Here’s one takeaway from CES this week: Google Glass is the Segway of the Internet. For those of you who don’t know, Google Glass is essentially a wearable mobile device that makes you look like the Borg from Star Trek. And let’s be honest: Who doesn’t want to look like the Borg from Star Trek? The major benefit of Google Glass is that it allows transparent icons to constantly flash in our faces to tell us we have emails or a video chat requests or perhaps just that we’re about to get mowed down by a bus in the crosswalk because we’ve been wandering zombie-like toward our doom, our senses dulled by the sweet heroin of the Internet.
During lunch at CES, I sat near three tech reporters who ate, drank and conversed while wearing Google Glass headsets, occasionally checking out of the real conversation to read an email projected into their faces. Awesome. It’s bad enough eating with someone who constantly checks his smartphone. Now, we can watch as he drifts off into a game of “Words with Friends” while we’re trying to make a point or tell a story. Google Glass will no doubt be most popular with women, who can now look forward to men listening to them even less than they do now. You didn’t think that was possible? Welcome to the future.
So why is Google Glass the equivalent of the Segway? Because it’s impossible to ride a Segway and simultaneously look cool. Same goes for Google Glass. Of course, Segways offer other benefits like exercise avoidance, mall cop empowerment and the ability to flee the bullying football team from “Revenge of the Nerds.” Similarly, Google Glass has its uses—like running facial recognition during a cocktail party to remember people’s names. Or taking secret video of a friend who has food stuck in his teeth. Or cheating on Trivial Pursuit. Hmmm… On second thought, maybe Google Glass isn’t so bad after all…
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