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February 26, 2013
Google Glass: Any Hazard Potential?
 
You have to wonder what the public relations of Google glasses might be. Fun or queasy? First off, as Google launches its Explorers program of hardy, deep-pocketed test users, it's now apparent that Google glasses aren't really glasses, but a frame for a mini camera that fits over glasses, if you wear them. Hence their test launch name as Google Glass. They appear to be marvelous gadgets, but what interests us most is that they might spell, "DISTRACTION."

That is, the human eye is for seeing, not filming. At least not when the body is moving and engaged in the very activity, possibly, that the eyes are filming. We don't know how long Google Glass can film before running out of digital "film." Fairly short bursts might help assuage our early concern.

Google itself doesn't seem to have any great qualms over the distraction potential of Glass. Its Terms for its intrepid 8,000 Explorers (if it actually recruits that many test users willing to fork out $1,500 for the privilege) aren't of any unusual length. The "Warranty and Indemnity" paragraph seems focused on the Glass application and website, on the "tapes" that will be produced, not on Glass itself. So we may well be expressing needless jitters born of ignorance. But aren't PR people supposed to look at what could be on the hazardous side of anything? Consider this our duty. 

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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