You may have heard about the new Google Glass eyewear that puts a little voice-activated computer in special glasses? Well, if not, here it comes. And here is also some [condensed] etiquette advice from Wall Street Journal writer, Kevin Sintumuang.
Always remember: You have a camera on your head.
And there’s no way for others to tell whether that camera is on or off. Sure, people might notice the tiny screen near your eye sparkling when they look closely. Naturally, people are going to be spooked out about whether or not you’re recording them.
How do you assuage their fears? Don’t say, “Well, there are probably cameras recording you right now that you don’t know about,” or “It’d be easier for me to secretly snap a picture of you with my phone.” That all may be true, but still—you have a camera on your head. People have every right to feel uncomfortable. Acknowledge that.
Tell them that it was a mistake for Google not to put a red light indicating that a photo or video is being taken, and that you hope there will be one in future. Be courteous and take the device off in locker rooms, public bathrooms, business meetings, movie theaters and anywhere else where wielding a camera would be improper or offensive.
Use voice commands only when you need to.
One day, Glass might become as ubiquitous as mobile phones and it won’t be that weird to hear the phrase “OK Glass”—which lets the eyewear know to listen for a command—before a request for a weather update. But ask yourself: Can I do whatever I’m about to do with Glass more politely by using my smartphone? It’s OK to ask Glass for directions or to quickly respond to a text while walking alone down the street. But if you find yourself dictating long emails or using Glass to tweet whenever you think of something funny, that’s just overkill.
Don’t use Google Glass to make phone calls in public.
Yes, it’s basically the equivalent of a Bluetooth headset. Yes, people talk on Bluetooth headsets all the time. But it’s still annoying.
Give it a rest sometimes.
You remember Bluetooth Headset Guy, the most grating tech villain in existence today? He never took his headset off. (And, yeah, talking loudly to thin air didn’t help either.) This defeats the purpose of having a heads-up display and camera that’s always at the ready. But for most of your day, try to go for the normal-human look. It’s also annoying to talk to someone who keeps glancing up and to the right every 10 seconds. Turn Glass off when there’s someone in front of you.
Don’t be creepy.
All it’s going to take is for one Glass wearer to record or photograph someone or something that shouldn’t have been filmed to ruin Glass for everyone. Let’s not incite lawmakers or angry mobs. Stick to photographing kittens, consenting friends and those totally amazing pancakes from your favorite brunch spot, OK?
Let people try it on.
You’ll probably get sick of people asking you if they can have a go with it, but be gracious. Once people see how Glass is essentially a glorified hands-free headset/wearable camera, they’ll get on board—which is the only way something this crazy-seeming will be accepted en masse.