The wearable computer known as Google Glass has taken a good deal of criticism from naysayers who dismiss the device as an expensive, awkward-looking, possibly privacy invading gadget of questionable practical use. But as more and more users get their hands on the device we're gradually learning that Glass may be more than simply a cool way to digitally overshare.
In the latest in a series of videos posted by Google Glass, the team shows us how Columbia University law student Alex Blaszczuk uses the device to help her navigate the world in the wake of a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down. The video shows us Blaszczuk using Glass to navigate the journey, shoot photos, and look up information related to the camping trip.
Overall, the peek inside her life with the device serves as a hint that Glass may eventually end up becoming far more important to those with physical disabilities than anyone simply looking to use the device for recreational purposes. Blaszczuk's insightful post-camping commentary is perhaps the best argument for the continued development of Glass apps specifically designed to assist the physically impaired. Blaszczuk wrote:
"Google Glass doesn’t somehow "fix" a disability. But, it is a more accessible tool for self-expression. For communities that are often silent, hidden, marginalized — like that of people with disabilities — these kinds of tools are essential. The more we enable people with disabilities to share their stories and passions, the more they become people, rather than tragic or heroic stereotypes. For me, Glass has also been an incentive to explore — even if I don’t always share with the world, simplifying the logistics of my adventures makes me want to have more of them."
You can read more about Blaszczuk's Glass-assisted camping trip here, and check out a brief glimpse of what her experience was like in the video below.