I’ve been following the Google Glass project – http://www.google.com/glass/start/ since it was first announced because I enjoy technology. I knew right away after seeing this hit the web that it would take off and be revolutionary in the way we interface with technology. Why? For the exact reasons @joshuatopolsky talks about in his latest article “I Used Google Glass”.
Joshua talks about how we as humans have really created a problem with our mobile use and that is nobody is paying attention. This is scarily true when you are walking around the streets of Edmonton (#yeg) and you see everyone with their heads pointed down staring into that magical 3.95 ounce device. What’s worse is our Alberta Government – Transportation Ministry had to recently release this campaign – “Crotches Kill”. (www.youarethecure.ca) because as we drive our heads are buried into our crotch not paying attention. Heck I’m guilty of it as well and working on breaking the habit. We are so involved in our devices that we are missing life around us, be it our kids and their moments or during a vacation where we take a picture of a beautiful sight or landmark however we look at it through our device’s screen. Technology is a fact of life, however we fundamentally have to look at how we interact with it so that life isn’t passing us by.
So here enters Google Glass which gives us the vision of interfacing with technology in an almost non-invasive way by giving us access to simple tasks that we do on a smartphone. These are tasks that typically distract us from walking, driving, talking, etc. These tasks from what it seems, can be done with voice interaction or a simple tap to the Glass frame. I think it’s about time because this problem is getting worse not better. The level of engagement people have with every day life, family, friends, events, the list goes on, is slowly declining. We are bombarded with distractions through technology at every corner and the trend isn’t getting better. How we manage it will be key moving forward.
Google Glass, from the website above and the video below for the first time shows what this latest version can do and what it looks like when you use it. I think what I love about it and where I could see it being used in my personal life is taking video and pictures of my son. Often he’s doing something that I want to record or take a picture of and what do I have to do? I need to run and find the camera, or my Windows Phone 8 device and turn it on, then start recording. I often miss out on what he was doing and the moment is lost. Even if I have the camera or smartphone available I’m watching it through the screen or lens and not getting the full experience. Google Glass allows you to be more engaged and not take your eyes off of what’s going on around you. Through a simple voice command or a touch of a button you can record or take a picture and not lose that moment. This IS cool and something I’m really looking forward to and probably something I’d be buying when it comes out.
I do have some concerns and Joshua does point out a few in his article. What will the form factor be towards the end of 2013 when it comes out? Will it be even more minimal? How does the voice commands work in loud situations like walking on the street or say even a concert? What’s the price going to be? $1500 as was the beta? How will the connection work with devices like the Windows Phone 8? Should I switch to an Android device to have the “ecosystem”?, Will the device come with a 3G/LTE chip or will it just require a smartphone still? The list could go on but as Google has pointed out with the Explorer beta they will be updating it monthly which is nice to hear.
I’ve got a pretty good self image so I’m not worried about what I look like and having people stare at me. Heck it will probably be a great conversation starter and I love a good conversation with real human beings. Wearable technology is coming and will only get better as time goes on, it will get smaller, it will be less visible and it will be more feature rich to the point we probably won’t even need devices like the iPhone, Android or Windows Phone.
Its to bad Google only opened up their Explorer Beta (#ifihadglass) to US residents because I would have loved to test this out and blogged about my experience.
If you want to follow the buzz be sure to check out these following resources.