Backlash against Google Glass rises

Isabelle Olsson, lead designer of Google's Project Glass, talks about the design of the Google Glass during the keynote at Google's annual developer conference, in San Francisco on June 27, 2012.

Google Glass isn’t out yet but the backlash is already spreading.

Saturday Night Live mocked the wearble computer on a recent show and blogs like “Jesus Christ, Silicon Valley” and “White Men Wearing Google Glass” are making the rounds.

And there’s a new term being coined for the techies wearing them, “Glassholes,” says Geoff Nunberg, a professor at UC Berkeley School of Information.

“Glassholes is a rather rude way of what we can say is the idea that these people are walking around present physically but mentally and spiritually elsewhere,” Nunberg explains.

Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research, says this attitude is making his fellow-analysts nervous about the commercial viability of Google Glass. But Chowdhry says, we’re all missing the point.

“What Google is doing with Google Glass is that they’re seeding the innovation seeds in a completely new space,” he said.

Chowdhry says Google Glass could very well fail. But the effort is already sparking a market for “wearable computers” and it will probably lead to technological advances that can be monetized later.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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