Since the Google Glass Explorer Edition has been out for a few months, we considered that it’s time to put on the table the ups and downs of this experience.
When the first smartphone appeared we were all astonished by the amount of time we were able to save by having all those conveniences in the palm of our hand. With the Glass, Google is trying to recreate the smartphone experience but instead of bringing the technology in our hands, it was brought closer to our eyes. So, if until now you had to pull the phone from your pocket, open an app and take a photo or write a message, now, thanks to the Glass all you have to do is tell it what you need.
The question that made us write this article is what is it like to wear the Glass? If you take a look at Google’s advertisement campaign you would see it as a new age device ready to completely change the way you see the world. Even though developers have had access to the Google Glass Explorer Edition, for the price of $1,500 the device is still wrapped in mystery bubbles for the rest of us.
So we rounded up six testimonies from different people, in which the Google Glass experience is depicted.
Thanks to the Glass, now you can forget the gesture of whipping your phone out to check something, and that actually saves some time. However, most of the interviewed people say that the most awesome experience of all, is making videos with its camera.
Liza Gere, IT professional at a company in Calif said that if it wasn’t for the Glass she would have lost a lot of opportunities just because she would have spent a couple of minutes searching for her smartphone in her bag.
However, time saving is not by far the best of the Glass usage. Alexandra Blaszczuk, a law student in Columbia is paralyzed from her chest down. The Glass helped her interact with people in a way she never thought possible again. So the Glass is also able to offer some new opportunities to those in need.
Thanks to the Glass, Alexandra can now integrate better in a group and while she cannot do any physical tasks she can take photos or be the group guide on a field trip. So, the Glass could be the only device in the world able to provide some new opportunities for those physically challenged.
Transforms teaching into a whole new experience
For others, Glass has redefined roles in the professional world. Andrew Vanden Heuvel is a science teacher at Michigan Virtual University who was selected as Michigan Teacher of the Year in 2010. He uses Glass to create first-person videos and live broadcasts for his students.
What would you think about a teacher who uses his Glass as material for teaching? Because Professor Andrew Vanden Heuvel is using it to project live broadcasts or first-person videos for his students. Awarded with the Michigan Teacher of the Year title in 2010, Andrew Vanden Heuvel teaches science within Michigan Virtual University.
Vanden Heuvel will continue finding more and more interesting ways of teaching classes thanks to Google’s Glass.
Wearing the Glass
Reviews regarding how the Glass feels like or look like are all in favor. Most of the people who replied say the Glass is so lightweight that it has a natural feel when wearing it.
Donald Schwartz, one of the developers who create Glass applications said that they’re so comfortable he even forgets he has them on. The Glass silently waits for a voice command or a notification in order to make its presence felt.
One of the editors from FreeContentManagement, Ron Miller, said that the Glass is incredibly easy and doesn’t produce discomfort. However, he returned his Explorer Glass after 30 days. He added that he has a very good opinion about the Glass and him returning it has nothing to do with the way it works or looks.
How noticeable is it in public?
Explorer owners said that despite its futuristic capabilities, the Glass is small enough to almost go unnoticed. So, the sleek design comes in with another plus.
For Professor Vanden Heuvel in 50 percent of the cases he goes unnoticed. But in the other 50 percent of the cases he has to answer to questions such as “What’s that on your face?” or “Do you have something on your face?”
While Miller got away easily, it seems that Alexandra has a more complicated story. She says that people were very careful around her and a bit stressed.
But even if people don’t say anything it doesn’t mean they didn’t notice you. Gere says that you can observe them if you are taking photos with the Glass while in a crowded place. This is one of the ways you can actually realize how much attention the Glass actually draws.
And people such as Schwarts who received excited reactions at the sight of the Glass, mostly when present in networking events and among young people.
On the other hand, if you don’t want people to notice that easily that you are wearing the Glass, you can add it sunglasses lens accessories. It is normal for people to be looking at Google Glass with wonder since there are so few who actually have it, but if you like to stay out of sight, wear the sunglasses lens.
One of the most discussed subjects on the Glass is the security policy. And we must admit that it feels completely weird to know that anyone could hide a Glass beneath some sunglasses. This is why, a bar in Seattle banned its patrons to use the device. And of course, a couple of activists groups were formed and offer prints for posting unwelcoming messages for Glass.
The University of London conducted a survey and according to it, due to privacy issues one of five people believe that the device should be banned or at least regulated.
However, analysts believe that these will be sorted out when the time comes.
Downsizing the Glass
Google’s Glass is still a work in progress project and we don’t know any official release date. And we don’t hope to see one until all these bugs are fixed and security policy cleared.
Miller, the one who returned the Glass was the only one to report the device as being tiresome. He didn’t like the card information security either and also had a few moments when Google’s commands system failed to understand commands. However, this is more likely to happen in a crowded space. So far, the Glass is amazing in taking photos and videos, but perhaps Google will add some more key features before mass market introduction.
We don’t know exactly how apps for the Glass will evolve and what will they serve, but we’re pretty sure some of the smartphone apps will be transferred to the Glass after compatibility checking. The arrival of the Glass predicts the beginning of a new technological era and it has definitely fired up the entire tech world.