NEW YORK —
Instead of looking at the world through a new lens on a crowded rush-hour sidewalk. I felt as if the whole world was looking at me. That’s no small feat in New York, where even celebrities are afforded a sense of privacy and where making eye contact with strangers can amount to an entire conversation.
But that’s just one side of wearing Google Glass.
The other side is exhilarating. Glass is getting some bad press lately. Some bars and coffee shops in Silicon Valley and Seattle have banned Google Glass, for example, and federal authorities in Ohio interrogated a man earlier this year after he was suspected of recording a movie with the device. Last month, Google put out a Glass etiquette guide that includes the appeal “don’t be creepy or rude.”
But the truth is that it’s a groundbreaking device, even if it doesn’t take off, even if it evolves into something completely different, even if we laugh at it 10 years from now while driving our flying cars in the skies of Manhattan.
I strolled around for a few hours with the cyborg glasses, happily snapping photos. With a mere wink, I captured snowy Lower Manhattan streetscapes and my reflection in the grimy subway-car windows.
There were some whispers. (“Did you see? Google Glass!”) There were some comments as I squeezed into the subway with my fellow commuters —comparisons to the Segway scooter, and a warning that it will prove to be a huge battery drainer if I use my iPhone to connect Glass to the Internet.
For more human interaction, I walked into a small macaroon shop to buy a friend some birthday sweets. Alone but for the store clerks, I fumbled to take them off, find a place to put them on the small counter and get my wallet out of my bag.