It's expensive, it might hurt your eyes, and it definitely makes you look dorky.
But if you still need another reason to pause before taking the leap into Google Glass, the search-engine behemoth's cutting-edge wearable computer, consider this: It may soon be illegal to wear it while driving in Illinois.
An Illinois state senator is pushing legislation that would outlaw using Google Glass-like devices behind the wheel, on the argument that, like a cellphone, it's a potentially deadly distraction.
“This goes right to our vision, how we operate an automobile,” says state Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago. He noted that cellphone use, texting and other distracting activities already are illegal in Illinois. “I think this is just common sense.”
He said he isn't aware of any accidents caused in Illinois because of the device, which looks like a set of eyeglasses with a mini-computer attached to one eyepiece. In fact, even sightings of the thing are still relatively rare in this part of the country. Silverstein argued that isn't an excuse to wait.
“In the legislature, we always act after the fact. We're always naming laws after people who have died,” he said. This time, “we're trying to be proactive.”
The move makes Illinois one of handful of states considering bans on “driving while . . . glassing(?).” Google is sufficiently concerned that it's hiring state-level lobbyists to counter those bills. An Illinois lobbyists hired by the company didn't immediately return a call seeking comment, but has already indicated a desire to talk with Silverstein and others about the issue.
The distracted-driving issue is just one problem encountered lately by the Google Glass, which just became generally available in the U.S. this month after earlier limited release. The device has been getting mixed reviews based on its $1,500 price tag and extreme-techno-geek look, and optometrists now are warning against using it for extended periods of time because of the danger of eye strain.
The Illinois bill is SB2632.
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