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HR Dictionary: "Sheeple"

Why You're Going to Hate Future Technology That's Coming to the Office (and home office)...

If there's one thing people like to hate on, it's the introduction of new technology that appears to be the slightest bit invasive.  

Think NSA.  Then think Google Glass.  Haters going to hate.  More on the backlash on Google Glass from Techcrunch:

"But as much as many hate Google Glass at the moment, Google needs to remember that consumers tend to hate everything when it first comes out. Davidyeetweet

Almost everybody is reluctant to change almost everything. Whatever you learned as a kid you want to keep always,” Dean Kamen told SXSW attendee Ron Miller who then explained this phenomenon in this post. Kamen, the inventor of the Segway and other things, should understand quite well this early-adopter hate.

On some levels the Google Glass Explorer program is as interesting as Google Glass. Never before has a company put the fate of a totally novel product in the hands of consumers. Google invited interested users to buy this completely beta device and essentially market it for them.

Recent anti-Glass legislation and social gaffes show this strategy has largely failed to the point that Google has started social campaigns to revive Glass’s image."

Google glass is an interesting case-study on technology backlash, especially when it comes to privacy issues.  But let's face it, the combination of mobile devices issued and paid for by your company, geo-location and algorithms designed to calculate your productivity in ways we can't even imagine are going to give us great advances in workforce management.

The revolution will not be televised.  But hell, it might be on your wrist.  Consider this seemingly innocent piece of technology that tracks your hoops shooting efficiency:

"Playing basketball is fun, but I am bad at it. I might be less bad if I used the Hoop Tracker smartwatch, which is designed very specifically for basketball, unlike most wearables that aim at a more general audience. The new Kickstarter project promises instant analysis and tracking of your shots, including three-point, free throw and field goal percentage, as well as more standard stuff like time spent on court and calories burned."

Consumer tech like this is the simple version of the bigger trend towards technology equals analytics - in professional hoops, all arenas now have a series of cameras that track all movements of every player on the court.  That means the cameras ultimately tell you when and what circumstances Kevin Durant is most effective in when playing with the second string point guard.  Turns out, he's better with that guy when that guy starts the offense by passing to the 2-guard.  On the left side of the court.

Work is going to be the same.  It's going to end up being a mash of data (email, phone calls, geo-location) that feeds in to an algorithm that tells us you're more productive when Sally doesn't email you at all.  So we'll fix the glitch - Sally won't be able to email you.  Turns out because you're such as ass to Sally, she's more productive when she doesn't ask you for things.  We might even transfer you to another team based on that data.

Your privacy isn't going to mean a damn thing.  Companies that get to the next stage on this stuff will be able to buy your approval through higher salaries, a subsidized cafeteria, and yes, a free Google Glas for all new hires.

The Best Places to Work will have the least privacy.  And the sheeple will be fine with it. 




There is more at work here than just "new." Bluetooth headsets for mobile phones aren't by any means new technology, but those who use them (or even just wear them) conspicuously in public are perceived as d-bags. Google Glass is like a bluetooth headset on steroids across every axis (capability, visibility, cost... ). If we still think it's "uncool" to wear a $69 earpiece out in public, then I think Google glass has a huge hill to climb toward acceptance.

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