While Google envisions wearable computing as a means to cut down on distractions and make technology a more intuitive, natural extension of our daily lives, the debate is already heating up around Glass. First, a bar in Seattle placed a pre-emptive ban on the device due to privacy concerns. Now, lawmakers in West Virginia are mulling a bill that would make it illegal to use Google Glass while driving.
While Google might argue that Glass will provide a host of features useful whilst driving (possibly including navigation, trip info, and hands-free control of things like Bluetooth audio) and do so in a way that allows the wearer to still keep both eyes on the road, concern that the eyewear could become a distraction is not unfounded. The last thing we need are drivers with text message alerts flashing in their peripherals, pulling attention away from the road.
The law would actually ban all wearable computing devices while driving, though the rising mindshare around Glass makes it the obvious target. It’s feasible that Glass could easily be shoehorned into falling under existing laws in many states that ban the use of handheld phones while driving, and the move would be a smart one.