I’m a little surprised that people seem to have widely varying opinions about Google Glass. While I’m wearing it, people blurt out “Glass!”, “Google Glasses!”, “Cyclops!”, “What is that?”, “Terminator!” and “Glasshole!”. People stop me everywhere — grocery stores, bars, the street, my doctor’s office. Wearing them is an invitation to be asked about them and I don’t mind. I’d like people to understand them better. In fact, I like when people try it on, with a couple of commands, they get the Glass experience and their eyes light up like children. Even my teenager, who, despite being so dependent on her iPhone, rejects technology…even she couldn’t hold back saying “That’s actually pretty sick, mom” and lets me wear it in public.
The press is all over Sarah Slocum’s use of Glass and her run in with some people who didn’t want to be taped in San Francisco’s Lower Haight district. I’ve been to that area, there are friendlier neighborhoods. However, just like the poster child for wearing Glass while driving, Sarah has been experiencing some early-stage device use hatred. We can get philosophical as to why: they have exclusive distribution and an unwieldy price, a clear and noble use for them hasn’t been communicated, Google has been characteristically quiet about its controversial product.
Nearly everybody has a photo and video capable phone, and nearly all of them are connected to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other networks. Unlike Glass, there is no visible indication that they are being used for photos or videos. But in this town, we don’t care what you do. The things I’ve seen. Buy me a drink sometime and I’ll tell you stories. I will capture the world with Glass, with as much permission as I’ve asked for in the past with a camera, audio recorder or similar and that’s where I stand. At a time when we distrust the government because they’ve been tapping into our lives without our permission, Glass is facing some unwarranted displaced fear. It’s a smartphone you wear like glasses, not a futuristic tracking device.
And although Robert Scoble recently said he is “skeptical” about Google pushing forward with the device, I think Glass has a functional future, and I love it, however I could see another device outsmarting, out-designing, and out-penetrating Glass.
So, what’s using Google Glass like and what does it do? I’ve had Glass for 6 months, so I’ll tell you what I do with it. Some of what I do on my phone I can also do with Glass. I send and receive text messages (like sending a grocery list to my husband he can pull up on Glass, himself, and not have to take his phone out of his pocket at the grocery store), take and share photos and videos (there are multi-shots, short/long videos, and a community of Glass photographers taking interesting pictures), look up the weather (by voice) and anything else you want on the Internet. Sure, like with any new technical device, I can take photos or videos without people knowing, but let’s be real, wearing Glass is NOT discreet. And I’m no jerk, if you’re interesting enough to tape up close, trust me I’ll ask permission.
Will you get Google Glass when the price comes down and it’s made available to everyone?