My First Week with Glass
As an attendee of Google I/O 2012, I was able to sign up to purchase Google Glass when it became available. My excitement ramped up in April when I got the e-mail telling me Glass would be shipping soon. It took a few weeks until my shipment went out. After I place my order, I may have brought down the UPS tracking website by pressing refresh for 2 straight days. I guess I was getting really excited, but really, I have been waiting for this moment for years.
You see, when I was a teenager, I read lots of cold war military novels (think Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne, etc). In these books there were vivid descriptions of how fighter pilots had complex heads up displays (HAD) that let them see the “dashboard” of their plane without looking away from the sky in front of them. Just like some are (still) waiting for flying cars, robots to fix them dinner, and self mowing lawns, I wanted my car to have a HUD, so I could watch the road, and see everything on my dashboard at the same time.
Well, that obviously never happened, but now I can have a HUD wherever I go! Glass is very lightweight and comfortable to wear, and after a while, you just forget you have them on. The screen sits above your right eye just out of your direct view. While driving, the Glass screen appears to be on the ceiling of the car on the folded up sun shade (not blocking my view of the windshield at all). It is now easy to get directions, send simple messages, do basic web searches, take and share photos without taking my eyes off the road (or pulling my phone out of my pocket!)
Is the future here now? Although Glass is obviously beta hardware, I would say yes! Last week, we adopted a new dog (think 77lb 8 month old puppy). I would have been impossible to get good photos with my phone while holding onto his leash for dear life. With Glass, I got some amazing photos and videos of our dogs meeting for the first time:
Additionally, searching directions, restaurants and nearby places while visiting new areas is a great asset.
If you use Glass only occasionally during the day, the battery will even last the whole day. Since the navigation requires constant ‘screen on’ and Bluetooth syncing, this is a quick drainer of power. Also, taking long videos seemed to do my device in more quickly (default video length is 10s).
Another important thing to investigate when getting Glass is to make sure your device supports Bluetooth data tethering. My Galaxy Note II does not, so I could only use Glass as a headset (that takes photos) unless I turned on a Wi-Fi hotspot on my phone. Doing this forced Glass and my phone to use 2 radio connections, and was very tough on battery life. I now have Glass connected to an LG Optimus G Pro (as it supports Bluetooth data tethering) and have greatly improved the battery life.
In conclusion, Glass is an amazing first step towards a production device. As developers tweak and build more applications, it will gain more functionality and become the must have mobile accessory. Just as many look fondly at the Apple Newton as the first handheld computer (the grandfather of all smartphones!), I think that in 5-10 years we will all look back at Glass as the first wearable mobile device that created a revolution. I have got the Mirror API SDK installed on my computer, and I am excited to begin building apps and services for Glass users!
Are you planning to build services for Glass?