Thanks for Publishing my photo and a comment: Assaulted with Google Glass

Reporter: “I was assaulted for wearing Google Glass” in San Francisco | Ars Technica

I’m always happy to have publications use my photographs, and this is no exception (they are all creative commons licensed).

I just noticed the irony of the two uses this week, once about the impending public sale of the devices (Thanks for publishing my photo: Google Glass Available to Anyone in the U.S. — for One Day Only | Ted Eytan, MD), and this story.

The discussion around the assault on the link above is fascinating. The motive of the assaulter in San Francisco can only be speculated. These are my reflections:

Safe use of technology in public? View ‘Glass Photoshoot DC 27401’ on Flickr.com

Safe use of expensive technology in public, well discussed in the comments in the link above. I recall that my “Sky Blue” team encouraged me to wear Glass out with me into the Chelsea neighborhood and I decided not to. Not because of New York, just because of having one more thing to distract me in an unfamiliar part of the world. I probably wouldn’t wear Glass in many parts of Washington, DC, either. Truth be told, the photograph that I took in June, 2013 captures a gentleperson who was walking toward me, and in my opinion was viewing the technology with more than casual interest. I’ll never know what their motive was, as I quickly left the area. This happened, though, when I was completely focused on the technology, I can’t imagine what would have happened if I was focused on something else.

The makeup of the Glass community itself. I discussed this previously in: Photo Friday: Google Glass V2 – My 6 months with Google Glass | Ted Eytan, MD

Back to the story in Whole Foods above, when we look to see how useful Glass is, it’s a study in selection bias. The kind of person who’s wearing Glass right now is the kind of person who’s enthusiastic about exploring using Google Glass. Part misfit, part innovator, part zealot, part luminary, part rebel, part “cognitive dissident”.

Due to the way the device has been distributed, I think there’s a reasonable conclusion to be made that the behavior of the group everywhere impacts at some level the way the technology is received anywhere. As I said in the blog post above, there’s a responsibility to support responsible behavior, so that an innocent user of the technology isn’t the recipient of misplaced anxiety.

Most importantly, I’m glad he’s okay. This is a good conversation to have.

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