If you have even a tiny interest in either technology or eyewear, then you sure have heard about Google Glass. If you aren't familiar, they are glasses that capture and display information for you. Think Geordi Laforge's visor from Star Trek Next Generation. Better yet, watch this concept video from Google:
Mashable interviewed me to get an eye doctor's take on the new glasses. While very few people have seen working examples of Google Glass, including me, I have read quite a lot about them and talked to people with experience with it. While the technology is undoubtedly very, VERY cool, there are two concerns from a visual stand-point.
The first is physical - our eyes are not best suited to the set up of the device. Even though it is a Heads Up Display, you do have to look up and out at the image, potentially causing eye strain and can result in symptoms including headaches, burning, gritty eyes, back and neck pain and short-term difficulty focusing in the distance after long periods of computer work.
The second is mental - people can only pay attention to one thing at a time. So if they are watching their Google Glass display, they are not watching the world around them. Additionally, some people have a very hard time simultaneously processing visual information while controlling their body movements (such as walking).
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I can't wait to get a pair and try them out for myself. Google is running a contest to select people who want to purchase Google Glass early.
By Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.