OK glass, it's time to have awkward, overbearingly narcissistic sex with the help of Google

I can put on Marvin Gaye without the help of a search engine attached to my head thank you very much

Share
Related Topics

As far as seductive come-ons go, purring the words “OK Glass, it’s time” as you and your partner trip your way into the bedroom seems about as arousing as an impromptu rendition of The Internationale complete with flags. However, for a group of students from Central Saint Martins, this somewhat seedy-sounding phrase is the passcode to “make sex more awesome”.

In a one-day hackathon students Sherif Maktabi and Satara Achille created an app named Sex with Glass, a piece of software for Google’s wearable computer that offers users a roster of digital enhancements activated by those four magic words.

Owners of Glass can use the app to perform real-time searches for sex positions or use voice commands to control their lights and sound system (what’s more excruciating – watching someone conduct a YouTube search for Marvin Gaye to "set the mood" or listening to them Google it aloud?) but the feature that’s really got people talking is using Glass’s camera to swap view-points with your partner.

The app’s designers promise that this will bring “a completely new perspective” to the bedroom. “Experience sex like never before,” reads the Sex with Glass website. “Simply swipe to a new perspective and enjoy the new view. When you connect your phone, you can even see what it's like from any angle.” In a funny way it seems kind of logical. The ubiquity of smartphones and cameras has introduced elements of observation and performance into so many part of everyday life, why not bring them into the bedroom as well?   Sex with Google Glass Sex with Google Glass

Well, encouraging an overbearing sense of narcissism is one answer – as is the destruction of innocence in the bedroom. This last point sounds a bit paradoxical but imagine introducing a camera and a screen into an environment where we should be at our most authentic. The self-consciousness it could enable would be terrible. Forget so-so Skype conversations where you spend half your time looking at yourself like a budgie in a cage,  knowing your body was being pasted onto a screen, ready to be reviewed later would certainly kill the vibe for many couples.

But as ever with this sort of speculative technology the bigger problem is the sort of harmful behaviour it might enforce. Text on the app's site (now deleted) originally touted the inclusion of a self-deleting video feature “for all the ladies out there” - a shameful reminder that we live in the era of ‘revenge porn’  where although both men and women are likely to share private images indiscriminately, odds are it’s women that become the target of public shaming.

Tech site The Verge went further with this criticism, noting that in the promotional materials used for the app “every single viewpoint photo appears to be either men looking at women or women looking at themselves,” a detail that they read as an affirmation of John Berger’s depressing observation of 1979: “Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.“

Thankfully, it’s way too early for the speculative think-pieces damning this new digital perversion (unless this counts). Even if you skip over the impractical nature of wearing a flimsy head-mounted camera during sex (pornstar James Deen found it tough and he’s a pro) the whole thing just seems too niche and too novelty. Some couples will enjoy it (and more power to them) but it hardly seems a cause for concern for society at large. The app’s creators seem fully aware of this element of triviality, even making the voice command used to stop filming the cringingly stupid “OK Glass, pull out”. It’s crass, sure, but some people will get a kick out of it – and that goes for Sex with Glass too.

James Vincent is Science and Technology Reporter for The Independent.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Most powerful woman in British politics

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
All the major parties are under pressure from sceptical voters to spell out their tax and spending plans  

Yet again, the economy is the battleground on which the election will be fought

Patrick Diamond
Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders