by Al Sacco

NBA Refs Wearing Google Glass is Latest Example of Mass ‘Glass-teria’

Aug 20, 20133 mins
Consumer ElectronicsMobileOperating Systems

The GM of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, recently said the idea of NBA officials wearing Google Glass during basketball games is "a great idea."'s Al Sacco begs to differ and thinks Morey might have a touch of "Glass-teria." Here's why.

Shortly after Google unveiled its Glass wearable computer in the summer of 2012, I started noticing an interesting, if not exactly surprising, phenomenon I call “Glass-teria.” (Glass hysteria, get it? No? Well, that’s why I just spelled it out for you. Wham.)

NBA official ref wearing Google Glass

Glass-teria is the tendency of journalists, analysts, marketers, tech watchers and everyday Joes to try to squeeze Glass into somewhere it doesn’t really fit, but sounds cool. I recently wrote a tongue-in-cheek Glass-teria article about unique ways in which your favorite celebrities could use Glass.

Glass-teria exists mostly because people who don’t have first-hand experience with Glass have no idea what it really is. (Hint: It’s not just a video camera on glasses frames. Read “5 Things You Need to Know About Google Glass” for the lowdown.)

The latest example of Glass-teria (or one of the latest) comes from a Reddit AMA (Ask me anything) session with Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, in which Morey responded to a question from redditor deathmango.

From the AMA:

deathmango: “Mr. Morey, thanks for the taking time to do this AMA. Do you think Google glass could ever be integrated into live games, for example by having the officials wear them and letting the TV audience see what they saw?”

Morey: This is a great idea! Tell Adam Silver. I have to run, thank you for all the great questions!

In case you’re not an NBA fan, Adam Silver is current NBA deputy commissioner and COO. And Silver could take over for the NBA commish David Stern next winter, when he is scheduled to retire.

AllthingsD’s Jason Del Ray (@DelRay) followed up with Morey on the subject via Twitter:

Errrrrrrrr, hit the brakes. Yes, the image of refs running up and down the court with Glass-es is amusing (see above) and maybe even a bit intriguing. Never mind the fact that the NBA did not respond favorably to a player using Glass during a recent NBA draft. It makes little to no sense for NBA officials to use Glass. What would the benefits be? A number of less intrusive wearable cameras are available, if the sole purpose would be to see what the refs see. And interacting with Glass would distract officials while they’re trying to perform what is already a difficult job.

Maybe I’m just not seeing the possibilities clearly, but this sounds like a ridiculous idea. Sorry, deathmango. Sorry, Mr. Morey.

The lesson here? Glass isn’t even publicly available yet. And it’s unclear whether the odd gadget will ever see mainstream use. So the next time you read a story or see a TV news segment on the coolest new possible use for Glass, (a serious story, that is, not a joke) be skeptical. Very skeptical.


Image (pre Glass treatment) via