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Kirby: New Google Glass gizmo just plain goofy
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

My life is a race with technology. I hope I'm dead before computers get under my skin. As my attention span decreases with age, the last thing I need is popup ads going off inside my skull.

We're a step closer to it. Google recently announced what many are calling the final frontier of external web intrusion — a pair of glasses that functions much the same as wearing a computer on your face.

For $1,500 a pop, Google Glass owners will be able to check the web, email, phone, photograph, video, voice chat, blog, surf, game-hell, whatever — simply by wearing a pair of dork glasses.

Note: Goggle Glass is not scheduled to be released until later this year. Some of you may want to camp out in line right now.

It's the latest in the human-machine interface that first became noticeable when the self-absorbed started attaching phones to the sides of their heads.

You've seen them wandering the stores and malls talking to themselves like people off their meds. Only upon closer inspection do you notice the Bluetooth device attached to their ear.

The behavior will be a lot more obvious with Google Glass. Not only will the neurotically connected be chatting with invisible people while they wander among us, they'll be staring off into space as well.

It might seem convenient. Blink texting would certainly be easier than wearing out your thumbs. But imagine rush-hour traffic where everyone is not only driving while talking on the phone but playing "Space Skanks" as well.

If Google Glass is the final frontier of external human-machine interface, what's next?

I'll tell you. It's Skull Mull or Pate Skate, direct brain-wired programs and hardware permanently attached to our heads.

Given our growing obsession with being connected, it won't be long before we're able to have the web surgically implanted INTO our heads. You'll be able to handle a bank transaction, change insurance companies and order dinner just by lip twitching.

A hundred years from now anyone without gadgets, knobs, gizmos, receivers and antennae screwed into their skulls will be seen as "challenged" or as having "special needs."

"Don't ask him for directions. Can't you see that he doesn't have Phone Bone? No, don't stare at the empty spaces on his head."

I'm betting that head wiring eventually will become so simple that you'll be able to buy a kit from Radio Shack that allows you to pop rivet a small cable receiver to your skull. It won't look as good as professionally installed stuff, though.

And what if your skull service locks up? That's easy. Stick a finger up your nose to the third knuckle and the system will automatically reset.

Don't say that people never would allow themselves to be retooled like that just for the sake of connectivity. We already do worse stuff to ourselves for less.

What's a small red knob with a blinking light screwed into the top of your head compared with breast implants? Can you make a phone call with a lip ring? And just try streaming a movie with hair plugs.

Snap-on technology. We're becoming a race of technologically advanced Mr. Potato Heads. It sounds painful. Hopefully I'm offline by then.

rkirby@sltrib.com

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