I’ve now tried two Internet-connected glasses:
Telepathy One and Google Glass. Google Glass absolutely blew Telepathy One out of the water, but it’s still not necessarily something I could see myself wearing all day, every day.
Last night, two of my colleagues and I spent about an hour testing out Glass.
When I put them on, a small screen appeared in front of me, right above my right eye.
I felt like I was in an entirely new world. All of a sudden, all the information I needed (news, weather, directions, etc.) could be pulled up right in front of my eyes. But while Glass keeps you hyper-connected to the Internet, it also makes you feel less involved with what’s happening in real-life. To put it simply, I felt like a glasshole.
Some people have raised concerns about what would happen if someone runs up to you and says, “Ok, Glass, Google [insert weird, inappropriate word here]!” and runs away. We didn’t test that exact scenario, but from my experience, that’s a very real and valid concern.
While wearing Glass, my colleague Alyson Shontell was nearby having a conversation with someone else in the room. Without anyone saying, “Ok, Glass…,” Glass picked up on what Alyson said, and then proceeded to do a Google search for “running.”
Another issue is that sometimes you have to say, “Ok, Glass” a few times before the device registers that you’re trying to interact with it. After asking Glass a couple of times to Google “Facebook earnings,” it beautifully displayed little cards with snippets of text from the New York Times, Wikipedia, and other sources. Theoretically, you’re supposed to be able to open up the full text of the article, but it didn’t work for me when I tried it.
The video recording and Google+ integration is pretty neat. You can stream exactly what you’re seeing in real time to a Google+ Hangout, while seeing exactly who you’re talking to on the screen projected in front of you.
But the video recording feature does raise some privacy concerns, as there’s no indication on Glass that it’s recording. Sure, the Glass display remains on while recording, so outsiders could see that your device is doing something, but not necessarily recording.
Granted, this is an early prototype so we imagine Google will improve certain features over time.
All in all, I’m not sure if Google Glass is for me. As much as I want to be excited about it, Glass feels like more of a neat toy than a truly groundbreaking gadget that will revolutionise the human experience.