Okay by now if you are of the geeky tech type, you know or have heard something about Google Glass. If it were to be ranked, it is pretty high up there on the coolness scale and isn’t something everyone has see, touched, or played with right now. When it comes down to it right now roughly only 10,000 people in the whole world might own one. While 10,000 might sound like a lot, when compared to the number of people in the world, that sounds down right miniscule. But what exactly is Google Glass and what does it exactly do for those just might not have heard of it yet?
Google Glass is wearable technology, a mini computer for your eyes, or a phone accessory all depending on who you are and your use of it. Plainly Google Glass is a wearable projection screen and camera that you wear on your head like a pair of glasses. With Google Glass you can take pictures and video from the perspective of your eyes. Pictures and video are taken at the same level of your eyes so it truly represents what you see. Plus there is no need to fumble around with buttons, just look at something, tell Google Glass to take a picture and done. When not taking a picture or video, Glass lets you look at things like the time, weather, and nearby places (like Google Now cards that pop up). You can follow information like Twitter, The NY Times, and CNN which feeds keep you connected. And you can also see your new email, send/receive text messages, or make/receive calls from Glass. There is even Google Maps on board so you can get direction displayed right in front of you eyes.
I picked up Google Glass on Friday June 14th near the New York Google office. I thought I would be going to their actual office, but they had a separate Glass pick up area across the street in the Chelsea Market. When I arrived I was checked in and then a Glass guide guided me to a station where we would sit. My guide showed me a case display of the Google Glass devices in all the available colors and confirmed if I still wanted my selection (I had went with Charcoal since it could be worn with anything). Once we did that, it was brought over and we unboxed it. Google Glass is much lighter than I expected. I knew it would be light, but didn’t realize how light it was. She then had me put it on and fitted it to my face. I was able to adjust how high it fit on my face by squeezing the nose piece area.
After fitting she walked me through all the features and things I could do with Glass. The whole process was about an hour and then I was off to go. I left the Chelsea Market area and embarked on my journey as a Google Glass Explorer.
It has now been just about a month since I’ve had Google Glass and already it is a normal part of my daily flow. Since Glass in it’s current iteration can’t be put over normal glasses, I opted to bring my contacts back. So since the 14th of June I have wore contacts daily to use with Glass. From a day to day perceptive, Google Glass allows me to move about the city hands free. Things I use to have to dig into my phone for I no longer have to do. One common yes simple item would be to check the time, and this is one I do very often. Before I would have to reach into my pocket, get my phone, and power it on to see the time. Now I simply can just tilt my head up and the time is displayed for me. Another common use I have is checking and replying to text messages. Again with my phone I would need to pull it out, unlock it, launch the text app or hit the notification to see the message. Now with Glass it is quickly displayed in front of my eyes, and I can reply just as quickly by speaking my response out and seeing it translate on to the screen. One thing of annoyance which I hope they get rid of in a future update however is the fact that ever text message sent via Glass get the signature “Sent by Glass” appended to it. That can go.
Those are some of the common task, there are more of course like taking pictures and recording video. I think I’ve taken more pictures in the last 3 and half weeks than I have ever with my smartphone. This is again because I don’t like having to get my phone out, unlock it, launch the camera app, and then take the picture. With glass I can quickly hit the shutter button on the frame or utter those famous “Okay Glass, take a picture” phrase and it’s done. This make taking a picture so much easier and quicker if I want to capture something. Right now I can share those pictures to Facebook and Google+, and hoping more as time goes on. We can now also google something and it it leads to a website, we can click in and see the site, which is very cool. And of course navigation is always good sending direction floating in front of my eyes. But many of these features I don’t use daily. The time, checking messages, replying to text, and taking pictures or some of the things I’ve done the most in the last three weeks.
I have high hopes for apps I think would be great on Google Glass, and wait with eagerness. Some of these include apps like Foursquare, Simple, Nest (officially), Paypal, Instagram, and Dropcam to name a few. Google Glass has such great potential and I will definitely be riding it out to see where it can go!
Now there has been a bunch of posts and articles with mixed opinions about how people react to users of Glass. I can’t knock or discredit any one person’s experience with this, but I can share my own. Since I basically wear Google Glass everyday, I’ve been met with nothing more than positive reactions. I get some stares as people try to figure out what it is, some people know what it is and are immediately excited about it, others know and whisper “Hey it’s Google Glass….Check it out, he has Google Glass on”. Some just look, while others come up to me and ask questions. So far I’ve worn Glass out and about in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and in Philly. The excited people are always the best, you would think I was a celebrity. People come up, ask questions, and some want to take a picture with me. Others (especially in any tech type events) ask to try it on for themselves and you see their jaws drop in amazement. Still others who just ask questions about what it does, and I explain look like I just said something out of the movie Star Trek and even had some people laugh out of pure awe. Every encounter I’ve had with Glass has been positive and genuine. It has actually be quite surprising the amount of people who do know what it is or has heard or it and never seen it up close. The popular questions are always “What does it do? Wear can I buy it? How much it is? Where/When can I get one? Do you work for Google? (that one comes after saying it isn’t out yet)”
Overall I’ve haven’t experience a negative reaction to Glass as of yet. I either get just the people who stare, or trying not to get caught looking. I’ve had people with camera, walk up while I’m sitting and ask can they take my picture or a picture with me. And I’ve had the people who are brave enough (I’m really don’t think I look unapproachable, I smile at people lol) to come up to and ask questions. This is definitely a conversation starter, and I’ve had many great conversation about Google Glass and technology in general because of it.
Will Google Glass be a hit? Sure while I’ve had positive reactions, there will be people who fear what they don’t understand. But as more of these pop up, people will get use to it. Will Google sell a bunch of these? If they can hit that sweet spot price, they should sell more than a truck load. I would speculate that it this needs to be anywhere from $299-$499 for it to be something people will want to go spend with. But then again this is Google and they could pull a Nexus 7 on us, and have it come out for $199-$249. People would lose their minds trying to get it then! So keep an eye out, because while some might disagree, this is the next step. 10 years or so from now, this or some variation of it will what everyone is using. This is a look into the future!