Rusty Brick is planning ahead for the day that Google Glass is released onto the market with a new app for modern observant Jews.
Google Glass is a wearable computer that is still being tested.
Worn like a pair of sunglasses, the computer of the future allows people to access information that is displayed “out of the corner of one’s eye” without completely obstructing the wearer’s vision.
It’s costly and not yet on the market, but Rusty Brick has put their faith so completely into this product, they have already begun to market their Google Glass app – JewGlass.
Designed to make observing Jewish traditions as convenient as possible, the app pulls up information about Shabbat times, nearby synagogues and kosher eating places. It provides translation services (find a menu in Hebrew, need it translated? JewGlass will even read the translation out loud.)
It provides directions, just like Google Maps, and warns wearers when the sun is about to set ahead of Shabbat.
Once in the synagogue to pray, or even at the office desk for those who can’t get away, the app will explain which is the appropriate prayer for that particular time of day (Shacharis), afternoon services (Mincha) or evening services (Maariv).
It’s a well-thought out design, but we have to wonder if it doesn’t detract from the religious experience. By relying too heavily on JewGlass or Google Glass, one is simply following the motions without putting in any real effort or thought.
Surely this is great for way-finding, but do we really want to geek out traditions to such an extent that we don’t have to put any thought into them? Surely the thought process that goes into observing traditions is part of the so-called “pay off” spiritually speaking?
Well, it’s a bit too early to say, since Google Glass is still a ways from being released onto the market, and when it gets there, it will be reserved for a select few – especially at first – since it’s going to cost about $1500!
:: Rusty Brick