So I Tried Google Glass...
Last week I happened to hang out with a friend of mine who owns a Google Glass, which is currently in its second beta stage of development. This beta version of Google Glass is not cheap; currently it costs $1500 if you are lucky enough to receive an invitation. (Without the invitation, Google will not sell the product to you.) Invitations, by the way, are currently being auctioned off on eBay to the tune of upwards of $300. In other words, only die-hard tech users are plunging into Google Glass at this point.
I am not the most tech-savvy person out there, but in the brief time I had with Glass I was able to get it to perform basic functions. Glass sits on your face like any other pair of glasses, only this device has a small screen just above and in front of your eye. (Glass can be customized for the right or left eye before the order is placed.) Currently Glass syncs with your smartphone, meaning that your smartphone will display what you are doing on Glass (and vice versa). Eventually Glass will be its own device without dependence on an external phone.
Before you give voice commands to Glass you simply tap the side of Glass to wake up the device speak “OK Glass,” and a menu of options pops up. Once this menu appears on the screen you can make a voice command. These commands can be as simple as, “Take a picture,” or, “Find directions to Starbucks,” or, “Go to YouTube.” There is even the option to enable a feature where you can wink at the screen, upon which Glass will snap a picture of whatever you are looking at. Cool and kind of creepy at the same time.
According to my friend, who works in the industry and is an avid tech junkie, Google is looking to release Glass to the public in 2014 with a price range of $300-$500. The current version of Glass has a 5 megapixel camera, but supposedly Google might boost this to 8 megapixels before Glass is rolled out to the general public. Other kinks, such as a relatively weak battery life, are being worked out with these beta releases.
In all likelihood, other tech companies will enter the field of “eyewear technology” and offer products with similar capabilities as Glass. Google’s advantage, based on what I was told by my friend, is that they are not dependent on any one form of software, unlike Apple.
To be honest, I am unlikely to shell out several hundred dollars for one of these devices. The technology is cool, yes, but I already feel “strapped in” to technology – no need to make that literal (yet). However, I would not be surprised to see the general public go en masse to buy Google Glass.
Google Glass strikes me as a product which has vast potential to disrupt how things are done on a daily basis. This potential is akin to Apple’s transformation of the world (and tech industry) with the iPod in 2001. Be on the lookout for Glass’s release next year, and brace yourself for a world where everyone resembles a Trekky.