Google has posted a “dos and don’ts” guide for users of its Google Glass wearable computer. Google refers to these pioneering users as “Explorers,” while the rest of the world refers to them as “Is that thing on? Are you recording me?” The guide tells Glass-wearers how to integrate with a hostile society that isn’t yet accustomed to volunteer agents of the Great Google Data Mine roaming in their midst. And it does so using refreshingly down-to-earth language—Google even uses the word “Glasshole.” That’s a change of pace for a company whose corporate communications usually rank high on the creep scale, like the time Google bought Motorola and all the other Android phone makers had cheerful, suspiciously similar reactions to the news.
The tips in the guide are practical if occasionally esoteric. (Don’t wear Google Glass while water skiing: Now you know.) Google advises Glass users to ask for permission before recording anyone because “standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends”—which, coincidentally, was the title of Dale Carnegie’s second book. The most notable tip is the last one, in which Google explicitly tells people not to “be creepy or rude”:
Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.
The guide also notes that people are going to be curious if you’re wearing Glass, so “if you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag.” Although if you’re wearing a computer on your eye, your dinner wasn’t that romantic in the first place. [via The New York Times]
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