(Ray Kurzweil was hired by Google late last year, and we were told that he works in building 42, but I did wonder if that was no more than a jokey reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)
When I told Eryka, our charming Google staffer guide, that the first group of Google Glass users are now able to invite their friends to join the second wave, she gasped and reached for her phone to see if she could snag an invite.
The excitement generated by Glass is palpable here in northern California, and not without reason: placing the functionality of our smartphones permanently within eyesight is an important step in our progress towards our cyborg future. Not everybody likes the prospect, though, and already the early adopters are being labelled “Glassholes”.
At the moment, opposition to Glass is usually based on the supposed threat to privacy. Assuming that Glass and its competitors and successors become commonplace, we will all have to get used to the possibility that we are being inadvertently photographed or video-ed a good deal of the time when we are in a public place.
But the dislike of Glass is more visceral than that. Glass is an important milestone in the gradual process whereby we merge with our machines. This process is not without danger, and perhaps at some instinctive level, a lot of people understand this – although they may well have no clear idea why.