Google Glass is symbolic of our addiction and dependence on technology

Google has finally announced the 8,000 winners of “Google Glass.” These winners have been selected to be the first users of this new product, which is a pair of glasses that functions like smartphones. These winners still have to pay $1,500 US a piece for the test version of Google Glass. Moreover, they also have to travel to New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco to pick up the “glass” in person; otherwise, the valuable opportunities to use Google glass would be given to other person (LIEDTKE, 2013). According to some news interview, a winner said that winning this “Google Glass” contest is 10 times better than winning the lottery.

Google said these winners are invaluable to the production of this product, because these users can provide insightful feedbacks that could help its engineers get a better understanding of how the technology might be used and make any necessary adjustments before the device is officially released to the world (LIEDTKE, 2013).

I understand that it is exciting whenever there is a new electronic product is first publicly announced and distributed, but there are a few problems with Google Glass. Is the device worth this much? Is it necessary? And the major thing that I am worried about is how will Google Glass change the world of human communication?

What is Google Glass and what made it special?

Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display which is being developed by Google (Albanesius, 2012). Google Glass provides a new way to connect people with their email, online social media by displaying information in a smartphone-like hands-free format (LIEDTKE, 2013). Also, the most exciting part about Google Glass is the built-in camera; users are allowed to take pictures and film videos without holding the phone or any big camera.

Google Glass image

What do I feel about it?

It is nice to see the development of today’s technology; however there are several things I am worried about.

1. Google Glass utilizes augmented reality

The creation of Google Glass has shortened the distance between humans and technology. 10 years ago, when people want to use the internet, they had to access it from school, workplace or home; but now, people can go online by taking out their multi-functional phone. For these years, there is a gap between humans and technology, but now, the gap is disappearing because of the rapid development of technology.

Google Glass takes humans and their interaction with devices to a whole new level because it reduces this distance completely. Google Glass plans to integrate digital interfaces into our lives. Accessing the internet, posting on social networking sites and taking pictures will be like any other bodily activity. The Google Glass is not a separate device on our body; it is a part of our bodies. The gap between people and their electronic devices will be finally broken down with Google Glass. The consequences are still unknown.

2. Possible Consequences

One possible result of this is that young people might find it difficult to distinguish the difference between reality and virtual reality. One related example is that there is a growing population of babies and toddlers who think that all printed material has multi-touch functionality. That is, they think a physical magazine or a newspaper can be swiped like a picture on an iPad. Of course I am not saying that everyone would be unable to see the differences between the real world and the digital world, I am suggesting that there will be a growing inability to discern the difference. When we become more integrated with these powerful tools, we become addicted to them. Humans might grow lost and disillusioned with reality if products like Google Glass spreads as an everyday device.

3. Google Glass is symbolic of our addiction and dependence

Electronic devices are like a drug. People are addicted to it. Nowadays, people are already obsessed with them, and this technological addiction would become much more serious in the future. The fact that there are countless of thousands of people waiting in line for Google Glass is symbolic of our addiction. Addiction is two-sided. First, when one decides to limit their dosage, the person experiences withdrawal. We see this already with many children, who are unable to live happily if they have the internet taken away from them. Second, constant usage creates tolerance. People need more and more on their phones. We multitask frequently. We need more gigabytes, bandwidths, and data in order to sustain both our personal and professional lives.

The greatest problem with our addiction to technology is that is not a taboo yet. Again, the fact that the world is excited for these devices means too many of us are addicted together. Imagine if the whole world is dependent on illicit drug. Would anyone know the dangers or risks? Who would quit if everyone around you were hooked? This is the current state of technology now. We should not eat everything companies like Google feed us. We need to step back, intervene and reflect on this invisible social problem.

Thanks for reading

Work Cited

Albanesius, C. (2012, 4 12). Google ‘Project Glass’ Replaces the Smartphone With Glasses. Retrieved from PC MAG: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2402613,00.asp

LIEDTKE, M. (2013, 3 26). Google picks 8,000 winners of ‘Glass’ contest. Retrieved from Yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/google-picks-8-000-winners-glass-contest-220221488.html

 

Advertisements

Is it necessary to have a The Facebook Phone?

Facebook wants to create its own version of smartphone. Yes, that’s right and this rumor has just been confirmed. After the new Facebook Graph Search Engine, which was announced a few months ago, Facebook has already come up with another business strategy to expand its business by making its own smartphone. According to NY Times, Facebook has been revamping its organization to be “mobile first” for the past few years (BILTON, 2013). The amount of Facebook users worldwide has reached 1.06 billion earlier this month (Smith, 2013). This is a historic achievement and milestone and because of this, it is definitely the right time for Facebook to create something exciting that could maintain its freshness and interest among young people. However a Facebook smartphone does not seem like the best idea.

The ideal image of Facebook phone

How Facebook Phone work?

The basic function of the Facebook phone is, once turned on, the Facebook user’s homepage will be displayed (BILTON, 2013). Facebook’s camera and messaging apps will be the default apps as well as the core functions of the phone. Also, this Facebook focus phone will obviously benefit customers by faster upload speed and better communicating system. Moreover, The Facebook phone will be using the Android operating system.

Will it be successful?

I understand that there are people who are addicted to Facebook, and they use Facebook as a platform to share all the pictures, videos and statuses. However, I do believe that the current Facebook apps on the smartphone are already convenient enough for users; it is user-friendly and fast. In my opinion, for most people, they use their phone as a major communication tool to send out business emails, and therefore this phone would probably not suitable for this market. Instead it will be aimed at teenagers who can use it as platform to play online Facebook games. Still, this phone does not have a major selling point that current smartphones cannot provide. Almost all smartphones can do what this Facebook phone can do. The only thing that would make this an international hit is if it is very cheap and affordable.

