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And the Future Is…Glass?

January 31, 2012

Corning Incorporated, the company that produces most of the display glass used in personal electronics, posted this video on YouTube about a year ago (shout out to Little Gypsy, Big Suitcase where I first discovered this video). In it, we see how Corning’s glass products might very well become an unavoidable part of our daily lives.

I typically don’t read comments, especially YouTube comments, but these comments are truly fascinating. We can read a wide range of reactions, from the standard “AWESOME!!” to things like “If the future looks like this I will kill myself…” There is excitement and then there is fear. But it is a fear of…what exactly?

People fear change. They fear that new technology will make it easier for companies, governments, and other undesirables to spy on us. But to those who react this way I ask: how might this technology be used to spy on people? Most of this technology already exists (and is already used: iPhones, iPads, Android, etc.); what technology depicted in this video would help a malicious government or organization spy on its citizens/customers more than the technology that already exists and is being used for this very purpose?

Orwell’s 1984 may lie crouched around the corner (making this classic commercial not a little ironic), but if it is, this harmless advertisement hardly represents the dystopian future that awaits us. If this is what the future will look like, then this blog may be around for a long time to come (imagine the complaints when people try to brush their teeth in the morning!).

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