Skip to content
Culture & Religion

How Wearable Computers Will Improve the Culture

Google’s new glasses, which work like a hands-free smartphone, will continue to erase technological barriers to entering modern culture. Our storytelling ability stands to benefit greatly. 

What’s the Latest Development?


Technology developers can now purchase Google’s glasses, which work like a hands-free smartphone to display information, such as websites and emails, in your natural field of vision. Google’s Project Glass, which developed the glasses, is significant because it represents a new generation of wearable electronics, effectively getting technology out of our way so we can enjoy its benefits, rather than being beholden to them. Instead of constantly looking at our mobile devices, as we do now, the next generation of devices will look at us and anticipate what we want. 

What’s the Big Idea?

Bits blog writer Nick Bolton says Google’s Project Glass will revolutionize our culture just as the motion picture did. The genius of the motion picture was its ability to erase barriers to entering the culture which were first erected by the book, barriers such as age, education, literacy and intelligence. “All these things share one distinct trait,” said Bolton. “A theme that has helped usher in new technologies since people drew on cave walls: storytelling. Storytelling for information and communication.” By making technological interfaces more seamless, our storytelling abilities will improve, and along with it, our culture.

Photo credit: Project Glass


Related
The idea of forgery resonates more than ever today in a culture in which “the open exchange of ideas has been rebranded as piracy.” 
It’s plain to see that I’m an optimist, sometimes more than is socially comfortable. The ease with which I dismiss the disastrous economic decline above serves as one example of that. I wrote that the recession will benefit our political system, and, before I cut this line, as having “rewarded our company for methodical execution and ruthless efficiency by removing competitors from the landscape.” I make no mention of the disastrous effects on millions of people, and the great uncertainty that grips any well-briefed mind, because it truly doesn’t stand in the foreground of my mind (despite suffering personal loss of wealth). Our species is running towards a precipice with looming dangers like economic decline, political unrest, climate crisis, and more threatening to grip us as we jump off the edge, but my optimism is stronger now than ever before. On the other side of that looming gap are extraordinary breakthroughs in healthcare, communications technology, access to space, human productivity, artistic creation and literally hundreds of fields. With the right execution and a little bit of luck we’ll all live to see these breakthroughs — and members of my generation will live to see dramatically lengthened life-spans, exploration and colonization of space, and more opportunity than ever to work for passion instead of simply working for pay. Instead of taking this space to regale you with the many personal and focused changes I intend to make in 2009, let me rather encourage you to spend time this year thinking, as I’m going to, more about what we can do in 2009 to positively affect the future our culture will face in 2020, 2050, 3000 and beyond.

Up Next