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"A study of over 4000 people carried out by the Centre of Creative and Social Technologies (CAST) at Goldsmiths University, revealed that one in five Britons were uncomfortable with the privacy implications surrounding the Google Glass – and believe that it should be banned outright. The research paper, The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity, found that around half of respondents expressed a general mistrust about the invasive nature of wearable technologies such as Google Glass and Nike +, citing concerns for privacy as well as calling for possible regulation over such smart objects. However, the survey did find a general openness towards the forthcoming explosion of cloud-powered devices, with around 71% of people expressing the enhancement that such innovations had allowed in regards to their health, intelligence, confidence, relationships, as well as many other aspects of their lives.
Google have already started to regulate usage of the Glass, recently banning pornography applications as well as facial recognition technologies that are believed to be a breach of privacy. However, the development of applications has persisted in the face of Google’s attempts to tame the behemoth that the Glass has become. The increased interest and openess of those studied in CAST’s survey for wearable tech will lead to what has been dubbed The Human Cloud: the term created for the network of humans equipped with wearable internet-connected technologies. The title alone certainly evokes an eerie progression towards the Singularity, but for the mean time, Chris Bauer co-director of CAST, comments that “The rich data created by wearable tech will drive the rise of the ‘human cloud’ of personal data. With this comes countless opportunities to tap into this data; whether it’s connecting with third parties to provide more tailored and personalised services or working closer with healthcare institutions to get a better understanding of their patients. We’re already seeing wearable technology being used in the private sector with health insurance firms encouraging members to use wearable fitness devices to earn rewards for maintaining a healthier lifestyle. It is likely that the public sector will look to capitalise on the wearable technology trend with a view to boosting telehealth and smart city programs.” Applications of the human cloud will serve only to enhance almost all aspects of our daily life, assimilating and collecting information in a much more efficient manner than ever before."