InAPPropriate (Get it?)
Quite possibly the least sexy tech accessory in existence today is making a splash among the easily startled. Like something from Star Trek, Google Glass smart eyewear is like the goofy contraption worn by Geordi La Forge, though it does not have the ability to give sight to blind – at least, not yet. What it can do is freak out people who have immense fear of privacy invasion.
With applications like NameTag making headlines on sites like E! Entertainment, people who live in constant fear of being exploited have a new reason to sit inside with blinds closed and doors locked. The “savvy” E! writer put his spin on the NameTag application that uses a database of face pictures to identify virtually any person and further link to information floating about the internet pertaining to the individual. Though this was later corrected by Google as an application that is not allowed on the platform, it is certainly a possibility.
Consider that Google has developed their platform to include the ability to search by image. By scouring the internet for matching parameters of a photo or graphic, it will populate various results. It certainly works, but it doesn’t quite have the ability to identify everything at this point in time. Check it out:
Clearly, a mustache is the perfect disguise or I’m more androgynous than I thought.
However, by uploading an indexed photo, you will be discovered.
Currently, efforts are underway to compile information into large databases for the sake of creating high-availability, publically accessible records. Take a look at Spokeo – a large controversy is surrounding this site as it can find email addresses, residential records, phone numbers and more just by searching by a person’s name and current or previous city of residence. Try your own name and see what comes up. If this bothers you, it is possible to opt out by following these instructions.
Not allowed, but…
Google said “no” to facial recognition technology that can identify a person and consolidate known information into an application that, quite literally, places data directly in front the Google Glass wearers. However, just because Google won’t allow it doesn’t mean that technology is not available.
Surely you’ve encountered the words ‘jailbreak’ and ‘root’ for iOS and Android platforms, respectively, that describes the process of gaining root access to hardware then installs a modified, less restrictive operating system (or ROM) to the device. By modifying the code, parameters that restrict access to certain features of the system are disabled. It’s only a matter of time before someone figures out how to do this to Google Glass. Actually, it’s already happened.
All smartphone platforms have regulations for the application store. Anything deemed inappropriate is banned from mainstream circulation. Hence the reason people root their smartphones – they want to lurk in the underworld of weird and tasteless applications. Below is one potentially disturbing and one potentially useful application I imagined, both of which are completely (well, mostly) feasible for a rooted Google Glass device.
- Panty Finder – If you’ve ever lived with a female or cross dresser who buys from Victoria’s Secret, you know the company mails about 50 of their high quality catalogs to your house a month. It’s no wonder their products cost more than items with hundreds of times more fabric. These catalogs could very well be the perfect foundation for a super creepy app.
- Imagine, if you will, some technologically savvy, socially awkward teenager takes it upon himself to put these images and other similar catalogs into a database. Code is written to analyze every geometric aspect of every undergarment imaginable. Integrate that with power of Google Glass and viola – “Nerd Vision 1.0” is born. After a few seconds of awkwardly checking out your goodies, some J-Pop loving, acne covered geek erupts into giggle fits because he now knows the brand, size and type of undies you’re rocking today (if any at all.)
- For the ladies, you may have wandered back to some charming fellow’s dwelling only to find yourself underwhelmed by the equipment he’s been keeping under wraps all night. But not anymore. After enough crotch-watching data is amassed, Stacy will know exactly what she’s in for before she staggers out of the bar with yet another douchebag from the club. Now, you don’t have talk about his goods in earshot of the adjacent table during brunch who are only there for the hair of the dog, wanting nothing more than to knock back a couple Bloody Marys.
- Digital Warrior – Know anyone who spent a great deal of time studying and comprehending real martial arts? No, not your buddy who received a bogus black belt in two years from an ATA Tae Kwon Do “school.” I mean actual, highly-trained people with applicable knowledge of self-defense execution.
- When in a potentially threatening situation, such people take stock of their surroundings, in particular, by identifying certain parameters about prospectively dangerous people in their environment. Before kinesiology was identified as a science, these disciplines developed strategy based on qualitative data that determines the scope of potential attacks a person may utilize. An unstable or threatening person’s movements, posture, dominant hand, body structure, eye movement, emotional demeanor and other data are assessed such that should a situation occur, the person can be efficiently dispatched (hopefully) before bodily damage is sustained.
- Should this data be quantified and integrated into a Google Glass app, the shy kid who’s been bullied one too many times could turn the tables. With the aid of an app that highlights an attacker’s weak points and further provides direction to divert the momentum of an attack, a normally vulnerable person may be able to escape by blocking unwanted physical contact and follow up by striking the weakest, most accessible point of the body. Purple nurples could be reduced by as much as 80% nationwide as some know these situations unfortunately cannot always be resolved in an intelligent, peaceful manner.
Now, every time you see someone rocking this aesthetically appalling device, emotions beyond remorse will dance around in your brain. Fear will fill your body as you won’t know whether a Google Glass donning weirdo is assessing your wardrobe, about to break your kneecap or just reading some stupid list on BuzzFeed.