Smartglasses – not so smart?

Sir, – As a designer, I was interested to read the ad alerting people about the introduction of Meta Ray-Ban Stories smartglasses. The public is being told to be aware that when the device’s white LED light is on then they are being videoed or pictured by the wearer of the device using an onboard camera.

Why is the onus on the public to be aware? It is the responsibility of the wearer to obtain explicit permission from a person if they want to capture their likeness. Whatever the legal position on this, it is a matter of ethical design and human courtesy to obtain this permission first.

Meta should consider redesigning the smartglasses to prevent their use without express permission from the person on the other side of the lens first. What is the point of a small LED someone may or may not notice? I wonder did Meta consider adding a voice warning for accessibility purposes too?

More broadly, the designers of all mobile phone cameras should do the same. Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories is just another form of intrusion into our personal lives. We are already worn out with mobile phone users pointing cameras wherever they like without a thought. Capturing videos and images of others without permission or their knowledge is now an accepted social phenomenon. Most captures are neither wanted nor needed. Certainly, the majority of these camera pointers are unaware of how these images could be used by others, or even care. That needs to change. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.