Google Glass is an amazing innovation in wearable tech, and now, in grassroots advocacy for serious issues. This time round it’s an International Women’s Day (March 8th) video that’s getting all the press because of its polarizing nature due to the content and the use of the Google Glass perspective.
The emotion that the Google Glass first-person perspective evokes is undeniable. So when it’s bent to the will of the public service announcement it makes that message all the more powerful, and of course, there will be some discussion with people taking up the pros and cons of the video.
The YouTube Channel “womansday throughglass” [sic] posted a video on March 4th, Tuesday, and it has gotten a bit of attention with 30,000+ views in just a few days. It’s also garnered 114 thumbs up and 42 thumbs down.
The comments read much like one would expect on YouTube, rife with spelling mistakes, lack of punctuation and quite often, full of ignorance or attempts to shock others. Other comments were just full of confusion.
While Google Glass is indeed a powerful storytelling viewpoint, it seems that when using it to get a point across, the point had best be very clear and concise. In this case it seems that the message was muddled by the shock value they attempted to elict near the end of the video. Some say that it is an unrealistic representation of domestic violence, some say it is an unbalanced attempt to shock people and that it does more harm than good. Others say it trivializes the importance and seriousness of the problem.
I will simply let you watch the video and make the decision for yourself without my own opinions on the matter.
Warning: This video does contain some violence that may be upsetting (that seems to be the whole point in fact).
Interestingly, there is a statement that says Google was not involved. They just used Glass as the window into the action. Google’s doodle today is for International Women’s Day and when clicked goes into a video of international women saying happy International Women’s Day in their native languages, far less dramatic and, here comes my opinion, without any real substance or information about what it should be about.
As new storytelling tools emerge, especially wearable technology, there are apt to be a variety of uses that are unintended or unforeseen by the creators. Some may work and be considered avante garde or innovative, others might end up being lost to history as failed experiments. The important thing, to me, is that those experiments are tried because without them we have no evolution of storytelling even though the tools change. All videos made with a tool like Google Glass will be woven into a tapestry and in themselves will become a story of how we, as Humans, adapt our stories and our storytelling to the next generation of tools that allow us to transmit our stories to the masses.