It’s been 2 weeks since I got into the Google #glass explorer program – and I’ve tried to wear those tangerine 2.0 glasses as much as I could ever since I got a hold on them.
You may have missed that side of my personal history but I did work on a virtual reality project called VR-WEAR some 5 years+ ago. While the project which was very much like the Occulus rift but pre-kickstarter did not get funded at that time (just after the supbrime crisis was not the best time to go bold in France) immersive and augmented technologies have been my passion for a long time.
Then, as an early adopter and entrepreneur it was kind of my duty to be on the first wagon of that new Google trip to try and find out if there’s any business that could be built on top of this platform (short answer : obviously yes!)
Glass is an experiment, and should be treated as such. No one knows yet when/if it’s ever going to go mainstream. But it’s definitely full of promises. I won’t tell you about the unboxing experience (you can read that in plenty other places) or the fitting experience @ Google’s San Francisco dowtown offices (which is pretty awesome – thanks Svetlana for your patience!) – Instead I’ll focus on what glass is and isn’t.
Glass isn’t an immersion device. The whole philosophy of glass is augmenting your vision, not replacing it. The initial SDK only allowed you to insert “cards” on your glass in a timely manner. While this sounds limited, this is really the spirit of the device: being there but letting you forget about it.
Glass is handless (almost). This is really one of the biggest change in computer interaction imho – trying to run everything through voice commands. It still has its limitations but I can promise that in a below freezing day being able to map your route while keeping your hands warm is a bliss (I actually did this)
Glass sucks up your phone battery. Since it’s tethered to your phone through bluetooth 4, Glass will notably kill your battery life (and my Nexus 4′s was already barely making it through the day – now I get to travel with an extra external battery pack – oh joy !)
Glass is dates and free beers – and every social interactions takes longer. If you’re looking to connect with people – just hang around in a meetup wearing glass you’ll be the center of attention – and if you dare go shopping with them expect any social interaction to start with “Hey wassup with your glasses ? ” . Also meeting other explorers is awesome!
— #ThatTechGirl (@libertymadison) December 12, 2013
Glass is the tip of the iceberg. Basically any augmented reality idea that has been popping for 30 years (since the early Terminator movie) now gets a sleek platform to be tried on. While using a phone for AR and holding it in front of you has always seemed a bit awkward to me glasses just makes it more natural.
As you can tell I’m pretty excited about it and I have tons of idea for cool stuff around this tech – not sure I’ll find the time to test them all but I can’t wait to see glassed fitted into a scuba mask !