By McKinley Noble | 03-01-2013 | 3:00PM
There are tons of amazing things that Google Glass can do, from recording point-of-view videos to giving you point-by-point GPS directions. However, it seems the gadget might not be as flexible as it should.
According to Quartz's Business Insider, FCC regulations are preventing the headset from carrying a cellular signal, which makes many of its features inactive:
"...There's a second reason that Google and every other maker of forthcoming face-based systems probably shouldn't even attempt to turn smart glasses into cell phones: They could become the definitive test of whether or not cell phones cause cancer, and not in a good way.
"As Quartz reader and software developer Brian Topping pointed out in response to our recent piece on the Neptune smartphone watch, any object that attaches a cell phone radio to a specific place on the wearer’s body, day after day, is going to deliver point levels of radio frequency radiation that could run afoul of the FCC’s rules. (We’ve reached out to Google about whether or not this came up as it worked on Google Glass, and will update with what we hear back.)"
Equipping a cellular radio to Google Glass would certainly require it to be larger, but additionally, those signals are thought by some groups to be a cancer risk.
If that sounds familiar, it's part of the same rules that govern smartphone and cell phone manufacturing, as there's a certain build quality necessary to keep excess radio frequency radiation away from your skull and brain.
(Author's Note: Despite a wide spectrum of reports, there's no concrete evidence that smartphones or any kind of cellular devices cause cancer.)
That's worrisome for Google Glass, since it essentially means the gadget has to be tethered to a Wi-Fi connection in order to access most of its features.
Then again, that would be less of an issue if there were reliable, city-wide Wi-Fi networks.
Moreover, that problem could also be circumvented by tethering software that pulls cellular activity from your smartphone, at least until an updated version of Google Glass can render the FCC guidelines moot.
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