Google Glass has had a rocky introduction. While it’s undeniably a product that has great potential, and might even save lives, mostly it’s been a toy for spoiled jerks and people with more money than sense. Google has finally realized this might be a problem, and has issued a hilarious set of instructions that boil down to “Dammit, stop making us look bad!”
The “code of conduct” Google posted is actually fairly Glasshole-y on its own. The opening features this tidbit:
Reactions range from the curious – “Wow! Are those the ‘Google glasses’? How do they work?” – to the suspect – “Goodness gracious do those things see into my soul?!”
Google, we personally guarantee you nobody has actually said that. “Take those things off, you look like an idiot,” perhaps. Or maybe “Are you recording me? Damn, you’re creepy.” Or even “You know, this violates the restraining order I took out against you.” But we’re so glad you view anybody who has reservations about having a screen socketed into their eyehole every waking moment as the Elbonians from Dilbert. That’s just great.
The irony is that Google’s don’ts for Glass include some fairly commonsense tips that pretty much all of those aforementioned Luddites have been pointing out repeatedly on the Internet. Tips like:
Glass was built for short bursts of information and interactions that allow you to quickly get back to doing the other things you love. If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you’re probably looking pretty weird to the people around you.
Or their guide to not being a Glasshole:
Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.
No, Google, we’re pretty sure that most people are well aware of what Glass does. It’s not ignorance of the product that’s really the problem, here.
Even their Do’s are a bit, well, “knock it off!” in tone:
Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends (see Don’ts #4). 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.
Wow. That’s… unintentionally revealing, Google.
Anyway, there are a few don’ts we’d like to add, all of which are completely serious:
Do lift them off your face when talking to another human being. Otherwise people will think you are ignoring them, which makes them angry.
Don’t assume anyone around you will be impressed or care that you spend $1500 on a toy. You’re basically trying to impress people with the visual version of a Bluetooth headset.
Do actually try to use some apps that aren’t just frivolous crap. One of the big drawbacks of Glass is that most of the apps are profoundly unimpressive or outright creepy. If you really want people to see the value, find some genuine value in it.
Don’t insist we’ll all be wearing them in five years. One, you just look like an ass, and two, there’s no shame in enjoying a fad, as long as you remember that wearable tech is ultimately a new and useful tool, not a revolution in consumer products.
Google Glass will apparently be available to the wider public sometime this year. And then the fun really starts.