Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/14/blurring_specs/

First, Google goggles - now the world gets self-censoring specs

Sticky tape is surely a cheaper alternative?

By Bill Ray

Posted in Bootnotes, 14th August 2012 07:29 GMT

The Committee for Purity in the Camp is reportedly selling spectacles that deliberately blur vision, leading wearers not into temptation.

The glasses are, apparently, on sale in the more orthodox Jewish sections of Israel, for £25 or only a fiver for stickers one can attach to ones existing specs.

The idea is to blur anything in the distance while allowing local focus to create short-sightedness, with a clear section at the bottom so one can see one's own feet and avoid walking into lamp posts and the like.

The Associated Press credit the vigilantly "Modesty Patrols" with selling the obfuscation tech, a report which has been circulated widely, though more-local media attributes the move to The Committee for Purity in the Camp and the Hebrew-language title Maariv does have a photograph of the non-offending specs.

But perhaps more interesting than the sale of a few stickers to gullible religious types has been the reactions to the story, which vary from the usual ranting to suggestions that this is a sensible way forward.

Skipping lightly over the outright racists and nutters exemplified by the commentators at The Daily News, we have the usual comments about the insanity of forcing women to cover up in deference to man's uncontrollable libido. It's a fair argument, but one which could equally be applied to female nipples which our own society likes to see covered for similar reasons - it's a matter of degree.

Then there's the more-thoughtful response that glasses like this shift responsibility from the women to the men, if they don't want to be visually tempted then they should avert their eyes, or adopt technology capable of averting their eyes for them, which brings us seamlessly to Google Glasses.

The technology isn't quite there yet, but surely it won't be long before Google's eyewear can overlay whatever reality we'd prefer to see onto the humdrum world in which we exist. If you want to live in a world populated by strong-limbed Aryans then just paint it in, while people of all race, colour and sex can wade around naked whilst appearing to be as clothed as the watcher would prefer them to be.

That might be the Flying Car for the next generation, but it's surely better than sticking Sellotape over your glasses to avoid seeing what might offend. ®