Google has a gargantuan task on its hands where Google Glass is concerned. Its head-mounted wearable computer is due for consumer launch later this year, but most Americans don’t even recognize Glass, and many of those who do recognize it don’t understand how it works.
Tension has been growing in recent months. Some Explorers — the initial group of people that have the device now — have complained about being harassed while wearing Glass, and others are being turned away by their favorite businesses.
Google’s task boils down to two words: marketing and education.
The company has taken a few tentative steps in this area, starting with a recent list of do’s and don’ts aimed at Explorers. Today, Google turned its sights outward with a list of the Top 10 Google Glass Myths:
- Glass is the ultimate distraction from the real world
- Glass is always on and recording everything
- Glass Explorers are technology-worshipping geeks
- Glass is ready for prime time
- Glass does facial recognition (and other dodgy things)
- Glass covers your eye(s)
- Glass is the perfect surveillance device
- Glass is only for those privileged enough to afford it
- Glass is banned… EVERYWHERE
- Glass marks the end of privacy
Some of the commentary dispelling these myths is a bit feisty, like this from myth No. 6 above:
“I can’t imagine having a screen over one eye…” one expert said in a recent article. Before jumping to conclusions about Glass, have you actually tried it? The Glass screen is deliberately above the right eye, not in front or over it. It was designed this way because we understand the importance of making eye contact and looking up and engaging with the world, rather than down at your phone.
The Explorer community will certainly welcome Google’s early attempts at educating the public about Glass, but a top 10 list posted on Google+ can’t be the ultimate solution. Google has a lot more education and marketing that it needs to do, and in much bigger venues than its own social network.