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If you are a gadget geek, Google might have disappointed you, maybe you even got hurt by its decision of dropping the sales of Google Glass, the futuristic frames that promised to bring the net with a blink.

Actually the plans for mass sale of Google Glass are not totally shelved by the tech giant but certainly the super cool item is no more in the priority list. I guess the driverless car now is on the top of the big things Google is going to invest in.

To be honest I am kind of relived by the decision of Google. For me the Google Glass was  total nonsense but I must admit that as most of you, I was not in that niche of global elite who could be able to test the device.

Biased as I might have been I simply could not have imagined how and what you feel by having a ‘virtual” screen covering at least partially one of your eyes.

With the Google Glass the world was up there in front of your eye but as glass, would you have been able to simply see what is close to you while “surfing” the net or clicking a picture with the blink of your eyes?

Yes I need to admit that I am a kind of skeptical of all these new inventions that to me are not making our life easier but just the opposite, they are incredibly useful to make it worst.

Everything that makes us more connected either by feeling or truly being “connected” to the net for me should be treated with extreme caution. Certain devices, what I would define as “connectivity enhancers” should be sold like the packages of cigarettes with written warnings about the collateral effects of these machines.

I am really worried about the side effects of the so called hyper connected society. A quick search on internet shows that there is so much that needs to be investigated on the possible negative impact of hyper internet connectivity on our health.

The World Health Organization, the UN agency heavily criticized for its handling of Ebola, does not mention anything about the issue, another insight that The Economist, the authoritative magazine, was damned right asking for its complete overhaul or possible shut down.

The Oxford Research Center in the Humanities, TORCH, part of the Oxford University, has posed some questions on the risks associated to be always connected

“What happens to us if we “must” be online all the time? To live entirely in the public realm can be a form of solitary confinement. Is there any added value in the possibility of remaining voluntarily #unplugging?”


In 2013 Google stated that “internet freedom has no side effect”. (

I agree on this point with Google: there are no doubts that the internet has revolutionized for better the way the world works but this is not the real point of my criticism.

The real issue at stake is the way we stay connected, how we all have become too dependent and, as a consequence, too fragile because of the net.

The Internet is from being the cornerstone of massive innovation that helped creating new business opportunities and completely reshaped the way we communicate, has turned into a monster that controls our lives.

The future of the internet the so called “Internet of things” where internet will be invisible as per forecasted by Mark Weiser, the deceased father of ubiquitous computing.

He had forecasted that “the most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it”.

It seems we will reach a point where everything will be connected and we even will take for granted the existence of the internet. See (

Poor or lucky us?

This is a real dilemma. Ultimately it will really depend on us. It will be up to mankind to find a life balance and be able to disconnect from the “internet of things” when needed.

Will the average man and woman be able to be less connected?

While a major self control effort will be requested to control the excesses of the hyper connected society maybe the real game changer will not come with a change in the behavioral patterns but rather with a new approach to the way  marketing and commercialization boost social innovation.

The entire capitalist society is based on the idea of “more selling more profiteering”. The pursuit of a profit is what drives the process of innovation, whose extent and reach, are empowered and multiplied by marketing skills and techniques.

We should not be hyper critical here: just imagine how diseases are defeated thanks to huge investments in new drugs whose patents are essential to ensure a return on the investments made by the pharmaceutical companies. Marketing is indispensible to ensure adequate sales that will cover the investments made in developing medicines and ensure long term profitability of companies.

Yet I am not entirely comfortable with letting the markets have the monopoly in pushing ahead the frontiers of technological breakthroughs.

Is it absolutely fine to have the quest of profit as the absolute goal of any technological innovation? What if the drive for more connectivity will lead not to better lives but more stupidity, more banality and an insane way of living?

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, wants to improve our lives with mini drones that instead of dropping bombs will drop books (Thanks Jeff for this!!)

Maybe as a result there will be less pollution because all cargo and delivery companies will be out of market but I must confess that a new era of full automatization and robotics scares me.

Will our lives be better off with more robots around and less human contact? How can we ensure that technological advancements driven by the logic of profit and boosted by aggressive marketing can really lead to better lives?

How much money did Google waste in developing and piloting the Google Glass? Would it have  been possible to avoid the entire clamor for something that actually was still a pilot, something that looks smart and super cool but is stupid?

Instead of human waiters some restaurants in China are now starting to provide service through robots. What’s about the human touch of dealing with a person while ordering your meal? What about the gentle and innocent flirting you might have with your favorite waiter? Can we flirt with a robot?

How much easier will our super connected life be? I have no idea but for the time being, let’s take a breath and enjoy the present without Google Glass and the Amazon drones.



Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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