Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Some new technologies face the challenge of familiarity. People don't know what they do so they are afraid of them. This is an issue for Google with its Glass invention. Many people don't like it because it "invades their privacy." Invasion of privacy can only come if one is recording with the device but how does one know that? There is no indicator on the Glass to tell one when another is filming. There is something about a device that is wearable on the head that spooks people. As the author indicates, when there are more head-mounted wearables available, people might stop worrying about Glass -- but they might not. Google's PR challenge is to lower anxiety about Glass while promoting its utility, features, functions and benefits. To the company's credit, it is moving slowly on the introduction of the product, and it is not even calling it a finished device. If the public's mood about Glass doesn't change, Google hasn't gone all-in.
I think Google hasn't gone all-in yet because the product is still very much in a beta test stage. Google will be well positioned to face this PR challenge however, due to their strong commitment to privacy that has been documented in their support of net-neutrality and willingness to take on NSA and others who attempt to mine users personal data for surveillance purposes.