Quora: What do optometrists think about Project Glass?

Posted on May 13, 2012 · Posted in Eyeglasses, Technology

I’m interested in how optometrists view eyeglasses as a technological platform, and Project Glass as an extension of that platform.

As an eye care provider and fan of technology, I find Project Glass to be intriguing.  I say “intriguing” versus “exciting” because I really don’t know enough about it to know what advantages over a smartphone it offers while potentially creating distractions.

As providers, one of our main jobs in making sure patients can see clearly and comfortably.  People come in with visual difficulties, we find the problem, identify the possible fixes, and recommend the best options.  These recommendations are geared toward providing the best possible vision to the patient.  I can’t think of one instance where I’ve ever recommended anything that could potentially interfere with a person’s vision or be visually distracting.  Project Glass, at this point, seems to be just that.

I don’t think the physical device itself will interfere greatly…I’m referring more to the distractions created by whatever is displayed.  It probably shouldn’t at this point, but it amazes me everytime I see someone texting and driving because I can’t fathom how they can process the two activities at once.  Accident statistics would suggest the answer is “not too well”.  Same concept with Project Glass.  Imagine you’re crossing the street at a busy intersection where attention is critical and a text or some other notification pops up stealing your attention from the task at hand.

I guess what it all boils down to is the idea that vision is pretty important.  Adding a potential distraction to our vision would seem to create risks that outweigh the benefits assuming I can accomplish the same things on my phone.  As I stated in the beginning, I haven’t seen enough of the specifics yet so I’ll reserve the right to update my thoughts :)

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