As usual, John Dyer cracks open the thinking about the implications of Google Glass with maturity and a healthy sense of awe:
Google recognizes that the success of Glass has very little to do with how many features it has, and everything to do with embedding the product in our collective imagination. They know that if you want to get the entire world to buy something that no one is asking for, you can’t start with specs, you have to start with story.
Before people buy things, they have to “see themselves” with the product. For example, if you try on a new cardigan and you look ridiculous, you probably won’t buy it. But if the mirror reflects a more awesome you, then you’ll probably bring it home. With technology, we too need to “see ourselves” using the device, and the image we create in our minds needs to show us overcoming some obstacle that would be difficult without the gadget. Without that story in place, we’ll never feel compelled to buy.
Some interesting thoughts on using the currently-in-development version(s) of Glass were posted at The Verge a few weeks ago. It’s very much like the idea of Bond getting a new device from Q and then stuttering around with it until he sees the reason for it. This would offer some context to John’s thoughts.
How do you go about hacking your imagination? Or, what do you do when you find your reality in need of something off-the-wall so that you can reframe life accordingly? Would make for an interesting narrative if we all had a story and knew fully how the tech and behavior choices we made would effect them.
Plug: for more thoughts like this, you should really read John’s book From the Garden to the City. Its a rare and needed look at the theology of technology, and the technology within theology.