Like so many others, I got excited when I read that Google was tinkering with glasses; that this eye technology might be a little more scientific than gadgetry got my attention. And then Google Glass was released.
The product did what it was touted to do, but it did little for technology in an aging world.
Google Glass is a toy for the outdoorsy types, who like to jump out of perfectly good airplanes and who like the thrill of scaling sheer mountainsides. But not so much for 75% of the Americans who wear some form of corrective lens and who have some degree of AMD- age-related Macular degeneration of the eye. America is getting older, perhaps it’s time to put away its toys.
I’m reminded of Opti-Grab, the fictional eyewear gadget that Steve Martin’s character invented in the movie, The Jerk. In the end, all its users ended up cross-eyed, for having repeatedly used the little eyeglass handle between their eyes. Label it gadget fail.
But could the influence of science fiction writers like Jules Verne and Gene Roddenberry, who gave us such great inspirational communication technology, likewise have stifled eye technology by mostly leaving it out of their written works?
What if Star Trek’s Lieutenant Commander LaForge had been cured of his blindness? What if scientists had eradicated that defect, would Google Glass have evolved as lighter version of the commander’s visor?
And maybe that’s the whole point, not to see the world as it is, but to see it as we would like it to be.
Because if we were given a pair of glasses that flipped images upside down, and we wore them for a few days, our brains would flip the images right side up. That’s been scientifically proven.
And I think that’s what happened last month, when Google released it’s Beta version of Google Glass. Now, it’s up to us to figure out some good use to put them to and for that, I’d like to first be paid.