Safety in numbers: Google Glass meetups try to poke holes in myths

Move over, motorcycle chain gangs. Geeky Google Glass Explorers are now the most feared ones riding bikes and meeting up at bars, at least in the eyes of privacy advocates.

That's why Google superfans donned their wearable tech in public this weekend across the US in a myth-busting show of force dubbed "Glass Welcomed" and "Glass Night Out."

The Glass community came together in 16 separate events on Saturday with Washington, D.C. kicking things off bright and early with an "Okay Glass" friendly photo tour of memorials.

In Los Angeles, Google's Venice office once again gave Google Glass Explorers another invite - for breakfast. It was open to anyone, as was the 11-mile bike ride that followed along the beach.

Glass 'community outreach' in LA

The invite-only Google Glass is as controversial as it is pricey and, at times, awkward-looking. However, Explorers don't see it that way.

It's no more privacy-threatening than a mobile phone, according to the 25 Google Glass Explorers we caught up with on the Los Angeles bike trail.

"Are you filming right now?" is one of the most asked questions of strangers who are curious about the sci-fi-looking tech. That answer is typically "No."

Google Glass does have other uses.

Cecilia Abdie, founder of app-maker Glassware Foundry, brought a literal in-your-face fitness coaching app to Google Glass through LynxFit, which she demoed at Google Venice.

Proving that Google Glass' filming feature can be put to good use instead of misuse, realtor Alex Smith said "I use it to give tours of million dollar homes for clients."

The first-person perspective of the face-mounted wearable provides a unique look at what it's like to be inside a home without actually having to be physically present.

More Glass events planned

Glass Night Out, at least the Los Angeles event we observed, didn't have Explorers heckled with "Glasshole" jokes all day. That's one small success.

Instead, most onlookers remarked "there's the Google Glasses," a common mispronunciation of the still hard-to-come-by wearable tech. Partial success.

The exact name doesn't matter. The greatest successes come when and if the public gets used to Google Glass' presence and if bars and restaurants curb their handful of bans on the gadget.

The Explorer community is planning to hold more face-to-face events like Glass Night Out in the future to prove that such bans aren't necessary.

Matt Swider