Google wants its Google Glass devices to prosper, so it just released a sort of "etiquette guide" online to help users avoid offending others when using Glass in public places.
Reports from around the nation have occasionally made headlines when bars, restaurants and other public facilities have posted signs inside their establishments banning the use of Google Glass due to privacy and other issues. A derogatory name for inconsiderate Glass users has even been inspired online—"Glassholes."
To prevent such problems, Google's etiquette guide for Glass Explorer users includes lists of "do's" and "don'ts" when it comes to using Glass devices around other people.
Since April 2013, when the first Glass devices began shipping to early users, dubbed "Glass Explorers," those users "have gotten a lot of attention when they wear Glass out and about," the guide states. "Reactions range from the curious—'Wow! Are those the Google glasses? How do they work?'—to the suspect—'Goodness gracious do those things see into my soul?' Luckily as the Explorer Community grows, so does their collective wisdom."
With all of those observations in mind, Google asked its existing Glass Explorers, numbering between 8,000 to 10,000, to provide their advice for using Glass so that their experiences are positive.
Here are the hints on the guide's "Do's" list:
Explore the world around you by using Glass to "engage with the world around you rather than look down and be distracted from it." It can also be used to "[h]ave a hangout with your friends, get walking directions to a fantastic new restaurant, or get an update on that delayed flight."
Take advantage of the Glass voice commands to "free your hands up to do other things like golfing, cooking, or juggling flaming torches while balancing on a beach ball," the guide states. "This is great for looking up how many ounces in a cup while you cook, or taking a one-of-a-kind photo from your unique perspective."
Ask for permission to use Glass when around other people or in a social setting, public place or other destination. "Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends. The Glass camera function is no different from a cell phone so behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others."
Use the screen lock on Glass to prevent others from using it without your permission. "If you ever lose your device or have it stolen by a budding online resale entrepreneur, you can turn off Glassware and perform a remote wipe (e.g. factory reset) of the device, removing all your information from the device. All you need to do is go to your MyGlass page on your browser, or the MyGlass App on your phone."
Be an active and vocal member of the Glass Explorer Community, where users can "give feedback, share content and communicate with the Glass team. It's been hugely successful over the past year and this is due to our wonderful group of Explorers. They are constantly sharing their worlds with us and with each other, allowing us to hear and work on all the great feedback and stories our Explorers give us (and, wow, do they give us a lot!)."
On the "don'ts" list, the advice is just as important in helping maintain peaceful relationships with others, according to the guide.
Don't "Glass-out," or be so enamored with them that you lose track of reality. "Glass was built for short bursts of information and interactions that allow you to quickly get back to doing the other things you love," the guide states. "If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you're probably looking pretty weird to the people around you. So don't read War and Peace on Glass. Things like that are better done on bigger screens."