Today, ABC and the AFP were reporting on curious new research coming out of the US. The scientists studied the effects of wearing the ‘Google Glass’ device, which looks like a pair of sunglasses. The researchers found that users were facing increased danger due to their inability to perceive their surroundings.
In particular, users were found to have significantly diminished peripheral view. Large blind spots were found on the user’s right side, the operational side of the product. Distracted by online access and other applications, the wearer can often become disoriented and impaired in terms of vision. This could result in unseen dangers related to driving, walking on the street and generally engaging in real life.
Though the sample for the survey was limited to only three users, the report’s authors were able to publish their fascinating findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Their scientific tests proved that there was “significant” impairment on the right side, where the bulk of the mini-computer is centred.
Speaking to the dangers of new technologies, Dr. Tsontcho Lanchulev (leader of the University of California, San Francisco team who produced the report) discussed the merits of their research: “To our knowledge, this is the first evaluation of the effect of wearable electronics with head-mounted display on vision. The device created a clinically meaningful visual field obstruction in the upper right quadrant.”
In response, Google released statements asserting the ‘tried and tested’ nature of their research into the product. “Safety is extremely important to the Glass team so from the beginning we have worked closely with a range of experts to develop a device that is safe for use,” a spokesperson told ABC.
Though the product has been out for a while, the ‘Google Glass’ phenomenon has yet to take hold. Prospective buyers have questioned the practicality of the device, which looks cool but may ultimately result in very little. Other factors (like concerns over privacy) have also dominated discussion of the once-vaunted product.
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