Google Glass is supposed to the best solution for safely and conveniently using gadgets on the go. Instead of looking down at a smartphone or tablet, you can be looking at the world around you while still seeing your Facebook updates, checking directions or even texting.
Yes, with Google Glass you can text using voice commands and head movements, which should make it safer to use in situations such as driving. Right?
Not familiar with Google Glass? Click here to see this controversial new tech in action.
Well, the Google-Glass-is-safer-than-a-smartphone-for-texting-while-driving theory has been put to the test. The University of Central Florida put 40 people in a simulator with either a smartphone or Google Glass and had them text a math problem. A simulated car then slammed on its brakes in front of the driver and the researchers measured reaction time.
To nobody's surprise, it turns out that texting with Google Glass was just as dangerous as with the smartphone.
"When you look at how fast people react to an unexpected traffic event - how fast they slam on their brakes - we didn't find a statistically significant difference between Google Glass and smartphones," said psychological researcher Ben Sawyer at the University of Central Florida.
In fact, it was a bit worse because the smartphone users left themselves more room between cars while texting. Glass users - assuming they didn't need the extra room - drove as normal.
Sawyer said Google Glass proponents have claimed erroneously that the wearable device delivers information with less distraction because drivers' eyes remain directed toward the road.
"Looking does not necessarily mean you are seeing," said Sawyer, because thought processes remain affected.
Really, it's just more proof that doing anything while driving - besides driving - increases danger to you, your passengers and everyone around you in traffic. Even if you don't do it yourself, you might be hit by someone who does.
Several states are already looking into laws banning Google Glass and other "hands free" displays while driving. Whether the law steps in or not, it's up to us to drive as safely as possible, and remind our friends and family to do so as well.
If you have anyone who refuses to stop texting and driving, or the equivalent, show them these videos.