Google Glass: dos and don'ts

Google released a list of dos and don'ts for Google Glass Explorers.

James Brosher/AP/File
Marianne Kruppa wears a Google Glass device. Ms. Kruppa was selected via Twitter as a Google Glass "Explorer" and received a pair of the glasses before their official release. Google recently released a list of etiquette dos and don'ts for Glass.

Innovation doesn’t come without unintended consequences. For Google Glass Explorers, the first group of people selected to purchase and experiment with Google Glass, those unintended consequences can happen from the moment they step out the door. From staring off into space (i.e. staring at the monitor in the corner of the screen) to recording without permission to fielding constant questions about the device, Explorers have been exploring new boundaries of etiquette, as well as technology.

Google has finally addressed this brave new world by releasing some dos and don’ts of wearing Glass.

“Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy,” says the Google Glass team in a blog post. “Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way…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.”

So what should Explorers be sure to do with Google Glass? Look up, for starters.

“Glass puts you more in control of your technology and frees you to look up and engage with the world around you rather than look down and be distracted from it,” says Google. “Have a hangout with your friends, get walking directions to a fantastic new restaurant, or get an update on that delayed flight.”

Along those lines, Google adds that utilizing voice commands further expands the hands-free possibilities of Glass, and adding a password helps protect the device in case it gets stolen.

What should Explorers avoid while wearing Google Glass? Essentially, don’t be a jerk.

  • Ask permission: “Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends,” says Google. “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."
  • If you don’t want the attention, don’t use it: “Let’s face it, you’re gonna get some questions. Be patient and explain that Glass has a lot of the same features as a mobile phone (camera, maps, email, etc.). Also, develop your own etiquette. If you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag.”
  • Avoid the “glass-out” effect: “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. So don’t read 'War and Peace' on Glass. Things like that are better done on bigger screens.”

Aside from etiquette, Google may want to release some legal dos and don’ts for explorers. Last fall, explorer Cecilia Abadie fought a traffic violation in court after being pulled over for wearing Glass while driving. She won. In January, an explorer in Ohio was questioned for four hours after wearing Glass to a movie on suspicion of recording the film. He was let go – he has his prescription lenses installed in his Glass.

When in doubt? Just use common sense. 

"Water skiing, bull riding or cage fighting with Glass are probably not good ideas," says Google.  

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