Following a talk given at this year’s Learning Technologies event by David Kelly of the E-learning Guild, John Helmer looks at the phenomenon of Google Glass and its potential as a learning technology.
It might not be in any dictionary other than the Urban Dictionary yet, but with an official release of Google Glass rumoured for later this year, the word ‘Glasshole’ could well be a candidate for Oxford’s Word of the Year by 2015. Or maybe not. For like any new piece of tech that arrives on a wave of hype, Google Glass is currently everything and nothing: it might prove the ground-breaking, game-changing breakthrough in human/computer interaction it is hailed as – or might just as likely end up in the lumber room of innovations-that-were-supposed-to-change-our-lives-but-didn’t, along with the video phone, the Segway and the Sinclair C5.
Sadly perhaps, the deciding factor will most likely not be its level of technical excellence or otherwise, but the degree to which it wins public acceptability in use – the coining of the term ‘Glasshole’, and that term’s popularity on Twitter as a hash tag, being a strong indication that this might not be all plain sailing.
The future, as the prophet says, is unwritten. But David Kelly of the E-learning Guild, for one – who has trialed Google Glass in beta and spoke memorably about his experiences at this year’s Learning Technologies – will no doubt be less than happy if it turns out to be a flash in the pan. Because Google Glass, in his opinion, looks like a really useful tool for learning.