In an era in which we need laws to discourage people from texting and driving, Google's plan to sell Internet-connected glasses throws up red flags.
Google announced recently that it was selling its Project Glass devices to computer programmers attending an annual conference. Google's goal was to get its glasses into the hands of technical-savvy people to help refine the product.
From a development standpoint, that's reasonable. And Google can't be faulted from trying to push technology. Google hopes to begin marketing the glasses to the public in 2014.
The Google glasses will allow the wearers to see directions to their destination or a text message from a friend on the lenses.
In the proper setting, this could be great. However, it raises concerns what happens if people wear the glasses while driving or performing other critical tasks. And, undoubtedly, some will.
In recent years, we've seen too many examples of what can happen when drivers are distracted by texts and other things.
Some states have banned the use of hand-held cellphones while driving. Pennsylvania hasn't taken that step although it has prohibited texting while driving.
What happens when those texts begin popping up on a driver's glasses? How much of a distraction might that be to a driver? And how will police know someone is viewing texts on their lenses while driving?
These are the things state officials should be looking at now. We don't dispute that Google's idea has potential to be useful.
But the announcement also should get lawmakers thinking about the dangers such technology could pose if not used in the proper setting.
It would be nice for a change if the law was on pace with technology, rather than lagging years behind.
Google has clearly indicated where it is taking technology. Now lawmakers need to be equally adept at trying to keep this advancement from being a danger, especially on our roads.
Lives could depend on it.