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 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.
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 set.It is freakishly night-and-day compared to Android app publishing.
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...
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. How Google Glass led to my latest business venture I felt the Lewis Carroll "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There...
articleDec 21, 2013
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...
articleDec 14, 2013
The latest in our new weekly series about living with Google Glass comes from our own Jerry Hildenbrand, a neckbearded riddle wrapped in a West Virginia enigma. Google Glass is no more distracting than your phone, nor is it any less We all know that if you get caught speeding upwards of 20 mph over the speed limit and you're wearing Google Glass, you're going to get at least one ticket. And...
articleDec 7, 2 013
Third in our continuing series on living with Google Glass. Paul O'Brien is the founder of the UK-based MoDaCo.com, a longtime smartphone hacker and developer and an all-around good guy to know. To date, Google has only made Glass available to Explorers in the United States. I'm not entirely sure why that is, it might be to do with certification, logistics, or perhaps the original idea of...
articleNov 30, 2013
Second in our new weekly series about living with Google Glass. 'Are those the Google Glasses things?' If you buy Google Glass, get ready to field that question. Every day. I'm not sure what's more surprising at this point — the number of people who can properly identify Google Glass, or the number of people who have no problem asking me to confirm their suspicion. Interestingly, a decent...
articleNov 23, 2013
First in our new series of weekly columns on how we're living with Google Glass. 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...
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