Google Glass, the US techology giant's revolutionary wearable computer
is still months away from release, but there is a growing movement
across America seeking to limit and in some cases ban the use of the
glasses due to both privacy and safety concerns.
"We heard of many
crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest
drivers," Republican Gary Howell of the West Virginia state legislature
told tech website CNET.
Howell has introduced a bill that would
effectively ban the use of Google Glass by drivers behind the wheel of a
vehicle, siting safety concerns.
"Last legislature, we worked long and hard on a no-texting-and-driving law," Howell told CNET.
is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They
are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers," he said.
Glass resembles a pair of traditional eyeglasses, but with images
displayed on the lens, it enables users to surf the web, send emails,
text messages, and record photos and videos all by using voice commands.
are putting a lot of thought into the design of Glass because new
technologies always raise new issues," a Google spokesman said in a
In regards to safety, Google said in its statement the
glasses offer, "tremendous potential to improve safety on our roads and
For instance, Google has said its glasses will
offer turn-by-turn navigation using voice commands to promote a more
hands-free driving experience.
But putting the issue of safety
aside, a growing movement online is concerned about the privacy
implications surrounding the use of the stealthy glasses that could be
used as a secret recording device.
"If the government installed
CCTV cameras and microphones everywhere, all feeding information to a
central control room you would probably characterise it as a privacy
risk," the website StopTheCyborgs.org said.
"Is it any better if it's run by a corporation and the devices are attached to people's heads?"
that Google Glass could be used to secretly record private
conversations and activities is what sparked the creators of
StopTheCyborgs to encourage businesses across the country to
preemptively ban the use of Google Glass in their establishments.
site offers downloadable anti-Google Glass signs and links to contact
politicians to promote legislation regulating the use of the glasses
prior to the launch.
The 5 Point Cafe, a bar in Seattle, was among
the first to post signs banning Google Glass on its premises in an
effort to protect the privacy of its patrons, the bar's owner said.
is still very early days for Glass and we expect as with other new
technologies, such as cell phones, behaviours and social norms will
develop over time," a spokesman for Google told the Silicon Business
Google Glass is slated to be released later this year
with an estimated retail price of around $1,500, according to media