Through Glass:

Feeling comfortable living in the future

Second in our occasional 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 number of people I come across have said “How do you like Google Glass? I’ve seen a few people with those before.”

Whether they’re scared about breaking it or just shy enough to not inquire, few people have actually asked to try Glass on. In any case, the interaction always ends up being a positive one. Everyone asks a few simple questions about how it works, what I see and of course how much it costs — usually asked with a sense of intrigue and wonder that you just don’t see from “normal” people around consumer electronics today.

And for every person who has the courage to ask about my fancy headgear, another 20 have given me an interesting look as I walk down the street here in Seattle, sit at a restaurant or order my caramel mocha at Starbucks. As my girlfriend and I walked through the Pike Place Market last weekend on a crowded afternoon, she turned to me after a while and said, “Do you realize that every single person we walk by has stared at Google Glass?” Well, no, I didn’t think it was every person ...

After a couple weeks of walking around the city with Glass, understanding that I’m now “that guy,” I can actually experience what it’s like to live in the future.

At least at this point, the future is a bit of a mixed bag.

I’m doing my best to wear Glass any time I leave the house, and for me that involves a lot of walking and public transit in the city. My primary use of Glass at this point has boiled down to just a few key things. First up is effectively effortless picture and video capture. Look, tap, speak, capture — it’s faster than anyone will be able to take out their phone for a picture, and the resulting images are great to boot. Two more taps or a voice command and the picture is posted on social media.

Next is directions. Beyond the inherent location service issues associated with being in a city with tall buildings and questionable cell service, Glass will get you where you need to go walking, and you won’t run into people on the sidewalk while you do it. Transit directions, while useful, could use a little work. You can get a route overview and full directions, but Glass still assumes you have a general understanding of the metro system — step-by-step information including route numbers would be a good start. If I was in another city and had to get from A to B on public transit, the information provided in Google Maps on my phone would be drastically more helpful.

Unfortunately I’m finding notifications to be rather hit-or-miss. Whether it’s out of necessity with battery life or not wanting to distract the user, you really don’t get all of the notifications you want or need. Seeing Google+ comments, Twitter mentions, SMS and some Gmail messages is useful, but I use more than those to communicate and keep up with life throughout the day. (And for the uninitiated, new notifications on Glass don't actually turn on the display in front of your eye. You do get a sound, though.)

Google Glass Apps

I don’t see every email, I don’t see Hangouts at all, I don’t see Facebook Messenger or Foursquare. Much of this comes down to app support and settings for what apps are already there, hopefully fixed with the impending release of the GDK, but the notification system clearly has a long way to go. As someone who’s used to having a Pebble notify me for anything I want, I feel like Glass is just sitting idle on my head when it should be feeding me information.

Nobody ever guaranteed that the future would be wholesale more convenient than the present, right?

The upcoming release of the GDK has me excited about the possibilities of Glass in the very near future. Just taking a look at the apps released along with a "sneak peak" of the development kit can do if developers have the proper tools. Google Music on Glass has piqued my interest as well, to say the least.

As for now, I'll be trying to get comfortable living in the future.

Andrew Andrew Martonik

"Forever tinkering with gadgets."

articles 2127 forum posts 1286

More from our Through Glass series ...

articleJan 4, 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. 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...

articleDec 28,2013

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 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...

Talk Mobile
  • |
  • All Comments
Sort:
Please Login or Sign Up to make a comment.