google Glass for Dummies, the list of potential articles goes on and on.

From a writer’s perspective, this could be a helpful tool in the early days. It means that bloggers might have to come up with better descriptions than “This is so ####ing cool!” Unless they’re actually writing their articles on computers and tablets, which is so 2012.

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Amanda Dodge