Google Glass is proof that bad PR can truly last a life time. The social stigma of wearing Glass is so great, that even the Daily Show with Jon Stewart ran a segment on the issue. In typical satirical fashion, correspondent Jason Jones starts the segment with a discussion of discrimination in America throughout history. He then launches into one of the most deadly accurate and seriously scathing criticisms of Glass yet.
The action really starts when Jones sits down in front of what looks like a support group for Glass Explorers. They tell him tales of woe, all of which he politely responds to with expressions of sympathy. Then he realized exactly why these innocent-looking people are being discriminated against, mugged, thrown out of bars, denied service, and hated daily: They were all wearing Glass.
“So that’s what this is about?” he asks incredulously.
And that is when things get really snarky.
“Even in this day and age,” Jones says in the voice-over. “You can still be treated differently just because of how you look – wearing a $1,500 face computer.”
As he listens to the infamous story of Sarah Slocum, a tech writer who was assaulted and kicked out of San Francisco bar in February, Jones points out the obvious flaw in her argument that she wasn’t invading anyone’s privacy.
He reflects that it’s terrifically sad that Glass wearers must suffer,”all because people thought they were being surreptitiously filmed – which sometimes they were.”
At another point during the segment, Jones asks the group why they put themselves through this. He wonders aloud, why they can’t just use their smartphones instead. One brave Explorer says that Glass works like “an interface between you and the real world,” to which Jones replies, almost indignantly, “Do you guys hear yourselves when you’re talking? ‘Interface between you and the real world?’ Those are called ‘eyes.’”
To top it all off, Jones decides to make his own Google Glass, “since $1,500 is roughly the down payment on a new car.” As you might expect, his wonky creation consists of a disposable camera, smartphone, mic headset, and a wire head dress of some kind – from which the gadgets are suspended – doesn’t work too well.
Thoroughly disgusted, Jones advises the group to just take Glass off. The group replies that they are Explorers and they won’t give up on the technology, in spite of its obvious downside. Upon hearing the term “Explorer” for the first time, Jones decides it’s time to put them in their place.
“Magellan was an explorer. Chuck Jaeger was an explorer,” he says slowly. “You guys have a f***ing camera on your face.”
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