Warning: Objects May Be Dorkier Than They Appear in Photo

Folks over at Google announced Google Glass yesterday, their plan to put video screens into your glasses, and showed off their prototype by wrapping them around the heads of some very attractive people (See Lyndon and Emily, above) as a way to show how having a monitor being strapped to your head could be handsome and stylish. And they’re correct, precisely to the extent that almost any article of clothing looks better on a size zero/hunkily-scupted early-20s model painstakingly posed in good lighting by a professional photographer than it will look on an average human who actually has to wear the thing on public transportation and then to work.

Which is to say that in the pictures above, the models are not wearing the Google Glass Protoype; the Google Glass Prototype is wearing the models. Please keep it in mind when you’re itchin’ to strap these LaForge Lites onto your noggin.

76 thoughts on “Warning: Objects May Be Dorkier Than They Appear in Photo

  1. I just keep thinking of “The Game” episode of TNG. Did they get Ashley Judd to wear one?

  2. If I was concerned about your average Joe / Jane finding me a dork, what would I be doing at Worldcon this year with you as toastmaster, or prince of dorkness?

  3. We are doomed…

    People die from turning off their brains and blindly following GPS nav systems off of bridges, or by walking into traffic while texting…

    I cant imagine the havoc everyone having a personal HUD is going to cause.

  4. My first thought when I heard about these? This is one frighteningly small step away from a BrainPal… and I want one, please.

  5. But also, these are just the prototypes. Once the tech is worked out, and gets a little smaller, it’ll be an invisible add-on to your regular prescription, like transition tinting and invisible bifocals. Remember how ugly the Android prototype phone was? Now it’s just another brand of smartphone, come sin dozens of styles and colors. In 2, maybe 3 years, you’ll have D&G glasses with the google option.

  6. I completely agree. We will all look like dorks. Like all my friends don’t already know I’m a geek. I’d even be willing to use Google+ to get in on the beta.

  7. Can’t look that much worse than the “Lando Calrissian’s assistant wannabeees” that go everywhere with their bluetooth headsets blinking on their ears 24×7.

  8. I kind of want one except I KNOW what adding anything at all to my glasses does (and how I treat these artifacts of Driving Vision).

    I don’t WANT to replace them every time I leave them on the bed when I read.

  9. “I cant imagine the havoc everyone having a personal HUD is going to cause.”

    Do what I do now. I pretend that people who are standing in the middle of the sidewalk or grocery aisle blocking everyone’s path are invisible. When I run/bump into them, I excuse them for being in the way.

  10. Nah, I’m sick of the 90s and 00s style of corporate-future now. I want a steampunk or raygun gothic style of future now. When they look like aviation goggles fitted to a winged helmet, then they can get back to me. The future better start looking properly futuristic, and incidentally, where is my jetpack?

  11. I guess I’m just too old. I read this ‘helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment.’ and thought that even though I have been wearing glasses for almost 50 years, they are not ‘my world’. I have a lot of tech.. smartphone, tablet, etc, but they are not my world either. My world is way bigger than that, I don’t even get the putting me back in the moment thing, either. We all, even if we are unaware of it for a while, live in the moment, since that is all there is.

  12. And we think the cell phone increased accidents….
    I’m seeing a future of people driving while watching a YouTube video of a cat doing something stupidly cute with bacon. On the other hand, damn how cool is this?

  13. But not in white. I don’t like the white at all. Maybe black or British racing green.

  14. Maybe this isn’t true in the rest of the country, but here in Silicon Valley you can see any number of folks wearing BlueTooth headsets, and not just the 20-something technophiles. I couldn’t imagine anything geekier (especially when you consider the fact that many of these people seem to be talking to themselves, which is always attractive), but it’s become an everyday thing. Who’s to say that these glasses won’t go the same route?

    @changterhune: You know Obamacare has a provision to force us to wear these so that every face we see has Keith Olberman’s overlaid on it!

    And “soshulizm” will appear on his forehead in big red blinking letters! It’s diabolical, I tell ya.

  15. You totally coined “Laforge Lites.” Any such device shall heretofore be referred to by nerds (and followed closely by the general public) thusly.

  16. These look like they were stolen from the Star Trek Online game (targeting reticule for tactical officers). Either that, or the designers just finished rereading Transmetropolitan.

  17. “And we think the cell phone increased accidents….”
    Actually, this is pretty trivial to fix by greatly increasing the penalty of causing an accident.
    If you cause an accident, while on the phone or wearing these goggles, minimum fine of 10k and 364 days in jail. no probation. (increase fine to cover jail expense as needed)
    If you kill someone, while on the phone or wearing these goggles, charge with murder (or murder equv) with the commensurate punishment for killing someone.

