Techno takeover

Let’s all just admit that Google has come up with some quirky ideas.

I’ve heard fans of Google rail against Apple, and I’ve heard Apple fans yell at Google products. I won’t tell you which side I’m on in the smart phone wars, but I will acknowledge a good idea when I see one. And that’s just what Google Glass is.

If you haven’t heard of Google’s latest product set to launch by the end of this year, Glass can be described as a wearable computer, or reality glasses. It’s a band you wear around your head with a small computer device in the corner of your vision. Simply by saying “OK Glass…” a Siri-like electronic assistant is ready to receive any sort of vocal command you might give her and fills a portion of your sight with the images you need. For instance, if you tell Glass to find you directions to the nearest Starbucks, you’ll see in the upper-right corner of your eye a map with a path for you to follow, just like on your smart phone. Except you can remain aware of your surroundings by simultaneously seeing everything around you.

What can be described as one of the most exciting elements of Glass is the ability to take a picture hands-free. Glass allows you to capture an image or video with a voice command, and the photo is captured from your point of view. It’s pretty sweet.

Lead industrial designer for Google Glass Isabelle Olsson said she was inspired at a train station. According to Olsson in an article with The Verge, when she looked around her all she could see were people hunched over pecking at their phones, totally distracted from their surroundings. She says Glass is different in that it allows the user to remain upright and aware of their environment, while still getting the information they might need in real-world time. Getting rid of technology while still having it around us is exactly what we are asking for.

If we all somehow manage to not look ridiculous while wearing this thing, it could be cool. But it makes me feel uneasy. Even Olsson admits that Glass is just the first in a series of building blocks for a more electronic world. Though we all say we want more human experiences, we seem to be taking a step backwards by answering the problem with more technology.

Technology has been developed to help us save time. However, I honestly believe there will never be a good way to save time. People are too adjusted to staying busy. A moment of peace constitutes whines of “I’m bored” or an excuse to sleep. Inventing more technology to “save time” will actually just give us an excuse to be even busier.

These developments are not without its benefits though. Long distance relationships, not just the romantic ones, have changed forever through text messaging and Skype. And just a few years ago Google gave us the Google Art Project, which could take us overseas to the world’s best art galleries and allow us to navigate its halls and zoom in on even the most detailed brush strokes of these paintings.

But before the robots totally take over, let’s try to maintain some perspective. Nothing beats real-world experiences. Having your loved one sitting beside you is better than facing him or her over a screen or projected image. Seeing a sunset for yourself outstrips having the same image sent to you. Relying on your own spatial sense will be a better life skill than relying on a computer to navigate you.

I’m not against technology or change, but I am against depending on computer advancements to live. A virtual reality cannot begin to compete with the reality our God created. Instead of rushing to embrace the latest and greatest, maybe we should take a step back and live out life as it was originally meant to be experienced.

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