How will Google reduce the stigma of wearing a head-mounted display?

Answered Jan 19, 2020

It isn’t just about the person wearing the device.

First, there are safety issues.

Forget about using it while driving a car. In some jurisdictions, it might already be covered under “distracted driving” laws originally for mobile phones. If not, then such laws will be expanded to cover these devices. And with very good reason.

Some people may claim that they would just set it to alert about traffic hazards, or to give GPS directions. But, as with phones, plenty of people would be taking photos to post to social media, having ongoing chats (with the other party responding by text), etc. When you cause a crash, the other motorists/pedestrians aren’t going to be admiring your cool tech gear.

Other safety issues arise without a car.

Some pedestrians already jaywalk right into traffic, which they can’t hear or see, due to headphones blasting, and to eyes locked onto a little screen.

This also makes a person more vulnerable to street crime, since they can’t hear or see the menacing thug approaching them.

Second is the social factor that goes far beyond just looking odd.

We already have mass social rudeness, when people claim to be multitasking by having an in-person conversation, while playing with their phone. It alienates the other person, especially those of us who like to be truly present during a conversation.

A major issue is that, I don’t like random people pointing cameras at me. With these devices, you would be doing so, continuously, with everyone. And they won’t know for sure if you are recording video and audio of them, without their consent. And won’t know what you may do with the recording.

How is that camera going to be perceived by your boss? Or the security personnel in a hospital, or a government building, or an airport, etc? Or by someone upset about something personal?

Is it really ever going to be socially acceptable for some creepy dude to hang out at the beach, with a camera strapped to his face, looking in the direction of young girls?

Going further, some people want to use these devices to immediately do an internet search on someone they just met. Or worse, use facial recognition to look up information about a total stranger, without even having a conversation with the person. Do you really want some creepy dude on the train thinking you are cute, and finding out your name, employer, etc, just by surreptitiously taking a photo?

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