By Max Greenberg
The Google Glass Verdict: The Refinement of Distracted Living (and Driving)Uploaded: Jan 17, 2014
Dateline: San Diego. A traffic court tore up a citation received by a driver who had been wearing the soon-to-be-available-to-the-masses Google Glass when she was cited for going 85 mph and charged with what amounts to distracted driving. The court commissioner said the anti-technology policeman who issued the ticket couldn't offer enough proof that she had broken the law "beyond a reasonable doubt." The lucky driver was one of 30,000 "explorers" who are trying out the glasses, a regular Lewis & Clark they be. The cop claimed the eyewear was blocking her peripheral vision, otherwise she would have seen his police car as she passed it going 85. Now, that last point I find a little hard to believe, that she was going 85. She was driving a Prius after all.
It seems it would be reasonable to assume she may have been wearing those glasses while she was driving because: A) She wanted to be ready at any time to read an incoming email (as she, and many of us have been programmed to do) and she may have possibly had at least one email come in that she was actually reading during the time she was driving, and/or B) She was checking out the map on the tiny video screen. Is it also reasonable to assume that if she wasn't doing both of those things, she might have had the GG neatly folded and placed in what most likely is a nifty titanium GG custom-made case that will be available for an additional charge when GG is finally unleashed on the public?
The judge said the cop was speculating in terms of what the pioneer was doing wearing those glasses since he had never worn a pair himself (Had the judge? Maybe the judge was also part of the 30K pioneer cabal?)
I know, I know, you can't slow technology (especially around these parts) and Google's mission statement says something about doing no harm. Besides the inherent danger of distracted driving, or distracted walking and crossing the street, is there no end to distracted living? I know it's a personal choice, but with enough reckless, speeding, already-distracted-by-texting-putting-on-makeup-talking-on-the-phone-eating-spilling-McDonald's-hot-coffee-on-your-lap driving going on, GG could be the ultimate distracted driving method yet devised. And I personally am a little nervous about getting hit by a car where the driver was doing everything humanly and technologically possible to not pay attention to the road.
Is it too late to stop the mass accumulation and processing of the data the 30,000 pioneers are producing and the resultant spinning of the results to "prove" they present no danger on the road? Most likely. But if I do get hit by a GG-wearing driver, at least I will be comforted by knowing that I can sue the software and hardware manufacturer. Of course, I can always move to Delaware, New Jersey or W. Virginia where the Neanderthals are close to banning GG specifically.
On another note: I was in Safeway this morning, bought 2 bananas and the total was 49 cents. The checker was wearing a 49er jersey. You do the math...