Google Glass is an optical display designed in the shape of regular spectacles, with the end result being the perfect computer, directly accessible to the wearer at all times. The wearer of Google Glass spectacles could communicate with the Internet at all times, using natural voice commands, and thus be able to access the wealth of the Internet, literally without the touch of a button. In addition to being permanently connected to the Internet, Google Glass eyewear also has a camera attached to it, enabling the wearer to record anything, and at any time.
The Google Glass spectacles were first introduced as Glass Explorers and brought to the market in the United States of America in 2013, but became available to the general public in 2014.
The Google Glass eyewear has continually received criticism due to privacy and safety issues.
Privacy and Google Glass
Given the Google Glass eyewear’s immense power to access a wealth of information at a simple command, and the ability to record anything within sight for the wearer’s personal use without any jurisdiction, there have been numerous concerns raised with regards to privacy and safety concerns. There is no legislation in place to regulate Google Glass eyewear, and even if there were, it would be hard to enforce given that Google Glass eyewear is owned by individuals and not organisations.
Google Glass and Casinos
Given the above-mentioned privacy and safety concerns, numerous casinos have prohibited the use of Google Glass eyewear in their spaces. The Google Glass eyewear, since it is able to record video footage, take photographs and browse the Internet, has been criticised as being able to help players cheat at card games such as Blackjack.
Even if wearers were not cheating, it would be difficult to enforce a rule that would prevent them from cheating, seeing as they would have the means to do so. Hence, it has been easier to ban Google Glass eyewear from casinos than to merely restrict their use within casinos. In addition, even if the glasses were not used for cheating, it would be difficult to control public opinion and uphold the integrity of the casino in question.
Atlantic City in New Jersey was the first casino hub that banned the use of Google Glass eyewear in their spaces, and other hubs such as Las Vegas quickly followed suit.
Other Recording Devices
It is, however, not only the Google Glass eyewear’s power to connect to the Internet that has caused them to be banned. Indeed, recording devices of any nature are not allowed in casino spaces, and any photography or video filming in casinos will require advance notice and approval from the gaming enforcement division. While this is a lot harder to control with the rise of smart phones that are so capable of doing just that, it is still easier to spot someone taking a photo or recording on their smart phone device, as they physically have to hold the device to do so. There is no such tell-tale sign in the case of Google Glass eyewear. This is another reason for Google Glass eyewear being banned in casino establishments.
The Future of Google Glass
While, for now, production of Google Glass eyewear has been put on hold, Google is well aware of the possible threats of privacy and safety concerns their technology poses. This is something they will have to think about carefully and take into account in future designs, as it is ultimately the goal to introduce technology that can advance human life without posing such risks.