Google Glass – What About Health and Safety?

If there’s one product that’s created a stir before its public launch, it’s Google Glass. The search engine giant has an innovative, high-tech product in its beta program (which means it’s still in the testing phase) that looks like a headset with glasses, but it’s much more than that.

glass

At $1,500 a pair, the frame has a tiny, battery-operated computer mounted on the right side that allows users to access the Internet and email, make phone calls, send text messages, take photos and record what they are seeing on a video camera.

Google plans to make Glass available to the general public sometime this year. The company set up an Explorer Program in June for a limited number of people to test the device.

Some Explorers, who wear the glasses for an extended period of time, have complained of headaches.  If headaches do not dissipate, or other critical health symptoms arise, seek medical attention as soon as possible. As a safety measure, contact legal professionals who can give you advice. For instance, an Independence personal injury lawyer advises, “If you have been injured, on the job, in a car, in the hospital or through any other means at the hands of another, you deserve to have them pay for your medical damages and pain and suffering.”

In the meantime, Google says it is taking the complaints seriously and looking into what, if any, other potential health risk Glass poses to users.

Concerns over Glass

Visitors to casinos in New Jersey and Nevada are banned from wearing the device. The states’ gaming authorities contend that gamblers can use the device to cheat when playing games.

Casinos are not the only places where the specialized eye wear is a concern. Bills are pending in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, West Virginia, Illinois and Wyoming to ban drivers from wearing the product. The legislation aims at preventing more problems with distracted driving. Google says it has hired lobbyists to prevent the bills from passing and to educate lawmakers about the new device.

In February, a Wichita State University researcher found that Google Glass was not as distracting to drivers as a smart phone. In fact, drivers wearing Glass followed other vehicles less closely and drove slower than smart-phone users, according to Jibo He, a WSU assistant professor and driver safety expert who plans to publish his findings this spring.

In what’s believed to be the first real-life traffic safety case involving Google Glass, Cecilia Abadie, of Temecula, Calif., was wearing the device on Oct. 29 when she was ticketed by a California Highway Patrol officer for speeding. The officer also added on a citation that fines people who drive with a video or TV on in the front of the car. Abadie said she was only wearing them but not actively using the device when she was pulled over by the officer. In January, a San Diego judge dismissed the case, ruling that there was not enough evidence presented to prove that Abadie was using Google Glass while she was driving. With the dismissal of Abadie’s case, the question remains unanswered as to whether Google Glass distracts drivers.

The Legal Side of Glass

Along with concerns over distracted driving, there are questions surrounding the legal aspects of Glass being asked, such as:

1. Who will accident victims sue if a driver causes a serious injury or fatal injury crash while wearing and using Glass? The driver or Google?
2. Can a driver who caused a traffic crash while wearing them sue Google?
3. How will police, prosecutors and personal injury attorneys prove that a driver was actually using Glass at the time of a vehicle accident?

Regardless of the many questions surrounding this advanced tech product, some tech experts believe it has a bright future because of its usefulness to professionals and entertainment value to consumers. Until Google makes its device available to the public, its future remains to be seen.

Guest Writer Teresa Stewart enjoys learning and sharing information about new and developing technologies. She researched Independence personal injury lawyer online to gather information for this post.

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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