“OMG GOOGLE GLASS!”
Up until two days ago, I was like that too. I needed to find a pair and learn what the fuss was about. Then I was invited to try Glass and, over the course of an hour, my opinion changed.
Let me start by saying Google Glass is very cool. I will never forget the first time I put on them on. It is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. The design is sleek, and seeing a computer screen inches from your eye is mesmerizing.
Google Glass doesn’t actually have any glass at all. It’s just a set of empty frames that you have to smush against your nose in order to see the digital screen clearly. The screen appears just above your line of vision in front of your right eye.
Since you have to look up to view the screen, it’s impossible to look normal while wearing the device. Maybe with practice, but certainly not in the first few moments. The second I put on Glass, my colleagues started laughing and calling me a “zombie.” It’s disorienting. You’re unable to focus on people or things around you. It instantly makes the wearer robotic, with glazed over eyes and fidgety motions. You become completely incapable of holding an animated conversation. You’re only focused on figuring out what the heck is going on.
Glass is headache-inducing too; you’re more or less cross-eyed when focusing on something so close to your face.
The Glass screen isn’t much to look at. It’s black and white and shows the time by default, as well as the words “Ok Glass.” You have to say “Ok Glass” before the device will react to voice commands. It’s also motion and touch-controlled. If you’re still for too long the screen disappears.
Glass was surprisingly poor on picking up voice and motion signals. Touch worked well though; I often had to touch the right side of Glass to start a new command. Simply saying “Ok Glass” and nodding my head didn’t work.
The black screen isn’t very big, so Glass gives you the ability to scroll like you would on a phone. To scroll, you can nod your head up and down or stroke the right side of the Glass frame. The commands are fairly limited. You can command Google Glass to send text messages, conduct Google Hangouts, take pictures or video, get directions or search the Internet. Google Hangouts are cool because you see exactly what the other person is seeing reflected in Glass, and they see exactly what you’re looking at through your frames.
You can take a picture manually by pressing down on a button that’s on the right side of the frames. The picture is exactly what you see in front of you, and you can scroll through old photos you’ve taken on Glass.
To sum it up, Google Glass is exactly like wearing Siri on your face. The capabilities are similar and it’s about as faulty when it comes to getting your commands right. I wouldn’t pay more than $150 for the device right now.
While Glass is far from a finished product, it is undoubtedly a game-changer. We will all be wearing devices like it in the not-so-distant future.
I captured my colleague, Megan Rose Dickey, during her first few moments with Glass. She tried Glass in guest mode which has more limited options but prevents friends from being able to scan your emails and messages while using the device. Here’s the video, below.