Off course followed by many people, colleagues and friends, all were pretty excited I got one and wanted to get a glimpse of my experience. Now, after wearing Glass for one day I can already share some first thoughts. Do you remember the first time you entered the internet or the first time you did a phone call in you car or with your mobile walking on the street? Well, wearing Glass feels like that! It feels a bit uncomfortable for me wearing the Glass but also for the people you are looking at. In a glance they look at you a kind of interrogative: ‘What the hack is that thing on your head!?’ ‘What the hack is that thing on your head!?’If you tell people you can see and read some info in the corner of your right eye they start to feel even more uncomfortable: ‘So you can discover things about me and make pictures whuile I don’t notice!?’ Well, something like that yes… You see that people think that they are looking at a sort of Robocop. Things that we have seen in movies until now but slowly getting reality. And I must so, from a wearer perspective this is truly the case. Especially when you want your Glass to do something most of the times starts will given the voice command: ‘Ok Glass’ Today people are sitting in restaurants staring at their mobile, can you imagine in a few years from now people talking, not to each other but to their Glass and nodding their heads (that’s how you activate you Glass).
I must say that pretty quick you start to understand the concept. Having only your voice and your fingertips available for browsing through Glass needs a bit of practice. Viewing at a small square in your right eye does divert you from your normal view. Looking at someone wearing Glass and making these kind of movements with his eyes looks strange and a bit funny. There are several specific Glass sites where you can find info how to quickly get started. Here some simple use cases are explained and it really gives you a head start. Voice recognition to control works great although Dutch names are still a bit difficult for the system. So basically when you move your head up Glass activates. By saying the words ‘ok glass’, you get a list of actions that you can start with. So posting that picture to Facebook, Twitter or Google+ works pretty easy.By installing apps , Glassware, the list gets longer and by moving your head up and down you scroll through that list. By just saying ‘make a picture’ Glass takes a picture. By again saying ‘ok glass’ you get another list of options so you can share with or send to others. So posting that picture to Facebook, Twitter or Google+ works pretty easy. All pictures and videos taken will be automatically stored in the cloud in your Google+ account. With your finger tips you can also control Glass. Just swipe at the side of your Glass and you scroll and browse through the menus. It needs some practice but viewing the small screen really looks nice. You can read stuff, Twitter messages, respond on it, see pictures, view websites and read Google Now suggestions. Audio is either via a small speaker or via the ear bud included. Glass automatically detects whether you are wearing it and turns on and off by itself. Battery life is something to improve. After a few hours you have to recharge. Having a micro USB charger in your car is a sort of mandatory.
Apps on Glass are called Glassware. A list of Glassware is available and by simply turning apps on and off they get activated on Glass. For instance I activated Strava, a sport tracking app, and wearing Glass one of the options in your list after saying ‘ok glass’ is ‘start a bike ride’. Than it automatically starts tracking your ride and shows info like distance and time in your heads up display. An unofficial list of Glassware is available showing you even more apps of developers testing Glass. So taking pictures, recording videos and sharing them easily works great. Starting a video call while you are driving also works great. I can imagine that this won’t be allowed while driving your car, it works quite distracting. The iPhone app doesn’t support all functionalities so having an Android gives the best experience.But it works and via the Hangout the receiver sees what I see in average quality. Picture quality is really great, video less. Navigation is also part of the commands list. Glass is connected with either your iPhone or Android phone via a special app. The iPhone app doesn’t support all functionalities so having an Android gives the best experience. Navigation itself works great but giving the voice commands is difficult. This because all is in English and street names and places are in Dutch. But once you got it up and running it is awesome. Ask for restaurants in the neighborhood and it shows you a list of options and you can start walking, driving or cycling to it. Even public transport is an option. Another amazing app is the instant translation. Just look at a piece of paper with English text and instantly the text is being replaced by another language. This is really a Mission Impossible like experience!
I was lucky cause the new OS XE12 just got released with many new features in it.
The way Google is preparing the market for Glass is also well thought. We as Explorers are giving access to the Glass community. Explorers sharing experiences and giving thoughts for improvements. I was lucky cause the new OS XE12 just got released with many new features in it. Something that reached the press is the winkle feature. And also this one really works great. Just winkle with your right eye and a picture will be taken. The community is pretty active and so called Advocates are the moderators of the community. Much much information available and it is great reading through all stuff. Suggestions for new functions are rated with kudos and once you hit the top of the chart chances are big that your feature gets into the product. It is inspiring to see and read how Google is managing this innovator platform. Different resources for support are available but the community is the best place to be.
Glass a winner?
Will Glass be a winner? I definitely think yes. Although we are in the very early stages wearing now Glass for one day I see many many opportunities and useful user scenario’s. I will try to describe the real differences with Smartphone and Tablet because you could say that all you need is also available on those devices, which is true. But also the Tablet fulfilled a certain need that we all didn’t expect. A large iPhone screen but opening a whole new world of user scenario’s that we never thought of. With Glass it is exactly the same. It seems like a small step and small distance, from the palm of your hand to the right upper corner of your eye, but it is a huge step.Currently the apps are somewhat a copy of your Smartphone and Tablet apps into Glass but already with real Glass experience. And Glass experience means right in front of your eye. It seems like a small step and small distance, from the palm of your hand to the right upper corner of your eye, but it is a huge step. Information is there when you need it, instantly. This can be of great value. I visited my dad because he is still as eager as myself about new technology. When I left his house and put on my Glass the Google Now app was telling me instantly: if you want to drive home, some roads have some heavy traffic so Glass suggests to take another route. Wow, that is quite amazing.The last mile of initiating an action by yourself has been taken away, hearing a ‘pling’, taking your phone and than read such a message. It is there, instantly right in front of your eye just when you need it. Think about that. Small step, huge impact. I can’t wait to share this experience with many others!