Google Glass Just As Distracting As Smartphones When It Comes To Texting While Driving
Sep 28, 2014 05:04 AM EDT
A group of researchers discovered that Google Glass is just as dangerous and distracting as mobile phones when used for texting while driving, Reuters reported.
Google previously explained that its high-tech eyewear relies on voice commands and head movements to open and reply to text messages. These features seem safer as compared to looking at the phone's screen and using fingers to text while doing something else.
But according to the researchers from the University of Central Florida, the Google Glass can still negatively affect the driving performance of users.
In the study, about 40 people in their twenties participated. While using a driving simulator, some of the participants were told to text using their smartphones while the others were asked to use Google Glass, according to News For Shoppers.
While texting, the simulator displayed another vehicle suddenly braking in front of the test subjects.
All of the users were able to react to the simulation. However, the smartphone users were able to create more space between them and the car ahead as compared to those wearing Google Glass.
"When you look at how fast people react to an unexpected traffic event - how fast they slam on their brakes, we didn't find a statistically significant difference between Google Glass and smartphones," psychological researcher Ben Sawyer explained.
Even though Google's device allows driving to keep their eyes on the road, Sawyer said it can still affect their thought process and delay their reactions to certain situations.
"Looking does not necessarily mean you are seeing," he commented.
Despite the result, Sawyer and his team of researchers noticed that the Google Glass offered an advantage to users than smartphones, Today Online reported.
Those wearing the eyewear recovered much faster after the near-collision compared to smartphone users. In other words, they were able to continue their usual driving routine and get back on the road.
According to Sawyer, Google can capitalize on this aspect to lessen the distraction problems caused the device.