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The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Geek-chic wearable tech is fashion faux-pas for others

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
Cynthia Bear Heart

Humans and technology have always been pretty tight; it’s kind of our thing.

People are now pulling closer than ever to their electronic buddies. As a result, a lot of wearable technology is creeping it’s way into the mainstream, and some people are pushing back—literally.

Sarah Slocum, tech writer and early adaptor of the wearable computer with head-mounted display, Google Glass, “was attacked at a bar on Haight Street (San Francisco, Calf.) after refusing to stop wearing (Glass),” reported the LA Times , on Feb. 26, 2014.

Apparently, contrary to most Facebook feeds, some people don’t like their photo taken in bars. And they really dislike not being able to tell if you’re taking a picture of them.

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That’s one major issue Google Glass presents when worn in public—the possibility of snapping a photo of whatever, or whoever, you’re looking at leaving them none the wiser. And that really gets some people worked up.

While visiting Molotov’s Bar in San Francisco, Slocum happily showed off the device to patrons keen enough to spot it.

When a few bar hoppers noticed the eyewear and got worried about the potential of pictures being taken they started to harass Slocum, the LA Times said.

The situation escalated when one idiot threw a punch. Luckily, Google Glass is voice controlled… just call for it by its affectionate nickname “Glass,” followed by a command like, “take video of jerks harassing me,” and voilàInstant evidence.

Slocum managed to record them before things got too out of hand, and someone ripped the Google Glass off her face and fled the scene.

A whole slew of wearable tech is popping up on the market. Wristwatches, like “Pebble” show important information from your smartphone at a glance, and there is a ring that turns your finger into a Bluetooth remote-wand so you can change channels on your television.

There is even clothing and tattoos that can track your vitals and technologically advanced musical instruments.

Wearable tech really is no new concept. Think about the clock—we took that off the wall and put it on our wrists—or if you’re cool enough, around your neck like “Flavor Flav.” This happened over a century ago, and now it’s commonplace, if not old school.

The hands free headset, pacemaker and litany of medical devices that interact with the human body are all wearable tech as well. Now, for the most part, there is no widespread objection to these any longer.

All of this rapid progress scares people if they don’t understand it, especially if it has the possibility of recording anything about us in this National Security Agency spying, Facebook-phishing, world of paranoia we live in.

New technology takes time to assimilate into the mainstream, and regardless of how we may feel about its implications, it’s coming.

With a mission statement like, “producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer,” coming from a tech gargantuan like Google, it’s hard not to see an augmented future through the Glass.

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