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Google chairman: Google Glass is weird, inappropriate


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Eric Schmidt says society needs new rules to accomodate the headsets.

Google has long seemed blissfully unaware that Google Glass doesn't so much step on the toes of etiquette as it does mildly assault them. But speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on Thursday, Google executive chariman Eric Schmidt admitted to a little bit of awkwardness with speaking commands to Google Glass, stating that sometimes the glasses can be “inappropriate,” according to Reuters.

Schmidt has championed Google Glass since its unveiling last year. Sets of the glasses come with a small panel of controls mounted in the headset, including a touchpad, but the primary method of interaction is telling Glass aloud what to do (“OK, Glass, take a photo”).

But Schmidt stated in his talk that executing the voice commands is “the weirdest thing” and noted that society will, of course, need to develop new etiquette to make itself comfortable with these devices that enable surreptitious image, video, and audio capture. Schmidt appears to take the idea that society will accept them at all as a fait accompli.

Schmidt continued by stating that “there are obviously places where Google glasses are inappropriate.” We can think of a few locations where people might have a problem with them: bathrooms, changing rooms… pretty much any private enterprise could conceivably oppose them. One bar preemptively banned them.

Google does seem to have worked on other control schemes for Glass in the recent past, including projected touch surfaces and a “wink” gesture. Google may still be able to tweak Glass such that owners don’t have to embarrass themselves by barking orders at seemingly nothing.

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