I must admit, I haven't given the idea of "wearable computing" much thought. After all, I spend way too much time in front of a screen as it is. I can't imagine wanting to wrap another screen around my head, just so I can share my view of the world - literally - with others. But then I began to think about how a smart pair of glasses could be used in job interviews.
Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like, hands-free format, that interacts with the Internet via voice commands. The core of the product is its tiny prism display which sits just above your eyeline in the upper right hand corner of your vision. You see what is on the display by glancing up.
Check out this video to get a sense of what it's like to skydive, swing on a trapeze, fly upside down and sashay down the catwalk while wearing Google glasses with an embedded camera, microphone, GPS and sound.
Voice control is used to control the device; you say "OK glass, take a picture" or "OK glass, record a video," or send messages using speech-to-text, "hang out" with people (think Google hangouts), and so on.
Imagine if you got bored conducting interviews for your next hire ... you could just tee up endlessly streaming episodes of Lost and stare straight at the candidates, laughing, emoting, crying, pretending you're interested, but really just following the show.
Imagine if you got bored conducting interviews for your next hire ... you could just tee up endlessly streaming episodes of Lost.
If a candidate seemed kind of shady, or the type to sue you for some reason, you could just surreptitiously record the interview to protect yourself.
Perhaps you suspect a candidate of faking an entry or achievement on their resume. You could query them in detail about these previous employers and fact check their answers on the spot, or ask trick questions based on your real-time research.
When discussing the use of social media with your candidate, you could check out their various Facebook posts - or poses - right then and there.
I'm sure we could convene some industry-specific focus groups and figure out some best practices for Google glasses.
Unless you're a Google board member, or a Silicon Valley cool kid, you'll likely have to wait a while to give this a try though.
Google did have a contest running, looking for "bold, creative individuals" who would be among the first to try them, after they forked over $1,500 that is. But the company recently posted this on their Google Glass website:
"Thank you so much to everyone who applied to be a Glass Explorer. We have been overwhelmed, entertained and inspired by your responses. #ifihadglass is now closed and we will be notifying successful applicants soon. If you don’t hear from us, don’t despair! There will be more chances to get Glass at a later date."
Seriously though, fake hiring scenarios aside, is this a good idea or a thinly veiled evil gimmick to plaster the world with ads? This post in Tech Radar attempts to answer that question.
Is this a good idea or a thinly veiled evil gimmick to plaster the world with ads?
The idea apparently doesn't seem gimmicky to the investment community. The New York Times just ran this story about a trio of prominent venture capital funds who want to put the word out to developers they are on the hunt for apps and software for the Internet-connected glasses.
Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz announced the Glass Collective, an investment partnership that has agreed to share every pitch from start-ups related to Glass, so each firm would have the chance to invest.
John Doerr, a general partner at Kleiner Perkins, and a Google board member, told the NYT he has been wearing the glasses. He was asked what it might mean when people can do things without others knowing they are doing them — like reading e-mails or recording a video of a conversation?
“Using the device, if someone is reading e-mail or taking a picture, you know it, and you can be more present in a conversation because you haven’t put a phone in your face,” Doerr said in the newspaper article. “And if you want to be focused on the person across the table, focus on them. Ignore those droids.”
“Using the device, if someone is reading e-mail or taking a picture, you know it, and you can be more present in a conversation because you haven’t put a phone in your face.”
Some techies plan to do just that. Ignore Google Glass that is. For now anyway.
I'll end with a quote I saw from a reader at one tech site, who doesn't think smart glasses are very smart.
It reminds me of a Sponge Bob episode when plankton took over and gave everyone a bucket to wear on their head... it's like a spy of you - only you put it on your head with your own free will and pay big money for it - no thank you.