Ban Google Glass Use While Driving?

West Virginia is considering banning the use of a “wearable computer with head-mounted display” while driving. Makes sense, right?

Maybe not. Imagine apps that might improve safety:

  • Sensing head movement and alerting the driver when those movements indicate drowsiness.
  • Using the camera to identify pedestrians and bicyclists in and around the roadway, and alerting the driver to their presence.
  • Integrating with GPS so when the navigation voice says “turn right at the next intersection” there’s an arrow superimposed at the appropriate place in the intersection ahead.
  • Using the camera to sense traffic signals and GPS to sense speed and alerting the driver to stop or slow when appropriate.
  • Using the camera to detect when the driver is not watching the road and alert the driver.
  • Displaying caller ID information upon voice command so the driver doesn’t have to look away from the road to take a call on the integrated hands-free phone.
  • Wireless integration with the car’s dash to display speed and other crucial operational information.
  • Wireless integration with the car’s vision/radar systems to highlight potential obstructions.

Sure, some of these apps could be integrated into the car with a dash heads-up display and voice capabilities. Others, however, benefit from having motion sensors and a camera mounted on the driver’s head. And looking at a heads-up display seems less distracting than looking down at the speedometer or other in-vehicle infotainment devices.

Let’s not knee-jerk ban these devices before they have a chance to make roads safer.

Hat tip: TechnoBuffalo, who apparently didn’t appreciate my comment on their article, which linked to here. Oh well…

By Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.


  1. i’m looking forward to youtube in about 5 yrs.. the russian dash-cam culture will have nothing on all the riveting fail footage that google glass will generate.

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