Google Glass: Enthusiasts Complaining of Headaches – Calls for Warning Labels

[The following story from CNet yesterday seems to discuss an important phenomenon without specifically identifying it – that is, a common symptom of Electromagnetic-Hypersensitivity (EHS).  EHS is often a debilitating condition that is thought to affect between 4% and 30% of the population (to varying degrees) when exposed to sources of non-ionising radiation – WiFi, GSM, GPRS, 3G, etc.

In spite of attempts by the psychiatric community to bring EHS into their camp under a ‘psychological’ label, numerous clinics across the world have developed proprietary methodologies and protocols for diagnosing and treating individuals with EHS as a very real, neurological and physiological condition.  There is a UK charity dedicated to the issue – ES-UK.  The Swedish government now classifies EHS as a functional impairment.  Governments elsewhere across Europe (except for the UK, that is) are also making moves to reduce and eliminate sources of microwave radiation – especially around children.

A key takeaway from this article is that it’s not necessarily a good idea to put a microwave transmitter next to your brain – let alone wearing one permanently on your head.  We would obviously strongly recommend you keep such transmitters out of your home – especially in the form of Smart Meters.  Not only do these wireless devices record and broadcast what you are doing day-in, day-out, they also represent an emerging and troubling health risk.]


Chris Barrett, who was first to take Google Glass into a casino and also said he was first to film an arrest with Glass, finds he gets too many headaches. He’s also lost his enthusiasm for the gadget.(Credit: Chris Barrett (with permission))

When the novelty wears off, do you stop wearing the novelty all together?

And what if the novelty is proving to be more of a pain than you ever imagined?

These seem to be the thoughts that have coursed through the head of Chris Barrett, who once prided himself on being a Google Glass Explorer but now worries that it has affected his health.

Barrett is the PR man who was first to take Google Glass into a casino (and not get thumped by someone twice his size).

He also claimed to be the first to film an arrest with Google Glass, as well as getting Bon Jovi’s keyboard player to wear his Google Glass during a concert.

In tech, though, time is a very speedy and precarious concept. Though Barrett joined the Explorer Program in June 2013, he hasn’t worn his glasses for more than an hour in total since January 1.

There are two reasons. One is persistent headaches.

He told me:

The first headache came during the first week of wearing Glass. I was wearing Glass every day, all day long; I would wear it to Starbucks; I would wear it to the mall; I would wear it driving, and I would wear it at my office. There wasn’t a minute I didn’t have it on. By the second day wearing Glass, I was Googling everything I could, impressed with the novelty, demonstrating for friends, taking photos/videos. After a few hours of use, my head started to pound. I don’t usually get headaches. I thought maybe I was just tired, so I decided to sleep it off.

The second headache came about four to five weeks later, when he was being filmed by a Korean documentary film crew. They were shooting him and his fun wearing Google Glass. During this shoot, he says, he was wearing the glasses 8 hours a day.

The headache was far worse than the first time. He told me: “It hurt so badly that I had to go straight home and sleep.”

Barrett became convinced that prolonged Glass-wearing was causing him — someone with no previous pattern of headaches — to suffer.

He wondered, though, if he was alone. So he went to the private Google Glass community site to see whether anyone else had experienced difficulties…

I think there should be a warning that comes with Glass; that if you start to get a headache, you should limit your use. Not everybody who wears Glass will make the connection, especially people who are prone to headaches. I can’t imagine the effect Glass could have on migraine suffers or those with other neurological conditions.

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1 Comment
  1. Poor glassholes