To be present or to be virtual. That’s the question.

Yesterday I was commuting my usual train ride from Amsterdam to Haarlem when across of me a Spanish guy and his girlfriend sat down. All in all a completely normal setting you think. However this person was wearing a Google Glass.

As the guy looked around he made me wonder. “Is he just looking around the train or does he look at his screen?” I couldn’t tell whether his focus was in his glass, or at the world through his glass? How will wearing Google Glass affect communication and interactions between people in the near future. What if half of the group in a team meeting is wearing those types of glasses while the other half isn’t? When we communicate, how do we know the focus is in the real of in the virtual world? And will people feel uncomfortable not knowing where the other person’s focus is?

And what if the glass is voice activated, how does that work out? Especially in meetings or in places where other people are present as well. How do you know if the person talks to the group or to his or her Glass? Should a Glass alternatively be controlled by head or eye movements?

Anyhow, I think it needs to be very clear and visible if someone is using his or her Glass, maybe indicated by LED’s visible to others. On top of that, in my opinion it should be extra visible if someone uses his or her integrated film camera in the Glass. So at least other people know they know they are being filmed while being stared at by someone with a Glass.

To be present or to be virtual. That’s the question.