Google’s Mail Goggles makes users work to send e-mail late at night


Sending e-mail that you may regret the next morning just got a bit harder for Gmail users.

On Oct. 6, Google Labs introduced Mail Goggles with hopes to help those who neglect to think before they hit “send.”

When enabled, the Mail Goggles window will appear after the send button is hit. It asks the user to solve five simple math questions before sending the message. If one or more answers is incorrect, the window refreshes and five new problems will appear.

According to a post on the official Google Labs blog, Mail Goggles is only active in the late evening on weekends for those who feel like e-mailing after drinking alcohol but can be changed to any day or time once enabled.

Leon Kotlyar, global communications and public affairs representative for Google, admits that Mail Goggles are quite tongue-in-cheek, but the usefulness will be ultimately determined by what Gmail users say.

“Based on user feedback, we’ll decide which ideas to retire and which to convert into fully-baked Gmail features,” Kotlyar said.

Psychology professor Keith Millis said that although people like to communicate at any hour, intoxication does play a part in how much people are willing to say.

“People are more [honest] than if they were sober,” Millis said. “[Alcohol] loosens them up.”

But Millis doubts the effectiveness of the Mail Goggles because a person would have to be severely drunk to answer simple math problems incorrectly, he said.

“I’m not sure if [Mail Goggles] would be able to identify moderate levels of intoxication,” Millis said. “People could bypass the system.”

Freshman undecided major Breanne Lindsay said she has mainly received phone calls or texts from intoxicated people but thinks that Google Mail Goggles is a strange yet good idea.

“I think it’s interesting,” Lindsay said. “Why not try it out and see what happens?”