Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Google Glass Can Cause Eye Pain

By - Source: BetaBeat | B 9 comments

The pain could last a week.

Betabeat reports that two of its writers who tested Google Glass experienced sharp pains about ten minutes into the demo. After continuously pressing Google for an explanation, the search engine giant put BetaBeat in touch with Dr. Eli Peli, a Harvard optometrist who was brought into the Explorer program as a consultant. Turns out that "ocular discomfort" is a common Glass-based problem.

The "headaches" are caused by the location of the screen. Google initially tried to place the display straight ahead or below the eye, but the screen obstructed the user's line of vision. So the only place to put the screen was above the eye (upper right). Unfortunately, looking up is uncomfortable; we're used to looking straight ahead or down towards our feet.

"The only people who look up a lot are some professionals like electricians and painters," Dr. Peli told Betabeat. "Most of us look either straight or down. It's well known that up is less comfortable."

Dr. Peli also added that when we look left or right, it's usually for a split second before our head turns in that direction. People typically don't look to the side for an extended duration. He provides an example, saying that when someone is standing on their leg for a long period of time, the person begins to feel tension. That's not how the leg is normally used.

"If you're looking at the Glass for a minute, you're holding it there for sixty times longer than normal," Dr. Peli added. He said that Glass users aren't getting headaches; users are merely straining their eye muscles. The pain will go away in a few days – a week at the most. Glass wearers will eventually get used to looking at an odd angle, or won't use Glass as much as they initially did.

"The recommendation is to not overdo it when you start," he said. "Use it in the recommended way right from the beginning."

Just weeks ago, Google opened the Glass doors to anyone willing to part with $1,500 USD. The company indicated that the Glass Explorer program is still an open beta of sorts. Previous reports claimed that Google will try to make the retail version of Glass available for everyone before the end of the year.

Add your comment Display all 9 comments.
  • 6 Hide
    de5_Roy , May 30, 2014 2:14 PM
    "Google Glass Can Cause Eye Pain"
    sure it does. to the wearers and anyone who sees them.
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , May 30, 2014 2:32 PM
    So, people actually didn't know this? Has no one ever looked up before, it does hurt so logic follows that a device where you have to look up would cause pain after a while.
  • 0 Hide
    Mac266 , May 30, 2014 4:04 PM
    "Google Glass Can Cause Eye Pain"
    sure it does. to the wearers and anyone who sees them.

    Arrrgggg! My eyes! lol
  • 2 Hide
    everlast66 , May 30, 2014 5:52 PM
    "Google Glass Can Cause Eye Pain"
    Yep, especially when someone not happy about you putting a camera in their face throws a right hook at you!
  • 0 Hide
    Haravikk , May 31, 2014 2:30 AM
    If looking down is easier, then why does Google Glass not put the display there? We've had bifocals for a while now, with the reading glass part below and the distance (or plain, if not short-sighted) part above and these work pretty well.
  • 2 Hide
    dstarr3 , May 31, 2014 7:49 AM
    "When someone is standing on their leg for a long period of time, the person begins to feel tension. That's not how the leg is normally used."

    I've apparently been standing wrong my entire life.
  • 0 Hide
    koga73 , May 31, 2014 7:37 PM
    I've used google glass quite a bit. Even developed for it. I never experienced the eye pain suggested by this article except when first trying it. However after developing and testing on it all day the problem I experienced was when I tried to go to sleep. When I shut my eyes I could still see a white rectangle of light burned into my eye by the google glass screen. It subdued after a day but was quite annoying. I can't imagine that having a bright screen that close to your eye is good for you.
  • 1 Hide
    ajr1775 , June 1, 2014 6:44 PM
    The newer models get warm on the glass side of the face/head. Recommendation from Google.....take them off and let them cool down. I couldn't stop laughing.
  • 1 Hide
    soundping , June 2, 2014 4:49 AM
    NSA doesn't have any problems with GG.
React To This Article