The history of modern technology is a study in ‘whatever happened to?’ today’s cutting-edge piece of world changing technology becoming tomorrow’s paper weights, dust magnets and cultural footnotes and punchlines.
Remember MySpace? Segways? America Online? The Center For the Easily Amused? All former powerhouses of popularity almost no one remembers any either by virtue of being to young or having repressed the memory. A device that has recently undergone this transition from ‘next great thing’ to ‘the what again?’ is Google Glasses. Once, the next new thing that everybody had to have, no one seems to really see them around anymore.
The emperor’s clothes?
Despite the evangelical fervor on the part of the early adopters proclaiming Google Glass to be the second coming, there were those who still harbor doubts about the funny looking eye decorations.
Some going so far as to put forward the theory that they were a hoax and did not actually work at all. Suspicions that were roundly mocked by users, minions and band-wagon jumpers alike. As it turns out, while a lot of the software for the devices were still in the development stage, the mockers were right.
Much of the reason for the early exit of Google Glass is the negative reaction of the close-minded, self-centered techno-phobic Luddites who objected to their use in public places. The shunning got so bad, that people just stopped wearing them before the technology could be developed to its fullest potential.
Human beings are, at our core, fearful, stupid creatures, especially when confronted with something we do not understand and particularly when we are certain we are right. The following is what happened to forward thinkers who saw the potential of Google Glass when no one else was willing to accept them.
San Francisco bar
In San Francisco, one place where one might think people would know brilliant technology when they saw it, a woman was asked to remove her Google Glasses in a bar. When she would not, they were ripped off her face. While trying to get them back her purse and cellphone were stolen in revenge by one of the unwashed simpletons.
Google Glasses smashed
In an example of police state gone mad, a journalist named Kyle Russell was on his way home following a protest against a Google employee when his glasses were pulled off his face and smashed on the ground to destroy the evidence.
Always keen to find new and interesting ways to put more into the public coffers out of which their salary is paid, police started ticketing drivers for wearing Google Glass while behind the wheel. No particular reason behind it except vague excuses about the glasses being a “distraction” despite there being absolutely no evidence that the device was even turned on at the time.
Perhaps one of the greatest examples of blistering overreaction in modern history, a Google Glass user was dragged out of a movie theater and interrogated by agents from the Department of Homeland Security, it apparently taking three hours for the crack national security experts to comprehend the fact that the glasses were turned off and the wearer was, in fact, not trying to record the movie for purposes of most vile and dangerous piracy.