The Android-powered Google Glass is in a middle of a stormy week with the much-anticipated device and its features under threat of being disabled by law even before its official release. The entire community of wearable tech glass makers and followers would be rooting for and against two people respectively.
Software developer Cecilia Abadie and Brooklyn Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz may not personally know each other; however, they each represent an opposite end of the Google Glass debate.
While Abadie will be defending her right to wear Google Glass while driving, Ortiz has introduced legislation in the assembly to put in place an unconditional ban on use of any form of wearable hi-tech glasses while operating a motor vehicle.
California resident Abadie is due to testify in a San Diego traffic court in a first ever case related to the use of Google Glass while behind the wheel. Abadie is one of among 30,000 Google “explorers” who paid their way in to be a part of the trial period of the device before its official launch. It was during one of these exploring sessions behind the wheel that she was flagged down by an officer.
Although pulled over on suspicion of speeding, the officer noted that she was wearing the high-tech glasses. He eventually booked her on charges usually cited for driving with a distracting TV screen or video in front of the driver.
Google and the Google Glass fans club are watching over the case with utmost attention and curiosity. The outcome of the case could potentially mold the framing of rules with respect to wearable hi-tech devices and glasses. The ball is already rolling in that direction, with Ortiz pushing for legislation this week against using wearable devices like Google Glass while driving.
The law, if put into place, could deflate and disable the grand launch plans of the Android-powered Google Glass. However, Ortiz is in favor of a ban to ensure that a driver’s focus will always remain on the road and nowhere else.
The Democrat has also quoted Abadie’s case as a possible reference to his legislation.
He expressed his continued will to fight for safer driving conditions, especially on the highways. The legislation becomes all the more important in the current scenario to prohibit repetition of cases similar to that of Abaie’s case where she was ticketed for driving while wearing Google Glass.
It is also interesting to note that Ortiz was instrumental in banning use of mobile phones while driving in 2000. His bill, the first in the nation, was soon replicated by many states and was widely reported as a crucial bill for safety.
Google’s response to the entire episode is comparatively muted and its stand on using Google Glass while driving has been very clearly cited on its website’s FAQ section:
As you probably know, most states have passed laws limiting the use of mobile devices while driving any motor vehicle, and most states post those rules on their department of motor vehicles websites. Explorers should read up and follow the law. Above all, even when you’re following the law, don’t hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road.
While tech addicts are waiting for the outcome of the Abadie’s case today, they will also be keeping a close eye on the legislation introduced by Ortiz.
Google and other players in this segment will also be closely monitoring the upcoming laws that could disable the pace at which the anxiety over wearable tech glasses is increasing, especially since the launch of Android-powered Google Glass is around the corner.
By Daris Abraham