The first round of Google Glass (part of the Explorer program) are hitting the streets. My friend Chad picked up his last weekend, so of course I had to take them for a spin.
- They don’t fold up like normal glasses. Instead, you get a rather large carrying pouch to store them in. For size comparison, it’s about the size of an iPad mini.
- They’re lightweight, but sturdy. You don’t forget they’re on your face like you might with normal glasses. It’s a good feeling.
- They’re a ways from being a viable product the public at large will buy.
What can you do with Google Glass right now? Not a lot. It’s essentially an extension of your smartphone in the most basic of ways. It’ll display Caller ID when you have an incoming call, or alert you that you’ve received a text. But you can’t actually READ the text on the display. You’ll have to pull your phone out for that still.
If you’re using your phone for GPS navigation, it’ll display some basic nav data with arrows for your next turn. It’ll query any regular Google search with voice command, but only searches that return factual data (“How many miles away is the moon?” or “How long is the Brooklyn Bridge?”) will actually be spoken back to you. For the rest, you’ll have to pull your phone out of your pocket.
You can take photos, which sync to your phone for sharing, and you can record videos (720p) in 10 second increments.
However, let me be clear: Glass will eventually be an amazing product. If you were an early adopter of the iPad, you might remember that feeling of getting home and turning it on, only to realize that besides the dozen apps that developers had already created specifically for it, all you really had was a big iPhone. It wasn’t until developers really got behind it that the real potential was realized. Now, it’s a device that can practically replace a computer for millions of people because of all it does.
I’m hooked on the concept after having tried it. Give Glass (and its developers) a couple years and wait for the price to drop a bit, and it’ll absolutely be something you’ll find useful.
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