Our experiences with Google's experimental wearable.
Google Glass, still in its infancy, lends itself to unique experiences from all walks of life. Sometimes, there are no cut-and-dried answers. Or, if you prefer another cliche, the journey is what what's important, not the destination. Perhaps that's the point when it comes to Google Glass — the Borg-esque wearable computing accessory that can be described a million ways, but must be worn to truly experience.
Glass — aka Project Glass — was announced in typical Google fanfare at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco in the summer of 2012. The Explorers program began in the spring of 2013, but Glass remained a pretty rare gadget. Part of that was the $1,500 price tag, but Google was limiting the number of folks in the Explorers program as well. Fast forward a year, and the number of Explorers has increased significantly. Early Explorers were allowed to invite friends. Those with Google Developer accounts came on board. More invites were served. Google Glass remains a pretty exclusive club, but one whose numbers are growing.
As unique as the Explorers themselves are the stories we have to tell. No two of us use Glass the same way. No two of us have the same experiences. We find similarities, sure. But for each one of us in the Explorers program, what we put into Glass — and what we get out of it — is what makes this endeavor so special.
These are our stories.
24 April 2014
I feel like I should be exploring something, right? That's the whole point of this Google Glass "Explorers" program. Get out into the world and do amazing things with this $1,500 space-age contraption strapped to my face. Instead, I can count on one hand the number of times I've dared to venture out of my house wearing Glass.
Ask anyone who has Google Glass — or just be in the same room with anyone who's got Glass — and you quickly realize that these things attract attention. Curious onlookers, excited nerds, skeptics who worry that we're recording their every move. (Hint: We're not. You're not that exciting.) They all want to know what it really does. Try it for themselves. What's it like?
That's a good thing. In that respect, Glass is already a success — getting folks to talk about the technology, good or bad. But you've got to admit that it can become a bit of an annoyance. You don't always want to play the evangelist. Doesn't Google have people for that? Can't they talk to everyone and tell people what it's like to wear Glass? Can't I just be at this party? Or go to the store? Or hang at the park? No. When you wear Glass, you inadvertently become a de facto evangelist for Glass. You don't get a day off, unless you take Glass off.
24 April 2014
The latest in our continuing series on living with Google Glass. Jen McEwen is the Chief Marketing Officer of MiKandi.com (NSFW link). You can also find her on Google+.
Google glass is awesome and nerdy and clunky and not all that practical — but it's still bringing us together
Google Glass is a device of contradictions. It's intended for communication, but it’s hard to talk to someone on it. It captures and shares moments immediately, but getting the shot just right is cumbersome. It connects you with the world, but could alienate you from the people in front of you. But as with all technology, it is what you make it.
First and foremost, Glass is a communications device. As it stands today, I find it’s not a very useful one. Exciting, sure. Practical? Not entirely. If you think of mobile as delivering bite-sized content, Glass and other current wearable tech deliver nibbles. So I’ve found, primarily, Glass is great for text and email notifications. It’s good for photos and videos because it makes it faster to capture authentic moments. The trade-off is it’s harder to capture those moments perfectly. But I suppose that imperfection is what makes it authentic.
The one-up Glass has over my phone is that it gives me the potential to interact with technology in a much more natural way. No one disagrees that it’s an indiscreet device — I’m wearing a bright blue clunky gadget on my face, for Pete’s sake. That aside, through Glass I could stay connected with friends and the world passively and immediately. Glass, as most wearable tech, pushes technology out of the way, ultimately making it more useful.
Well, not quite yet. But soon, I hope.
24 April 2014
Latest in our series on living with Google Glass. Aaron Kasten is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for bleeding-edge technology. He's the founder of AndroidSWAG and the Big Android BBQ, and his latest venture is Winklogic, an app developer focused on wearables.
24 April 2014
The latest in our continuing series on living with Google Glass. Russell Holly writes for Geek.com, is a longtime Google Glass wearer, has used Android since before it was cool, and dreams of living in a TARDIS. No, really.
21 June 2014
My spouse took one look at me and said: "yep, you’re a fucking Glasshole." I’d just picked up the device at Google’s swanky San Francisco office and barely taken my first picture. This reaction would set the tone for my experience with Glass. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of wearing devices that enhance and augment my life. (I work for Pebble, after all!) I want to be a cyborg — bring on the implants!
It all started at Google I/O 2012 when I missed the opportunity to sign up for the privilege to be one of the first Glass Explorers. I was busy covering the event for Engadget, so I decided to line up later, not realizing there was a limited number of invites. That fall, I finally got to try Glass behind closed doors at Google’s HQ — after signing my life away, naturally. That first encounter was exciting: I was experiencing the future.
Fast forward to the spring of 2013. The first Explorers started getting devices, and the first reviews soon followed. Many lauded the technological achievement that is Glass but also questioned the usefulness of the product, even for tech-savvy early-adopters. Still, I was fascinated by one aspect in particular: hands-free photography. Better yet, the photos and videos shot with Glass looked half-decent.
Since I’d missed the boat at I/O the year before, I decided to ping my contacts at Google on the off chance one of them would be able to hook me up with Glass. Several weeks went by and nothing happened. I’d all but given up when, out of nowhere, an Explorer invite landed in my inbox. And that’s how I ended plunking down $1,500 only to be called a Glasshole by my spouse minutes later – I’m a sucker, I know!