    There currently is little or no punishment for killing people with you car.
    (In chicago, an old guy drove on the bike path and killed someone. he got a ticket. no other punishment. no reckless driving charge. nothing.)

  18. @Crypticmirror: oh, hell yeah! Goggles, with little gizmos sticking out the side! I’m never gonna look sleek and gorgeous and 25 ever again (if ever I did) so I may as well go for outrageous and fun.

    And @Peter Cibulskis: absolutely right. It’s high time we treated automobiles as lethal weapons, if that’s how people are using them, and prosecute accordingly.

  19. @Peter Cibulskis
    Trouble is if you make the penalty severe enough, then you need to give people a jury. And the trouble with juries is that they don’t like convicting people of offences they themselves might get caught out on. There is a very real “there but for the grace of god go I” mindset in them with motoring offences in particular. Its why motoring offences have such low prosecution and conviction rates. Everyone has let their attention wander, everyone has done something questionable, and everyone has seen a police car go by (or a pedestrian step out) just seconds after they’ve corrected themselves doing something and done the old sharp intake f breath and sweat drop bit. Defendants in motoring prosecutions get a lot more than just reasonable doubt as the standard for conviction. No sane government will up the law, because they’d never get it enforced and a law that isn’t enforced is more damaging to society than no law at all.

  20. John … You’ve been seen in the company of Paul and Storm, and Will Wheaton. AT THE SAME TIME, John. You’ve headlined an event with said giant dorks.

    YOU ARE IN THIS PICTURE

    It’s time to stop the denial and come out of the dork-closet.

  21. I think I’ll wait for in-brain implants like in the Star Marines books of Ian Douglas.
    People are bad enough with their phones and being distracted now, this will be worse.

    It is kind of cool, though.

  22. Totally using “LaForge Lites” from now on in regards to these things.

    I have mixed feelings about these. The first thing that crossed my mind is that these things better have the best damn anti-popup software out there or else there are going to be a lot of collisions. And as terrifying as it is to think about the general population driving around watching funny cat videos while driving, I think a HUD for we bike riders would be 99 different kinds of awesome. But that is the ONLY way I could ever imagine strapping these things on. I don’t need that much data.

  23. 1) It’s waaaay too late for me to worry about looking like a dork.

    2) The demo vid implies a built-in camera.

    Shut up and take my money.

  24. And the trouble with juries is that they don’t like convicting people of offences they themselves might get caught out on.

    Sure, but enough people will be convicted, which will start people thinking about the consequences of their own actions. The example in chicago: the driver was an old white guy from a rich suburb. WAY too old to be driving. He drove out on the bike path and killed some mexicans. So nothing happened to him. Ticketed for driving on sidewalk???? Would a jury have convicted him of manslaughter? probably not, but WHY wasnt he charged in the first place? reckless driving in the least.

    Instead it is death race 2000 all over again.

  25. Wait, I take that back. I’ll wait on this concept until Jonathan Ive et al do it right. Sure, I’ll still look dorky, but at least I won’t end up hurling them against a wall and stomping the pieces into little dorky shards.

  26. ‘I could be bounded in an Ipad and count myself a dork of infinite space, were it not that I had bad vision’
    (Paraphrased from the original)

  27. They could come with DORK emblazoned on the side in rhinestones and I’d still want one.

  28. Ahh the laforge lites could be programmed with collision avoidence capability. Shouting at you and flashing arrows towards your impending collison. And of course because this is Google, it’s all backed up at their servers making traffic court much more — dramatic.
    I was playing around witha contact lens version of the tech for a YA novel I was working on. Kind of distrubing when you’re making out with your sweetie and your mother’s face suddenly pops into your vision.

  29. So what? Beautiful people are used to sell everything. EVERYTHING. Even clothes for fat women — take a look at the next plus size ad you see. Skinny chicks model the clothes. This is not a new thing, you only just now noticed it.

    BTW I don’t think it looks dorky at all. Bluetooth earpieces look worse to me.

  30. Holy shit! If it works as good as the video portrays that would be so fucking AWESOME!

    Course, it won’t work as good as the video portrays.

    I could make it control the chain gun on my helicopter, woot!

    Or not…

    But I might have to buy one.

    And name it…

    “Asshole”

    ;)

  31. @Phil Royce: I think I’ll wait for in-brain implants like in the Star Marines books of Ian Douglas.

    Considering what site you’re on, you didn’t think of BrainPal first?!

  32. Since I was already beaten up in Jr High for being a dork I’ve already paid the price – bring on the glasses

  33. Esteemed host commits:

    THAT PICTURE WAS TOTALLY SHOPPED. I CAN SEE THE PIXELS.

    Because, ya know, you can’t see the pixels in honest, non-shopped images. Nope. Not on screens, neither.

