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Posted on July 21st, 2014 by Darien Graham-Smith

How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour


Lunch with Tim Danton is normally a jolly affair, but today he has decided to wear his Google Glass headset. Things get off to a bad start before we’ve even left the building, as I explain that I need to go via a cashpoint. “OK Glass!” barks Tim abruptly. “Directions to a cashpoint.” There is an awkward pause: I don’t know whether he’s waiting for me to speak, or has been distracted by some terribly important message that I can’t see. His face falls slightly. “It’s giving me directions to an attachment,” he explains, apologetically.

At length we discover that our nearest cashpoint is at Sainsbury’s on Mortimer Street, which we already knew, and set off on foot. Tim is expecting his headgear to attract a certain amount of attention, and as we walk around the West End we do notice plenty of lingering glances: without a doubt, Google Glass is a novelty.

No one, however, goes so far as to verbally abuse us or engage with us in any direct way. This is just as well, as I cannot help noticing how easy it would be for someone to snatch Tim’s thousand-pound accessory off his head and vanish into the crowd. I consider sharing this observation with Tim, but I figure it might make him worry – and besides, a tell-tale gleam in his visor tells me that he’s busy right now.

‘It doesn’t make me ideal company, does it?’, he observes insightfully.

We reach the café – where the waiter is entirely unfazed by Tim’s attire – and Tim decides it’s time to try out an app. “Explore the stars!” he commands, out of the blue. While I eat, he begins to peer around him at a starscape only he can see, occasionally exclaiming things like “Is this actually right?” and, bizarrely, “Canopus!” I work on my sandwich in silence for a few minutes until Tim briefly remembers that I’m there. “It doesn’t make me ideal company, does it?”, he observes insightfully.

In a spirit of compromise, he decides to switch to a different app. “Let’s try this one!” he remarks decisively. I have no idea what “this one” is, but I guess it must be some sort of shooting game, as the next minute or so is punctuated by Tim staring into empty space and periodically saying “bang” in a low but urgent voice. After a while he momentarily seems to remember himself: “I sound like a mad person, don’t I?” he asks, in a faraway tone as if not fully understanding his own question. Then: “bang”.

Eventually, Tim manages to squeeze in a small meal between apps, and we head back to the office. “Oh dear,” he comments, as we approach Dennis Towers. “It’s shut down.” I peer forward, but our workplace is plainly bustling. I look around me, but I can’t see what Tim’s referring to. I turn to him quizzically. “The battery’s died,” he explains. “The Google Glass has shut down.”

Privately I welcome this news.


Posted in: Hardware, Random, Rant, Real World Computing


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20 Responses to “ How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour ”

  1. Mike Henson Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    That’s a really insightful review and goes to show that this technology will totally take over ones life and personality.

  2. Edymnion (@Edymnion) Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    And this is different from people burying their faces into their cell phones… how?

    There’s already tons of pages out there for things like “Everybody puts their phone in the middle of the table during lunch, and the first person to reach for theirs pays for everybody”.

  3. Jono Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    Oh what a green-eyed monster you are Mr G-S.

  4. Paulo Says:
    July 22nd, 2014 at 10:49 am

    Really good review, you talked about the glasses on it’s humble form. This new technology sounds really tempting however for the moment been I don’t think its necessary, only if it would increase your performance in anyway.Did they incremented Augmented Reality on the glasses? Probably waiting to release on the next update, puff. We definitely started to transmute our essence of reality, future looks promising.

  5. Neil Says:
    July 22nd, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Do you know why I pulled you over Sir?

    Canopus officer?

  6. Simon Phoenix Says:
    July 22nd, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    It sounds like Tim ruined your lunch. But I suppose that doesn’t make a sensational headline, does it?

    Surely Tim has free will and can choose when and where to interact with a mobile device?

  7. Edymnion (@Edymnion) Says:
    July 22nd, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Yeah, Glass had nothing to do with ruining your lunch. The fact you went to lunch with a guy with no manners ruined your lunch.

  8. GlassExplorer Says:
    July 22nd, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Shut up. Google Glass is good.

  9. Robert Says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 8:12 am

    That’s so right Edymnion, it’s like we already forgot how weird it was when handsfree sets got popular, and everybody where walking around schizophrenically babbling to themselves..

  10. Paul Says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Maybe Darien Graham-Smith needs to get his own Google Glass. They you can have nice lunches out both busy on your Google Glass completely sealed off from the world. Maybe making lots of new proper friends on Facebook instead of this old fashioned socialising in person.

    Anyway must get on – got to let the world know about my amazing post on PC Pro. Then make take 10 selfies for my facebook page. You just can’t get enough photos of yourself I reckon.

  11. Tim Turner Says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 11:25 am

    You can take my Google Glass when you prize it from my cold, dead…


  12. Mark Thompson Says:
    July 23rd, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    “Surely Tim has free will”

    No free will at all – Tim is a man and thus biologically programed to follow certain behaviours. Consider your reaction to, say, beer, a pie or a particularly leggy/busty female.

    Women, on the other hand, do have free will which is why they’re so dangerously unpredictable.

  13. Stuart Says:
    August 1st, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Oh no they don’t, Mark! Try walking a woman past certain clothes shops, jewellers and (depending on the lady) patisseries or Greggs.

    They’re as predictable as you or I!

    And I know it says more about me than my wife, but she’ll often sit with her nose in social media rather than have a conversation with me over dinner…

  14. Paul Ockenden Says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 10:38 am

    The real question that everyone wants answered (OK, that *I8 want answered) is whether Tim will be keeping his new toy, or taking advantage of Google’s 30 day money-back policy….

    (Expect a glut of cheaper ‘refurbished’ devices in a few weeks time).

  15. bookmac Says:
    August 4th, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Not so much Google Glass but ignorant workmate.

  16. Efjay Says:
    August 5th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    And all that underlines the future Google wants, where we become unsociable d1cks looking and acting like Borg drones. I am on record for stating that the first time I catch someone looking in my direction with those on, I’ll be spending the night in my local Police cell. Stop Borg Glasshole drones! Resist the Google data mining collective!!

  17. Nyck Says:
    August 9th, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I used to think all this tech was ruddy marvelous and yes-I have most of the toys myself.Now at home I have banned all devices at the meal table,social events,evenings out,watching TV etc. Guess what ? The family talks to each other again,discusses & argues about things again,interacts,does social stuff & everyone grudgingly agrees that while we had gained a lot from the tech,we had lost a lot because of it – and life is actually better without it a lot of the time. Is it just me who thinks this way ?

  18. Decimal Says:
    September 4th, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Soon we will all be walking around like iRobots, bumping into each other and pointing into empty space. Not that much different from laughing randomly or mumbling to oneself when walking around with a Bluetooth headset. Hopefully the backlash will be as swift: I don’t want to be reminded that I have 1 billion unread emails and 99 incomplete tasks when I’m on a lunch-break. Whatever that is..

  19. Garfield Says:
    September 5th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

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    where can i do it please assist.

  20. Mary Says:
    September 18th, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    I haven’t seen much comment on the dangers of Glass with real time facial recognition. The usual response is “I’m all right Jack”. I have friends who are abuse survivors and hiding from their abusers. I used to have a friend who was in witness protection. Their opinion of being recognised in real time and having their location published is quite different. An ‘ordinary’ person has about a 1 in 60,000 chance of being murdered. I have a 1 in 12 chance and there are groups looking for people like me in order to commit violent assault. Any guesses why? I’m trans.


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