Russell Holly

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.

Google's giving us the chance to shape the future, for the (not-so) low, low price of $1,500

The smartphone, as we know it right now, is on borrowed time.

Take a look at the technology being researched right now, crossed with the future tech in modern-day science fiction. The future people like Tony Stark, Kiera Cameron or Douglas Quaid in their respective stories all live in worlds where the common smartphone is not enough. Researchers today are already into flexible displays, transparent monitors that act as windows or mirrors, and a never-ending sprint to make everything thinner, faster, and lighter. The plastic and glass in your hand right now is already old technology to the people sitting in labs dreaming up what is coming next.

The most exciting part of all of that is the lack of direction. The path to the modern smartphone was fairly well outlined. It’s almost organic, if you look back over the last 15 years. The next step isn’t quite so clear, so a lot of companies are guessing.

Google Glass is one of those guesses.

You can't blame folks for being wary of Google Glass. It's clunky, expensive, with limited use. But that's the point. You have to start somewhere.

Right now, Glass is a notification dumpster strapped to your face that requires a smartphone to do anything terribly interesting, but it’s not that hard to visualize the next step for the platform being a standalone replacement to the modern day smartphone.

Google is using Glass as a learning mechanism — and charging people an arm and a leg to help them define this technology. The last six months alone have seen such a dramatic change in the way Glass works and how the Explorers interact with the hardware that it might as well be a different piece of equipment at this point. The Glass team at Google is doing so much more than just releasing a product. They are trying to define a category and give it purpose, which is significantly more important. Google wants to be for wearables what Apple was for the smartphone. And even more exciting is that Google is doing it out in the open for everyone to see.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about Glass. I’m not thrilled to hear stories from developers about how controlling Google is being when it comes to software development. It’s a walled garden that makes iOS app publishing look downright one-click. Developers working on Glass right now are actively discouraged from profiting in a direct way, but they are still expected to walk whatever line Google sets. It is freakishly night-and-day compared to Android app publishing.

Through Glass

From Google’s perspective, where a poor user experience could quickly sour someone on Glass, it makes sense. This is hardware that you should never really need to take off, and in a perfect world never need to troubleshoot. It’s not Android, even though it runs Android. Even those of us who can’t help but tinker with our hardware can’t quickly deal with a glitch floating half an inch from our eyeballs. It’s supposed to “just work” because you can’t afford a force close or deal with a nagging in-app purchase when behind the wheel of a car or in the middle of nine things in the kitchen.

Information in front of your eyeball comes at a premium — and that requires tighter control, at first.

Glass has dramatically changed how I do a lot of things. Driving and working out are the two biggest things. You’ve read this on just about every other Through Glass post here on AC, but just to make sure it sinks in I’ll say it again; having GPS right in front of your eye is hands down (see what I did there) the best and safest experience I have ever had. I also love the headphones that you can buy separately. It’s significantly more comfortable than strapping your phone to your arm when working out, or even just wandering around town. I worried initially that the headphones would make me less social when in public, but in fact the opposite appears to be true. I don’t mind pulling them out to talk to someone because they are so easy to locate and put back in.

I don’t know whether or not Glass is really the next step after the smartphone. I know that it is one of several ideas out there right now, and I know that it is by far the most public expression of discovery that I have ever seen from a company before. We’re learning together, so that our future selves can benefit from what we know does and doesn’t work about the technology. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase, because it allows me to be a part of that. Here’s to the future, people, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

More from our Through Glass series ...

 
There are 46 comments

tommya98 says:

I've been intrigued about the idea of Google Glass since it was announced. I am a strong believer in moving technology into a wearable direction. I am a proud owner of a Galaxy Gear and couldn't imagine life without it. If I had a spare $1500 lying around I would have bought these long ago. I am excited to see what the future has to offer.

Google glass will a even worse distraction while driving.

Posted via Android Central App

brendilon says:

Glass for navigation is great. But let's be honest, people are morons and WILL text and play games on it while driving. Google needs to find a way to keep that from happening.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

Spot on, brother.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Lekoq Grande says:

why is everyone's main concern involve driving? if you are that worried, then when you get your pair don't wear them while driving...get over it, My uncle has a pair and he rarely wears them, in fact i'm trying to take them off his hands..wish me luck!

MERCDROID says:

Trust me, so far, there's only two people (that I know of, on this site) that are absolutely against Glass. If it's used responsibly, then there's nothing to worry about. Fingers crossed, that he lets you borrow them, at least,

MERCDROID says:

Ya know, I just realized that his comment had absolutely nothing to do with driving or distractions. Yet, you still took the opportunity to basically "copy and paste" a reply identical to the ones from the previous Glass articles. Will you give the fear mongering a rest already?

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Pedalbflat says:

This... is spot on! ;-)

Posted via Android Central App

I don't see Glass being the HIT Google think it's going to be. They have however, put wearable tech in the line of sight for the consumer...the Smartwatch, which i believe is the next big thing.

Having a fully fledged phone strapped to my wrist sounds great...

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

S_C_B says:

Serious question. Did Google ever state that they wanted it to be a hit, or are they just trying to gather information as some other folks have stated recently?

Posted via Android Central App

Serious question:

Did i offend you by saying Glass won't be a hit like they expect it to be??

I've seen numerous publications where Google have stated that they want Glass to be a hit and to have EVERYBODY wearing them.

Gather information?? They already do a good job at that. ;-)

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

Rigelian says:

I don't think I've seen any publications where Google states that they expect Glass to be a hit. Could you point me to one?

No can do...

I've read a few articles, but don't remember where from. That's what happens when i have little interest in something...