Future of Facebook

Facebook can be seen as following the footsteps of Google. A few years back, many people were skeptical about Google’s decision to go far and beyond its claim to fame, its search engine. However, nowadays, most people do not treat Google just as the world’s most famous search engine. If Facebook can succeed with this business venture, they might be able to become more than just a social networking site and become a giant tech company and rival Google.

Thanks for reading.

Worked Cited

BILTON, B. X. (2013, 3 29). New Phone by Facebook to Showcase Its Network. Retrieved from The New York Times: New Phone by Facebook to Showcase Its Network

Smith, C. (2013, 3 24). (March 2013 Update) By The Numbers: 25 Amazing Facebook Stats. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/

“Harlem Shake Dance” & Marketing

With the unexpected viral spread of YouTube video “Harlem Shake Dance”, many companies, universities, professional sport teams followed this popular internet meme to create their own versions of “Harlem Shake” in order to increase the company, universities or sport teams public awareness. And they have been successful! This creative advertising method is called “Internet Meme Marketing”.

What is an “internet meme”?

The word “meme” was coined by Richard Dawkins who is a famous biologist. In his book “The Selfish Gene”, he coins “meme” which is the cultural version of the gene. That is, memes like genes are transmitted, but in the case of the memes, memes spread quickly in a community, and the strongest ones survive within the environment.

in 2009, Margaret Rouse defines “internet meme” as the cultural phenomenon that spreads from one person to another online. And this meme online could be anything including phrases images, rumors and audio or video files. (Rouse 2009)

In the case of “Harlem Shake”, according to the YouTube-trends.com, there are over 40,000 Harlem shake video posted online and already gathered 175 million views on February 15,2013 so far. And these numbers will continuous increase for sure in the next few months.(Allocca, 2013)

What is “Internet Meme Marketing”?

Internet Meme Marketing obvious means the company using these interesting internet meme images or videos as a base to promote its company’s products. The most successful example in this case would be  the “success Kid”. Virgin Media (UK) purchased this image back in February 2012(The hang line, 2012), and now “he” is everywhere in UK. Here are some pictures about this “kid”,

“Success Kid” in UK billboards

Reminder: Companies should make sure these meme images are legal to use; otherwise, it may cause a serious copyright lawsuit.

What makes “Harlem Shake Dance” special?

1- It allows dancers to dance freely. There are no specific dance moves, unlike another viral dance called Gangnam Style.

2- It allows the incorporation of many people.

3- There is no leading role in the video; everybody could be the leading role.

4- It also requires people to wear creative costume to perform the dance

5- The remix is only 30 second to 1 minute long. Thus, it is very easy to make and no choreography is needed.

What marketing value can “Harlem Shake” video brings to the company?

1- It helps the company create a positive image for itself. Doing a viral video like this shows the company has a friendly and happy working environment that employees in the company are having fun working together.

2- It also shows the energetic side of the company, which makes the company looks young and trendy.

3- It also a great opportunity for small business companies to increase its brand awareness.

Alright~Harlem Shake, please be quick, make it now! Here are some examples of “Harlem Shake”:

LET’S DO THE HARLEM SHAKE!

Work cited

Allocca, K. (2013, 2 12). The Harlem Shake Has Exploded (Updated). Retrieved from YouTube-trends: http://youtube-trends.blogspot.ca/2013/02/the-harlem-shake-has-exploded.html

Rouse, M. (2009). What is an Internet meme? Retrieved from WhatIs.com: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/Internet-meme

Thehangline. (2012, 7 2). Success Kid Meme Gets Even Bigger. Retrieved from Paper Blog: http://en.paperblog.com/success-kid-meme-gets-even-bigger-259077/

Facebook Graph Search Engine

Two months ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a totally brand new search engine for its users called “Graph Search”. Basically, Graph Search on Facebook gathers Facebook users’ information including a user’s popular posts, status and pictures to create a huge database, which allows Facebook users to search for connection more easily within his/her friend’s network.

There are 4 categories that Facebook Graph Search will mainly focus on; these are people, places, places and interests.

Here is the Full length YouTube clip for the “Facebook Graph Search Engine Announcement”:

Web search vs. graph search

In this clip, Mark Zuckerberg, mentioned that Face Graph search engine is different from other common search engines on the web. Many popular web search engines, like Google, Yahoo, or MSN, provides search hits that are both related and unrelated to what the user has typed in. Sometimes, these search engines are not intelligent enough to provide what the user wants because these engines merely look for all over the internet for material that matches the user’s keywords.

On the other hand, with Facebook Graph Search engine, this engine will only focus on the sentence or topic that users typed in and search information within the users’ friend network, so it will show the most appropriate results.

What do I think?

It is no doubt that this Facebook Graph Search engine is a creative tool that combines all Facebook users and their Facebook activities in one simple search engine. Although this search engine is still under development, it has already attracted a lot of investors, who want to invest in this project. Because of this, I am concerned about privacy issues.

1. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”

As Facebook gathers all Facebook users’ information into one search engine, I believe this would make hacking much easier. Moreover, it also has a huge potential to be a powerful tool for Facebook stalkers in the future (Wagner). 

2. Facebook-holic

If the search engine proves to be popular on Facebook, there would definitely be more people who will become fixated and obsessed with Facebook. There are people like this already. This might make the problem worse. Many other forms of communication, like face-to-face communication, might become a thing of the past. We are becoming too dependent on these types of technology.

A project like this is like a double-edged sword. There will be a lot of great tools for us to use to connect with friends; however, Facebook management has to protect the users’ privacy and ensure all of its users’ safety as well.

Thanks for reading.

Work Cited

Wagner, K. (n.d.). What is Facebook Graph Search? Retrieved from gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5976186/what-is-facebook-graph-search