The government is afraid of technology yet again. This time, it's technology that may not actually end up being in the hands of more than a small percentage of people. At a time where Google Glass is working on teaming up with Warby Parker to make the glasses more stylish, the fact that the device even exists is enough to become a problem to government legislators. West Virginia's House of Delegates member Gary G. Howell is looking to ban DWG (as I've named it) or driving with Glass.
Howell says that the new augmented reality glasses would cause the same problems as texting while driving. He also said that it would more likely affect younger drivers who are less experienced behind the wheel are "are the tech-savvy (kids) that try new things." He just doesn't want the glasses used while driving. He said,
I actually like the idea of the product and I believe it is the future... I am a libertarian, and government has no business protecting us from ourselves, but it does have a duty to make sure I don't injure or kill someone else.
Other governments, companies and privacy groups have been working to get the augmented reality glasses banned. The best known of these organizations is Stop The Cyborgs. They have even created the branding for corporations to place on their entrances to inform customers that Google Glass, and other AR devices, are not allowed on the premises. Companies like Burger King have already implemented new signage that informs customers that photography and video recording are not allowed.
Okay, so, a few points need to be made. First, if these are as distracting as texting then the new heads-up displays we're seeing on windshields from car companies like Mercedes and Ford have got to go out the window, too. The same argument could be said for a GPS, the radio or even the screaming baby in the back of the car but for some reason you're allowed to transport those. Second, with a $1,500 price tag, at least for now, these little gadgets aren't going to be able to be afforded by the masses. Of course, the Internet has a lot of interesting comments to say about the matter, which is kind of why I wanted to write about this. Putting aside the constant state of fear the government lives in which makes it feel like they're scared to leave their house on some days, comments on this news from across the web have been pretty humorous. Enjoy a gem or two.
Wouldn't this all turn out extra stupid if the bill specifically banned "Google Glass" and then any competing products could just walk right through that giant loophole?
I want them banned from my presence. Not because of privacy or safety, just generally douchebaggery that they facilitate. While we're at it, can we outlaw Bluetooth headsets when you're not actually on a phone call? Skinny jeans anyone? Yeah - them too.
What do you all make of this? Just another case of new things scaring our country's leader or is there a legitimate case to be made here? I know I could potentially be sparking a flame war, but have it out in the comments below.