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

MERCDROID says:

For someone with very little interest in Glass, you sure do comment a LOT about how you don't like it, lol.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

I never said i didn't like it....

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

MERCDROID says:

Little interest in something usually means that you either don't like it or care for it.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Rigelian says:

Let me get this straight, you've read numerous articles about something you have little interest in but there are too few of them to easily find one that supports your statement. Okay.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

Boom, lol.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

MERCDROID says:

If anything, you seem more offended in your reply than he does in asking an honest question.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Offended? How so??

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

MERCDROID says:

Just like your reply to my comment below, it's defensive. As soon as someone asks you an honest question or expresses an interest in a product that you don't like, you get defensive.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

brendilon says:

The Smart watch will be a big thing that is then quickly moved past to the next big thing. In short, it's a fad. They simply don't do that much and to do anything substantive, you're stuck with two hands.

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed. I'm hoping the next big thing, is flexible phones and tablets to put around my arm... :-\

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

planoman says:

I do not get this. I would not wear these if they were free. On my wrist yes, but never on my face.

Sent from my Moto X!

fuzzylumpkin says:

That's what she said...

But I agree, it may be a little intrusive for everyday use, especially by "normal" people. Like having a conversation with someone with a phone in their hand, it's off pouring and kinda rude.

Posted via Android Central App

brendilon says:

If someone is messing with their phone, then yes, it is off-putting and rude.
If someone has their phone in their hand down by their side and is making eye contact with you and listening, that's not rude.
You can tell when someone who has Glass on is listening to you or not. One is rude, the other is not.

Posted via Android Central App

+1

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

fbatista says:

This article just about the same way I feel about my Google Glass. It is hard to justify price but the experience alone does make up for it.

Posted via Android Central App

Glass will be one of those things where the folks who have it will act like they are back in high school think that those that don't have glass will be uncool people.

Posted via Android Central App

MERCDROID says:

I find it absolutely hilarious that people feel the need to hate on Glass in EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE about it.

If people don't want it, fine. But, trashing it 24/7 just makes people look foolish.

And, more than likely, the people trashing it have not used it, let alone even know someone that has.

For once, just once, can people stop trying to spread their own personal agendas?

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

JFMobile says:

Hallelujah ✔

✉ from ⓖⓞⓞⓖⓛⓔ Nexus 5

Oh stop it.

Just because myself and others don't have the same interest as you doesn't mean they're haters...

Grow up fanboy...

I know a few people who have Glass or who have had it..

the big print giveth, the small print taketh

MERCDROID says:

How am I a fanboy of something I don't even have?

And, frankly, as soon as you resort to name-calling, you know you're wrong, lol.

All I'm saying is, let's not defeat a technology that doesn't even commercially exist.

It's ok to not like it. But, does it really make sense to repeat the same fear mongering or dislike of the progression of a technology that A) you've probably never used; B) you're not likely to buy, anyway?

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

TenshiNo says:

Well said. The "internet" loves to try and kill technology before it even hits the shelves. Seen it happen many times in the past. What's sad is that, sometimes, they're successful.

MERCDROID says:

I wish I knew someone that had Glass. I'd take that opportunity to learn as much as I possibly could about it.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

MERCDROID says:

Thanks, AC and Russell!!

markbc says:

Thank you for this article... Very interesting and thoughtful.
The more I read the more I think this is not something that I want, or want around me... . my smart phone is more than enough, and it is less invasive.
But thank you for a very interesting article..

pgg101 says:

I'm have as much interest in glasses as I do for bluetooth ear pieces and watches.
What if you wear prescription glasses? You wear it on top of the other?

Posted via Android Central App on BlackBerry Z30

MERCDROID says:

I believe the commercial release will be compatible with prescription glasses.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

user7618 says:

All I want is self tying shoes and self drying jackets alá Back to the Future. Everything else is gravy.

Android will make you a sexual tyrannosaurus... Just like me.

MERCDROID says:

Your signature is amazing, brother.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Nexus 5, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Gekko says:

"Ah, goatees. The preferred facial hair of nerds, fat guys, bikers and Mark Wilson." – Gizmodo

Gearu says:

Uh, the main thing to be wary of is the humongous social problems wrongful technology like google glass will cause. It should be banned. Anyone who disagrees is an idiot and contributor to the downfall of society. People over 50 who have had their life and are now living a boring insignificant family life obviously don't care, but the people who matter DO.

We cannot have jerkoffs going around everywhere recording everything (and not even intentionally, but because things like glass and worse 'happen' to be recording all the time), what the hell kind of world is that to live in. A terrible one.

It IS just the beginning as the topic says, because things are just going to get worse and worse and worse.

TenshiNo says:

Jeez, dude. Maybe it's time to lay off the caffeine. Do you have any idea how often you're being recorded in your daily life? There are cameras *everywhere* these days. Most of them are security or traffic cameras. As for people "surreptitiously" recording, there are already cameras on the market that allow for this sort of thing, and they're a *lot* more covert than Google Glass.

All this "invasion of privacy" talk is just silly. If you are in a public place, you have no privacy because you're in public. Simple. Not sure why people have a hard time with the concept. I mean, if you're walking down the street and some tourist snaps a photo that you happen to be in and posts that photo to Facebook, was you privacy "violated"? No, because you were in public. End of discussion.

MERCDROID says:

+1

Rigelian says:

Now you've done it, you are on the path to contributing to the downfall of society. As for those cameras that are all around, they are in the control of those we can completely trust, corporations and governments. Why would we worry about that? Giving common folk access to this type of technology is just too dangerous. (Yes and I am being sarcastic).