The potential of Google Glass is exciting. A computer on your face—how futuristic! It’s a concept plucked straight out of science fiction, and people—at least tech enthusiasts—are ready to embrace it. But how will the public react to someone wearing such a strange device on their face?
At one San Francisco bar, reception was mixed. Tom Madonna, one of the co-owners of Shotwell’s, was a bit freaked out when he saw a couple casually stroll in wearing Google Glass. This could be telling for how others receive Google’s tech, and could lead to a new level of prejudice.
As the Atlantic’s Alexis C. Madrigal describes, Shotwell’s is a “bar-bar:” beer, cash-only, pool table, salty snacks, etc. But it’s also a frequent haunt for the tech-elite, “right near the beating heart of the tech world,” Madrigal said. But Google Glass, a product one might think would be casually received in a place like Shotwell’s, was seen as absurd. “‘They were wearing Google Glasses!” Madonna explained on Facebook. “In public! In A BAR!”
Madrigal spoke with Madonna about his encounter.
“Anyone that cares what they look like is not gonna wear Google Glasses,” Madonna said. It’s true. We saw Google’s face computer at CES, and it was a spectacle, even among all the insane 4K TVs and weird accessories.
Madonna’s experience isn’t indicative of how every single person will react, but it does tell you that there will be an enormous stigma attached to Google Glass. Technology has a pervasive presence in every aspect of our lives, best encompassed by a smartphone. But you can turn a smartphone off, put it in your pocket—it can be out of sight. With Google Glass, it’s on your face, staring at everyone staring at you. It’s like those gaudy blinds glasses, only those are a joke.