For example, a few years back, while in Warsaw, I spent a few hours looking for the remaining wall of the Jewish ghetto, which turned out to be inside an apartment courtyard and really, was just a brick wall. There was nothing there to signify what it was and certainly nothing there to give you the story and significance of the wall. It was just a wall. I could imagine the conversation I would've had with my then 9 year daughter if I dragged her around for a few hours only to show her a wall.
Google Glass and other similar technologies might've given me the chance to give her more details about what the wall stood for; what happened there and why remembering what happened there is important, even for people like me who aren't Jewish.
The main complaint about Glass right now seems to be the taking of pictures - every location that has banned Glass has cited "we don't want our customers to feel like they're being filmed." But really, if I wanted to secretly film someone, there's a lot more efficient and cheaper ways to do it. I mean, I can easily take out my cell phone and secretly record people if that was my intent. The one time I was asked to take off Glass due to the picture issue, the tables on either side of me were taking pictures non-stop, yet they weren't stopped. How do I know they weren't secretly recording me? So, if you're worried about pictures, then ban taking pictures. I'm OK with it, as impractical as I think it is today. But if that's your concern, then don't pin the blame on one device.
As I've written about before, I've used the my Glass to record things like dance concerts and school performances and in that environment, I wish everyone had Glass. I'm tired of watching events through the screen of the phone (or sometimes even the iPad of the person in front of me) and I can assure you that's for more annoying than me using Glass to record the show. All I have to do is watch and I capture the video, it's actually pretty sweet! Take a look at the video below I shot of a dance performance using Glass. It's pretty good video and I didn't have to block other people's views to record it.
Lastly, and I admit I'm being very snarky here, but do people really think that what they are doing is so worthy of being immortalized (despite their protests to the contrary), that I would spend $1500 just to capture what they're doing and share it with the world? Really?
Listen, I don't take pictures of people in any different way than I would take pictures with a phone or camera. When I'm taking a picture of a specific person, its because they asked and they know what I'm doing. I take lots of crowd and "place" pictures, but again I don't use Glass any different than any other photo capture tool. Perhaps people just don't remember when cell phones were banned everywhere once they got cameras. We've mainly adjusted to how ubiquitous cell phone cameras are today. Sometimes people abuse them, but that's not about the device, it's about the person.
I also wonder how much of what's happening is more about generating PR for the company or person vs something that's really an issue. From what I've found, there's somewhere between 3,500 and 5,000 restaurants in the Bay area. About 19 have banned Glass and when they do, they seem to get press. It's a good way to gain attention in a crowded restaurant market (that and artisanal toast, apparently the latest "trend" to hit SF). Because if you were really worried about people taking pictures, you would ban that, not a specific camera.
I do understand that people aren't sure what the market is for Glass, although, given how few are out there, my guess is that most of the people questioning Glass have either not tried them at all or have had pretty limited exposure to them. When I'm wearing them, most people tell me they don't get them, but as soon as they try them on, they get all excited about the possibilities.
But my bigger point is that people said that about cell phones at first and the tablet market had been around for probably a decade and most people questioned their value. Now look at both the mobile and tablet markets. I'd say people found uses for them.
So, maybe this iteration isn't right. It's certainly much too expensive right now to be a big, consumer product. But the price will drop, more people will make them and we'll find more and more uses for them. And one day, my grandchildren will wonder how we ever survived without a heads-up display that they'll use every day.