Yesterday, we brought to you the news that the long arm of Google omnipotence may someday soon reach into the realm of eyeglasses. And not just any eyeglasses, but augmented-reality glasses that may, among other things, take pictures and video, give you directions, and tell you the weather. Wonderful convenience, or a nefarious plot to turn us all into Google cyborgs? Searching for answers, we turned to “This American Life” host and noted glasses-wearer Ira Glass for some perspective. Would he ever swap his trademark black-framed hipster glasses — or “Ira Glasses,” as they are known, or at least should be — to have the very weather annotated before his eyes?
“No, I’m really old,” he said at last night’s premiere of HBO’s Girls at the Top of the Standard. “I’m really old and I have no interest in that. Truthfully it’s a little too close to Minority Report.” Glass said he suspected that these Google glasses would soon become mere vehicles for advertising, “and that doesn’t seem like fun.” Also, he failed to see the benefit of eyewear that could tell him it was raining. “Like, if you exist in the world, you don’t need somebody to tell you what the weather is. You exist in the world and the weather is happening around you.”
In fact, Glass failed to see the benefit of glasses that did anything other than improve his sight (and — this is DI’s own editorial opinion — make him look like an intellectual fox). “For me,” said Glass, “I think I speak for most glasses wearers, where the glasses are prosthetic. You know what I mean? I have a medical problem where I can’t see properly and I want the glasses to help me see better. And then I would just want them to shut their fucking mouth. I don’t want the glasses to be saying anything or carrying any information, and if I want information, I know how to get it.”
He was getting heated by this point. “Google, leave us alone!” he cried out. “We don’t need Google everywhere. We don’t need your help everywhere.” His Ira Glasses did not fog up from the passion-fueled heat now emanating from his body, but if you want to imagine they did, please go ahead. That would be some very nice augmented reality, indeed.