Jon Stewart and his crew on "The Daily Show" are known for not suffering fools, and on the June 12 show they trained their sights on Google Glass. The results were predictably hilarious.
Not content to sample a random contingent of Glass wearers, "The Daily Show" collected a who's who of Glass celebrities. The Glass-wearing panelists included wearers who've garnered media attention due to altercations they've been involved with thanks to their insistence on wearing Google Glass in public.
There's Sarah Slocum, probably the most infamous Glass wearer, who was involved in what she calls a "hate crime" where she was attacked for wearing her device in a bar. Cecilia Abadie was stopped for speeding in late 2013 and received an additional citation for wearing Glass while driving (both charges were later overturned). Kyle Russell is a reporter for Business Insider who had his Glass stolen and destroyed by an angry San Franciscan. These three are joined by several others.
The show's faux report was on this very phenomenon, which it labelled "Google Glass discrimination." In the video, which you can watch below, panelists share their stories and their love for Glass, while Daily correspondent Jason Jones spends most of the video expressing disbelief that anyone would want to wear what Slocum describes as "basically a cell phone on your face." Any goodwill the panelists may have hoped to engender by representing their favorite gadget is quickly squandered, since they unapologetically come across as aloof, maybe even elitist, in their love for Google Glass. In other words, they look and sound like characters you'd see on "Portlandia."
Behind all the silliness, there is a real issue here, though it's not the one "The Daily Show" would have you believe. Most technology pundits agree that "wearables" are the wave of the future -- that computers and gadgets you wear on your person will soon become a major component of the tech market. Glass was one of the first devices to come to market, and early adopters are deeply (and vocally) passionate about the $1,500 device.
The problem the public seems to have with Glass is that it has the potential to violate others' privacy by recording or photographing them without their consent. When smart watches inevitably catch on, will spectators express the same "invasive technology" concerns? The issue with Glass is that it's a hands-free device, that you don't have to hold it up and frame your shot, making it impossible for others to know when it's switched on.
Whether you consider yourself pro-Glass or not, it's hard not to laugh at the end of the segment, where Jones fashions his own version of Google Glass and wears it in public.