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Is Google Glass Causing Headaches?

By - Source: CNET | B 23 comments

Can Google Glass cause a headache?

CNET has an interesting article about a PR man named Chris Barrett who is one of Google's many Glass Explorer edition wearers. According to Barrett, wearing Glass for long periods of time gives him a headache, and apparently he's not alone.

Barrett joined the Explorer Program in June 2013, but he hasn't worn the wearable tech since January 1. He said that on the first day he was wearing Glass all day long, taking them everywhere including the mall, to Starbucks, while driving and more. On the second day of use, he started getting a pounding headache after a few hours. Typically, he doesn't get headaches.

A few weeks later, he suffered through another headache after wearing Glass for eight straight hours each day. At the time, he was being filmed by a Korean documentary film crew. The headache was so bad that he went home and slept it off. For someone who didn't get headaches, this wasn't normal.

Convinced that prolonged use of Glass causes headaches, he logged into the private Google Glass community site to see if anyone else was complaining. He discovered that one guy was getting them because he was forced to wear Glass high up on his nose in order to see the bottom of the screen. Others also reported discomfort when looking toward the right corner of Glass.

"Of course health and safety are extremely important to the Glass team, and we've been working with eye care professionals from the very beginning to ensure that the device is safe for use. In our help center, we do encourage new Explorers to ease into Glass, just as they would a new pair of glasses," a Google rep told CNET.

Unfortunately, the headaches brought on another problem: disinterest. Because he limited his usage, Barrett has discovered that he doesn't miss the glasses; he has no real need to use them. The Explorer specs sit on his desk every day, but he just doesn't feel compelled to use them. He has a smartphone and laptop that does everything he needs.

"I think there should be a warning that comes with Glass; that if you start to get a headache, you should limit your use," he told CNET. "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 sufferers or those with other neurological conditions.”

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  • 6 Hide
    joneb , February 22, 2014 1:46 PM
    Did these people have the screen on all these times? If so why? Im not an Oxford Don but I can work out that's not going to be good for anyone.
  • 8 Hide
    house70 , February 22, 2014 1:51 PM
    Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Just turn the darn thing off when not really needed. Use common sense, people. You don't expect to feel peachy if you were staring into a screen (any screen) for many hours at a time. What made you think this will be any different?
  • 6 Hide
    10tacle , February 22, 2014 2:02 PM
    Forget about the headaches. Who's that hot chick in the photo? Wowser.
  • Display all 23 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    SirGCal , February 22, 2014 4:08 PM
    I can't see how not... I'm in the extreme group where even 60Hz gives me a headache. I have to build my rigs smoother (75Hz is so-so, modern rigs let me get to 144Hz which stops the headaches). It's not an FPS thing, it's a flickering thing (Florescent bulbs suck also...)Aside from all that, I couldn't use the 'glasses' just cause they are what they are. Even part time, they would give me a sure headache. I've already seen a set unfortunately. I don't know what they would do about that, I might just not be able to use it ever. No real loss though to me.
  • 1 Hide
    universal remonster , February 22, 2014 6:09 PM
    "He said that on the first day he was wearing Glass all day long, taking them everywhere including the mall, to Starbucks, while driving and more."

    "A few weeks later, he suffered through another headache after wearing Glass for eight straight hours each day."

    LMFAO..... Wait wait, I think I've found the problem, and it's NOT the lack of including a warning.

    It seems common sense is as uncommon as taking on some personal responsibility.

  • 1 Hide
    p05esto , February 22, 2014 6:20 PM
    There are so many things I wish would die already.... google glasses, apple, facebook, twitter, all social media, smartwatches, ps4 vs x1 discussions.... sure I could think of a few more things if I try.
  • 1 Hide
    Attacker411 , February 22, 2014 7:55 PM
    I don't think it was Google Glass, I think it's the Starbucks!
  • 1 Hide
    none12345 , February 22, 2014 7:56 PM
    "There are so many things I wish would die already.... google glasses, apple, facebook, twitter, all social media, smartwatches, ps4 vs x1 discussions.... sure I could think of a few more things if I try. "Couldn't agree more.
  • -1 Hide
    Attacker411 , February 22, 2014 7:58 PM
    Quote:
    "There are so many things I wish would die already.... google glasses, apple, facebook, twitter, all social media, smartwatches, ps4 vs x1 discussions.... sure I could think of a few more things if I try. "Couldn't agree more.
    So, life as we know it?

