Recently, Weekly Standard senior writer and erstwhile Daily Caller advice columnist Matt Labash was given the opportunity to be a Google Glass Explorer. In other words, he got to pay $1,500 plus tax for the privilege of walking around wearing the dumb things to annoy people.
Labash just wrote about it for the Standard, and here are a few of my favorite things:
- “Since the Glass announcement, I’d tried repeatedly to get a test ride with The Future on my face in order to write about it, but received no cooperation from Google’s media gatekeepers. So when I spied my first Glasshole there in Austin in March 2013, my reaction was twofold: (1) I really need to punch that guy in the throat. (2) I wonder if he would let me try them on?”
- “I slip them on, and it’s about as bad as I expected. Not a good look for me, or possibly anyone. I look like a short-bus version of LeVar Burton’s character Geordi La Forge from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Except La Forge was blind, and he wore a prosthetic device to restore his sight. Whereas I just look like a pretentious tool with a child’s toy strapped to my head. When I affix the slide-on shades, it might be even worse. They smack of goofy-dictator glasses, making me resemble a cut-rate Kim Jong-un.”
- “Not only does my wife, Alana, not have her own Glass, she makes perfectly clear when I return home wearing it, ‘I’m planning on staying as far away as possible from you for the next several weeks.’ Indeed, I come in for some rough familial treatment over my new eyewear. My mom refers to them as ‘your dork glasses.’ My children are horrified, begging me to take them off when I pick them up from school. ‘Please, Dad, don’t roll down the window and talk to anybody,’ says Luke, my 14-year-old.”
- “In the car on the way home, Alana is as accepting as ever: ‘It annoys me to look at you every time I see those things draped on your nose. I just want to smack you.’”
- “On another outing, I light out with my brother-in-law, Eddie Logan, for a night at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover, Md. Scores of casinos throughout the country have already banned Glass, for obvious reasons. But this one is still uncharted waters. Before entering, Logan gives me his strategy. He doesn’t want to sit next to me at any gaming tables, but rather, across from me, ‘so I can video-tape security slamming you up against the slot machine.’”
Fortunately(?), the only thing injured was Labash’s dignity.
I helped him out with one of Google Glass’ other features, where you say “Okay, Glass” and then give it a voice command. But you’ll need to read the whole thing for those.
Oh yeah, and Labash also talks about how this is the next step in our 24/7 surveillance state, how we’re leaping head-first into a future where we’re utterly lost without our mechanical nannies telling us what to do and how to do it, and all that other boring stuff. The main takeaway is this: The only thing holding Google Glass back right now is how dumb and obtrusive it looks. Once Google figures that out, it’ll own whichever part of the world it hasn’t taken over yet.