Porn and six other things you can't do with Google Glass

Will a clampdown on Google Glass functions hurt its viability?

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Google Glass isn't ready for prime time, but already the Internet-connected headgear is one of the most restricted, policed, and limited pieces of consumer technology out there. Google Glass has amazing potential. It offers hands-free access to navigation, video, photos, googling and much more. But its future and success beyond the nerdy cheerleaders using Glass today is still an unknown.

 


(Image Credit: Digitalafro)

Just as with the iPhone and Android smartphone, the success of Google Glass will be largely defined by its killer apps. Developers are just now getting their feet wet creating Twitter, New York Times, and Facebook apps. But Google Glass app makers have an enormous tightrope to walk as they try to unlock the unique and full potential of Google Glass without unleashing a firestorm of critics. Privacy and decency come to the forefront of concerns. No doubt you've heard the controversy around the pornographic app made by MiKandi and Google's subsequent banning of it.

With new tech comes new responsibilities, both from the private and public sectors. But I do ponder if we knew half the crazy and disgusting things that take place on the Internet today would we have tried to ban them 15 years ago. Well actually lawmakers did.

In the 1996s lawmakers, motivated partly by the amount of smut on the Internet, came up with the Communications Decency Act. The act was passed in 1997, but the decency provision that pertained to the Internet was challenged ( Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union ) and portions were eventually overturned. Free speech advocates argued the bill would have a chilling effect on speech and the availability of medical information online. One of the arguments big tech companies made against the CDA was that it would stifle.

I'm not advocating an anything-goes for Google Glass - not by a long shot. I applaud Google and Google Glass watchdogs for putting a bright spotlight on the recent legal, privacy, and decency debates. But there is a voice inside of me that wonders; if Google (and others) keeps placing restriction on what Google Glass developers can experiment on might they stunt the technology before it has a chance grow.

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