Parsing Google's Glass Etiquette: What Those Do's and Don'ts Really Mean

You're an Explorer now, son. You have new responsibilities, and it's time to take them seriously.

By Jon Phillips
Wed, February 19, 2014

IDG News Service — Google released an etiquette guide for early adopters in the Google Glass Explorer program Tuesday, and the fun and breezy script includes what may very well be Google's first public acknowledgement that Glassholism is a thing. The term is referenced directly, and that's very, very significant because Tuesday was sort of a slow news day in the consumer tech sector. So, yeah, we care.

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Sure, the blog post could signal that Google is gravely concerned about the mainstream public's acceptance of Glass, and wants Explorers to become better ambassadors of alien face tech. Or, just as likely, someone on Google's blogging team had a fun idea, his or her boss greenlit that epiphany, and, well, here we are.

For those who've never used Glass, or just need a reliable translation of what the etiquette guide means, I've taken the time to parse some excerpts.

DO: Explore the world around you

Glass puts you more in control of your technology and frees you to look up and engage with the world around you rather than look down and be distracted from it. Have a hangout with your friends, get walking directions to a fantastic new restaurant, or get an update on that delayed flight.

Translation: Come on, guys. You threw down $1500 for this thing. So buck up, pull Glass from its incredibly nifty felt pouch--and, yes, we're very proud of that pouch--and start using Glass in public. We want all of humanity to see more Glass, so that its very appearance doesn't inspire knee-jerk repulsion. It's sort of like skinny jeans on men. Now we just accept the new normal.

DO: Take advantage of the Glass voice commands

Glass can free your hands up to do other things like golfing, cooking, or juggling flaming torches while balancing on a beach ball... This is great for looking up how many ounces in a cup while you cook, or taking a one-of-a-kind photo from your unique perspective.

Translation: You know we have, in fact, integrated voice recognition into Glass. You know that, right? Because we're seeing so many of you continue to tap the touchpad, and that makes our voice engineers feel empty inside. Bottom line: It's better to look like you're talking to yourself than to be "that guy" who can't stop touching his face.

DO: Ask for permission

Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends... The Glass camera function is no different from a cell phone so behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others.

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