I got the opportunity to try out Google Glass for the second time yesterday.
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding Google’s latest innovative gadget recently. Everyone seems to love it, and this time, I can safely say, I love it too.
My second experience with Glass wasn’t in a loud club, full of people, like the first time, and I got to actually spend more than just a minute with the gadget.
Glass is a truly unique device that provides users with important information like weather, sports scores, and directions on demand.
When I first tried Google Glass I had to remove my normal glasses and I could barely see the screen because I am nearsighted (I can’t see things far away). This time, I came equipped with contact lenses that actually allowed me to see the screen clearly and take everything in.
First let me say this, Google Glass takes some getting used to. Yes, we stare at screens all day long but when one is placed directly in your field of vision, initially things are a little strange. It’s impossible to not act robotic the first time you use it.
Glass is paired with your smartphone, there is an accompanying Android and iPhone app that can reflect what you see through Glass and also tweak settings.
Glass is light, it does not obscure your vision, and it does not feel weird or uncomfortable on your face. Anyone who has worn glasses or even sunglasses won’t notice a difference.
After a slight adjustment the tiny screen popped to life and showed me the time along with a “row of cards” like Google Now except horizontal.
There are two ways to interact with things, by moving your head in a particular direction, or tapping the touch-sensitive pad along the right side of the side that runs from your temple to your ear.
Another way to interact with Glass is by speaking to it. Simply saying, “ok, glass … where am I?” will bring up your current location on a map.
The touch pad is very responsive and I preferred it over speaking voice commands.
Taking photos and video is another feature that is awesome. I know that Glass has already been hacked to take photos by blinking and that is a creepy possibility but its no different from someone pretending to look for information on a camera phone and snapping a photo of you unknowingly. The photos actually come out quite clear and look good.
I didn’t get to try taking a video but it works in a similar way and there isn’t a recording limit as of right now.
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Things that need work
The voice command interface could be better.
There were times when it picked up what someone else was saying or it repeated what I said twice. This is a nominal disadvantage as Glass is still in its development phase.
If you spend too long trying to speak a command or select something the screen will go off. To bring it back to life, simply tap the right touchpad or move your head up then down and you can resume what you were doing.
Once the kinks are ironed out with the voice commands it will be another great way to manoeuvre around the interface.
There aren’t too many things you can do yet. I compare this to the way the original iPhone felt, amazing and different but once the App Store was launched it changed everything.
Once developers have spent enough time with Glass the app opportunities are endless.
The battery life is estimated at five hours but under heavy use, you only get about three hours.
The biggest hurdle Google faces with taking Glass mainstream is the price point. Right now for a developer version it costs $1500 and that’s way too much. If Google can launch the device around the $499 price range these things will fly off the shelves and everyone will become a walking fountain of information.
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