  • 2 Hide
    Jgriff , February 22, 2014 9:15 PM
    Just turn us into androids and give us imortallity already so our race can survive and explore space for other homes when this rock inevitably blows. Skip all this one step junk.
  • 0 Hide
    simonx314 , February 22, 2014 10:15 PM
    Quote:
    Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Just turn the darn thing off when not really needed. Use common sense, people. You don't expect to feel peachy if you were staring into a screen (any screen) for many hours at a time. What made you think this will be any different?
    Google Glass is different because it reduces the amount of times you spend staring at screens. Mainly because Glass can almost completely eliminate the need to use your phone. Glass can perform most of the functions you would normally do on your phone, but much faster because of it's hands-free interface and heads-up display. I wear Glass for 12 hours a day, but the screen is only active for a few seconds at a time such as when reading a text or checking the weather. In total the display is on for only a few minutes a day. I spend much less time on my mobile now that I have replaced my hand-held with a wearable.Even if you wanted to watch a movie on Glass the battery wouldn't make it. Glass is not designed for consuming hours of content, there are much better devices for consumption. I prefer tablets.
  • 0 Hide
    simonx314 , February 22, 2014 10:22 PM
    One person gets two headaches and that's enough data to establish news worthy cause and effect? If Google Glass did cause headaches wouldn't this have surfaced nine months ago, when the Google Glass Explorer program started? All the comments I have seen on social media from other Google Glass users say that no one is getting headaches. I get more eye strain from looking at my phone because my arm isn't long enough for an ideal viewing distance. Glass's display floats about two arm lengths away.
  • 2 Hide
    zfreak280 , February 22, 2014 10:36 PM
    headaches caused from a screen half an inch from your retina... Who would have thought?!?!?
  • 0 Hide
    zfreak280 , February 22, 2014 10:43 PM
    Quote:
    I can't see how not... I'm in the extreme group where even 60Hz gives me a headache. I have to build my rigs smoother (75Hz is so-so, modern rigs let me get to 144Hz which stops the headaches). It's not an FPS thing, it's a flickering thing (Florescent bulbs suck also...)Aside from all that, I couldn't use the 'glasses' just cause they are what they are. Even part time, they would give me a sure headache. I've already seen a set unfortunately. I don't know what they would do about that, I might just not be able to use it ever. No real loss though to me.
    I'm pretty sure your headaches aren't caused from screen refresh rate. I'm also pretty sure your headaches are caused from fluorescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs emit a lot of light in the ultraviolet spectrum, which is harmful to your eyes and can cause headaches.
  • 0 Hide
    kristi_metal , February 23, 2014 4:32 AM
    Quote:
    I can't see how not... I'm in the extreme group where even 60Hz gives me a headache. I have to build my rigs smoother (75Hz is so-so, modern rigs let me get to 144Hz which stops the headaches). It's not an FPS thing, it's a flickering thing (Florescent bulbs suck also...)Aside from all that, I couldn't use the 'glasses' just cause they are what they are. Even part time, they would give me a sure headache. I've already seen a set unfortunately. I don't know what they would do about that, I might just not be able to use it ever. No real loss though to me.
    And you should not use monitors with PWM, they add a small flicker.
  • 0 Hide
    KangolBlue , February 23, 2014 5:40 AM
    Behind an Explorer I will say YES Google Glass does cause headaches during the first time or two use of the device. Once you adjust the Glass to that perfect fit on your face, strain on the eye goes away and it becomes almost second nature to view the display without any problems. So yes it will take some getting use to and adjusting before those issues go away.
  • 1 Hide
    coolitic , February 23, 2014 9:19 AM
    If it were really causing headaches, you would think that people would find out sooner rather than so late. I think it's a rare for people then.
  • 1 Hide
    vern72 , February 23, 2014 2:43 PM
    It's confirmed: it's a pain in the glass!
  • 0 Hide
    everygamer , February 23, 2014 5:30 PM
    It might not really effect people any differently that already get headaches, it comes down to why its causing them. It's very possible it was causing eye strain or sinus pressure leading to his headache, migraines are not always caused by those stimuli.At the end of the day its like anything else, everything in moderation.
  • 0 Hide
    bloodroses75 , February 23, 2014 7:44 PM
    Causes headaches? Definitely for the ones who have to deal with google glass users who are "glassholes"... lol
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