Could it be that the average person didn’t appreciate the feeling of being spied upon by Google Glass users (also known as ‘glass-holes’)? Whatever it was, Google has decided to stop selling Glass to put focus on versions of Glass for the future. Fair enough. So, where is Glass headed?
Who’s Looking At You
Word on the tech streets says the Google Glass project will be moved under Tony Fadell’s Nest home automation business unit. Fadell is often called the godfather of the iPod and a former Apple engineer who founded Nest, later bought by Google.
Google Glass was basically personal spyware so I can see how it would dovetail nicely with the home automation tricks Fadell has up his sleeve for Nest and Dropcam, also a new Google acquisition.
If the handwriting’s not on the wall and clear enough for you to see that Google is pushing the personal spyware envelope, it’s definitely out there, looking, listening, monitoring, and ready for you to buy, install, and be spied upon ad nauseam, 24/7.
Hello? Nest, the learning thermostat, meets Dropcam the personal spy cam, meets Google Glass and gets eyes and ears and applications. What could go wrong with that marriage?
Remember all those cool motion-control and monitoring systems in Xbox 360? It was called Kinect and it worked well all the way into Xbox One. Apple bought the company so it makes sense that not only will we see a new Apple TV in the future, it’s also likely than a new Apple TV will see us, too.
Like it or don’t, a mashup of ‘I, Robot‘ and Skynet appears to be on the horizon of the internet of things, fueled by competition between Google, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and others who want us to pay for the future privilege of being spied upon, all in the name of techno gadgets that are coming to help us.
If ever Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics needed to be embedded into every device that uses electricity and is part of the internet of things, it is now.
- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Personally, I liked Asimov’s add-on prequel rule, often called the Zeroth Law.
A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm.
Google Glass may be gone, for now, but I have a feeling we’ll see something similar in the not too distant future. I worry that that future will see us before we see it.