Legislation is the wrong approach to technology in many cases. Legislation before it’s even tested or deployed is ludicrous.
“A lawmaker in West Virginia is seeking to ban the use of Google Glass, and other Google Glass-esque products, while driving. Gary G. Howell, a republican in the West Virginia Legislature, believes that Google Glass poses the same dangers, if not worse, as texting and driving. He does have a valid point, because how safe can it be to watch a YouTube video while heading to the grocery store?”
Here is the fallacy of this question. People will try to watch YouTube videos ANYWAY!
Today, they eat lunch, drink scalding hot coffee, apply makeup, read magazines, and most of all – Talk to others! We have systems in our cars that have so many buttons the average driver has to scan the entire dash to change a radio station or set the heater fan. Why in the world would you not want to legislate making those things illegal too?
Here is a good idea for you wrong headed politicians. Legislate incentives not penalties. How about you legislate Google, car companies, and phone companies at large to improve the driving experience safely? Give them some tax break for making the technology work with one another. Oh I can hear my libertarian friend yelling now. “Legislate companies to do something? Horrible!”. I ask this: Punish individuals, that’s so much better? We need to create the best possible experience around human behavior, not in spite of it. Migration and travel is a human function for which we have created systems around. We have largely done that through a proper mix of natural adoption and legislation. Not in punitive ways as this legislation would have it. We do it with the user in mind focused on utility and practical technological innovation.
I see a very important opportunity here. If Google Glasses were made to have a motion interlock, say above 25 MPH, you could have a great system allowing both features and functions. Simple as that. It most likely would keep people from installing Ipads on the dash to watch movies as an added benefit, which they do already. As if you don’t have your phone mounted below the dash “Handsfree” to see emails? This would allow people to get messages and alerts without being distracted, car companies would do away with costly technology by integrating dashboards into glasses vs having to build these into each and every car, companies could have more versatility and context than every before. The single greatest feed back in UI is around where our eyes track. This will be even more important when we don’t have car dashboards at all and we need update systems for our self-driving cars. Hey, then it would be okay for us to watch YouTube right? Oh wait… we can’t have that because it would be illegal through ad-hoc legislation like this.
Items like Google Glass are the future. It’s pointless to outlaw this or that. Period. What happens when we have Bio-retina displays? Will we have to have an “Airplane” mode pigment on our temples so the police can see if we are, or are not, in violation of this or that law? Will we need a switch to kill our bio-metric enhancements? What other crazy legislation will prevent good technology from being implemented when it has not even been released or possibly invented?
In the meantime, I will continue to focus with both hands on the wheel dreaming of when I have a telepathic (TWIFI) connections and I am notified by my WAZE service of impending cops and and bio-implant checkin stations so I will not be distracted while avoiding them on the highway of life.