Wednesday Buzz: Google Glass’ Vision Problem

A new study suggests you might be a walking or driving hazard with the wearable computing device on your face. Also: the value of a long-term thinking exercise.

Google Glass may be the future of computing, but be sure to watch for blind spots.

A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concerning the results of a small study suggests that the device could prove dangerous for both wearers and the people around them.

A study, led by University of California, San Francisco, professor Tsontcho Ianchulev, compared the field of vision for Glass wearers to that for people wearing traditional glasses. The results weren’t promising.

“The device created a clinically meaningful visual field obstruction in the upper right quadrant,” the paper stated.

In comments to The New York Times, Google had a response to this finding: Duh.

“Put on your favorite shades, glasses, baseball hat, or hoodie, and you’ll quickly see that this study tells us what we already know; wearing something on your face or head may affect your peripheral vision,” a company spokesperson told the Times in an email. “From the beginning, the Glass team has worked closely with a range of experts to develop a device that is safe for use, and after extensive study they have not found any safety issues when it’s used correctly.”

Nonetheless, caution might be in order if you plan to wear the device as you stroll around on a tradeshow floor.

Think Beyond the Now

Speaking of vision, it’s often important to look ahead to what’s on the horizon—even if the horizon isn’t crystal clear.

Consultant Meredith Low is thinking about that as she conducts research on an industry under a lot of pressure these days. She suggests a deep-thinking exercise to ponder the issues that your association will face in the long term.

“If you fast-forward a decade, what will the person doing your job—whether that’s you personally or not—have to contend with? What will still be true?” she writes. “What will be over and done with? What will be long since forgotten? What might be loud and resounding, which may now be just a tiny whisper in your ear? What will you, your organization, or your sector have to have finally sat down and addressed?”

You can’t plan for everything, but you can at least ponder and envision it. It might help you find a fresh path. (ht @LowMeredith)

Other notable Links

Feel like you’re constantly checking your phone? This app might help you kick the habit. Checky runs in the background and tells you—shames you, really—about how often you pick up your phone. Lifehacker has more details.

Office user? Dropbox user? If you’re both, this integration may be the greatest thing ever.

Looking to drive engagement at your events through video? Event Manager Blog can help.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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