    (cursing Retina Displays, because iPhone 4 small-text is only really readable at the really inconvenient distance that lies between my nearest focus point with glasses on, and furthest with them off. Yes, I know there’s a default setting to override to fix that, but it’s crankypants day.)

  34. Seriously, does anyone know how this works? How do I get video into this thing? Where’s the HDMI port? I can has bluetooth conection?

    The awesome thing of this would be the cost of LCD panels, and the power spent to light them up, and the weight and size of lugging them around, will go away.

    Get a stick-of-gum sized linux machine

    http://www.cstick.com/content.php?118-Fxi-launches-cotton-candy-developer-site-takes-pre-orders

    plus these goggles, and you’re gonna feel like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nSINQJlSTc

    Never gonna give you up. Never gonna let you down. Never gonna run around and desert you.

  35. I suspect these will give some people massive headaches after prolonged use (or, at least that’s what many will claim).

    I also suspect the ailing legal industry will use the above claim to scrape in some $$$ for their firms.

  36. Still, it is an interesting project. It reminds me a bit of Vernor Vinge’s “Rainbows End”.

  37. I also suspect the ailing legal industry will use the above claim to scrape in some $$$ for their firms.

    1. People wear dumb-looking glasses.
    2. Some of them get headaches.
    3. ???????
    4. LAWYER PROFIT!!!!!

    Can you elaborate on step 3? Because I’m kind of stuck on anything that fits into step #3 that maps with the real world in the slightest.

    WRT goggles, I concur with whoever it was that tweeted that they are like a Segway for your face. Just because something is new and dorky doesn’t mean everyone will use it.

  38. “I suspect these will give some people massive headaches after prolonged use (or, at least that’s what many will claim)”

    That won’t happen until version 2.0, when the inevitable 3D effects are added.

  39. Their movie implies you need to sleep in your clothes and their glasses to use them fully, which apparently will keep you “in the moment” ….a rather grubby moment though.

  40. Referencing XKCD to defend yourself from claims of being a dork does not make you less of a dork John. It makes you more of one. Just put on your robe and wizard hat and join us the ball pit.

    You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten Dork. Look inside yourself, John. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Dork.

  41. @ Gabriel S: That was my thought, as well. (i.e., that Google Glass is Vinge-tastic!) In fact, Google’s big 3 boss prototypers would have to be dumb not to copy all they can from Rainbows End and Fast Times at Fairmont High, especially since I don’t believe Mr. Vinge patented any of it. Wonder what his singularity-ness thinks of this. His e-mail is openly available online, from the internet speculative fiction database… Has anyone on this comment thread been brave enough to ask him, and lucky enough to get a response? Anyway, I’ll leave you all with wikiquote’s one quote from Rainbows End, which I think is eerily germane to this topic: “So much technology; so little talent.”

  42. *nerdgasm*

    LaForge was my role model as a child.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen this episode. It ends with the Cylons wiping out humanity.

  43. 1. People wear dumb-looking glasses.
    2. Some of them get headaches.
    3. ???????
    4. LAWYER PROFIT!!!!!

    mythago Can you elaborate on step 3? Because I’m kind of stuck on anything that fits into step #3 that maps with the real world in the slightest.

    See my link at April 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    a longer clip here to show more context:

    Later Martin is sued because people are getting crosseyed looking at the optigrab and as a result are getting headaches. At the trial, everyone on the jury as well as the Judge are all wearing glasses with the optigrab on it, and are all crosseyed.

  44. Didn’t Manfred Manx use these in Charlie Stross’ Accelerando? And when they were stolen from him, the thief became partly him, because so much of his thought was offloaded to the device.

    I think Charlie should get the same credit for this that Clarke gets for the communication satellite. Apologies to Charlie if he doesn’t want it!

  45. @ Xopher Halftongue

    I think Charlie should get the same credit for this that Clarke gets for the communication satellite.

    So if satellites are placed in Clarke orbits, would muggers Charlie their victims?

  46. I’m reminded, John, of your comment (at a con or someplace), that when the BrainPal™ comes out, you won’t be getting one because some Nigerian Oil Minister’s son will figure out a way to spam BarinPals and you won’t be able to turn it off!

    I think I’ll pass on Google Glass for much the same reason. Though I suppose I’d at least be able to take them off. ;-)

  47. Easy way to deal with accidents: “Google Glasses have detected that you are in the driver’s seat of a car. All popups and entertainment sites have been blocked.”

  48. PS: Perhaps followed by “You may remove these restrictions by switching your car to automatic-driving mode”.

  49. @Bruce Diamond
    BrainPal is not the same thing. BrainPal is not available to the general public. In the Douglas books, and in John Varley’s Mars books, the in-brain computer with access to the “Net” and instant communication with all others, is generally available and almost all members of society have them.

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