Wearable Tech World Feature Article
April 26, 2013

Google's Schmidt Says Google Glasses Users Will Need to Follow Common-Sense Etiquette

That company executives should be careful to tout their products and services all the time is conventional wisdom, but a little honesty does go a long way in building goodwill and respect. Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, has reportedly been using a pair of the company’s prototype Google Glasses wearable computing device, and he has expressed some opinions on the common-sense use of the glasses under certain circumstances.

The glasses use speech recognition technology to enable wearers to navigate via voice command. In a recent talk at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Schmidt admitted that talking out loud to a pair of smart glasses is "the weirdest thing," Reuters is reporting today.

"There are obviously places where Google Glasses are inappropriate," said Schmidt, who noted that wearers will need to follow common-sense rules of etiquette about where they can “talk” to the glasses and where they should not. Given the type of etiquette many mobile phone users follow in public – none at all – we will have to hope Google Glasses users will be more sensitive.

Wearers of the new Google Glasses should refrain, for example, from interacting with them during religious services, solemn meetings and perhaps first meetings with a significant other’s family members.

Google Glasses are expected to become available to software developers later this year, but they are not expected to hit the consumer market until 2014. Google will pre-approve all apps designed for the glasses, at least initially, rather than allow them to be included indiscriminately in the open Google Play marketplace.

One Google Glasses app is already up and running, and is presumably being enjoyed by the few people with prototypes. Mashable’s Stan Schroeder reported this week that the official New York Times Google Glass app lets users get breaking news alerts and hourly news updates, with the option to have article summaries read aloud.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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