Google Glass is finally here in Canberra! I haven’t quite got my hands on it, but a gov 2.0 compatriot has recorded tweets from a recent demo session that give an interesting look into the public policy considerations that are starting to spring up around Glass.
I was particularly interested to see that now is seen as the time that the use of Glass – and other ‘cyborg’ technologies by extension – is being tested socially and morally in the community. While the hype was enormous in the month or two after Glass was released into the community in the US last year, I expect it’s only now that there’s enough people using Glass – and enough people coming into contact with those users – that it’s possible to get a decent signal on the reaction to Glass without it being muddled by the noise from supporters and haters alike.
The presentation also mentions that there are thousands of companies currently designing for Glass, with industrial applications being considered for military, police, nursing, health and education. This is the stuff I’m keen to see. Glass has such a great potential for recording events (relevant to all those industries) and providing immediate information without requiring physical disruption (relevant to most of those industries, e.g. a nurse not having to turn away from a patient to check their chart during an emergency) that I can imagine it revolutionising the how-to of any physically-focused industry*. Now I need to focus on getting my hands on one so I can tell you whether I think these optimistic comments stand up in practice.
Edit: Actually, one of the local schools had a Glass demo model for GovHack a year ago; it’s just that it’s now being shown around in a way that makes it publicly accessible.
*It won’t revolutionise the industries themselves, just the way they do little things, but in a way that makes a big difference. For example, the job of a nurse who can use Google Glass to check a chart isn’t going to change completely. They’ll still be looking after patients the way they do today, for the most part. But if information is on Glass instead/as well as a paper chart, it will be possible to react quicker in some situations, and I expect that makes all the difference in these quick-response settings.