Yes, I am now a Glass Explorer. It has been an interesting experience, to say the least. In an effort to make what could be a very long post digestible, I am going to take a hint from Buzzfeed and make this as list-oriented as possible. Here are some of my initial reactions to Google Glass:
The experience of getting Glass was fittingly simple. The Google Glass studio at Chelsea Market was a very simple experience, and I could have just as easily gotten it in the mail.
The hardware is adequate, but leaves much to be desired. Once I got over the initial shock of having Glass, inspecting the hardware itself revealed a fairly basic device. While Glass looks great, it doesn’t seem very solid and I often find myself handling it consciously. The battery life is good, at best. The camera is ok. The bridge is adjustable with three sets of different size nose pads, so customization is there, however limited.
The voice input experience is great, but only in an ideal situation. Most of the functions are voice based with a touch-surface-based secondary input. Glass can be a little hard of hearing in a crowded area. I also found that, with others wearing the device, I could still give the device verbal commands. Imagine what multiple Glass owners in a small room would do… poor devices. Otherwise, the input experience is fantastic and responsible.
The software user experience is learnable, but limited. The actual interface takes a little getting used to, with a transition from traditional “apps” to “cards.” The voice interface we have talked about, and the touch functionality could use some changes (like swiping up to delete cards instead of having to tap through the process), but overall it is easy to use with some practice. There isn’t much Glassware available yet, but the new GDK will hopefully change that.
The device heavily relies on your smartphone. We have seen the focus by Google move rapidly from locally-oriented software to cloud-based solutions, especially with another hardware initiative of theirs, and the same can be said about Glass. While there is plenty of memory on the device (12GB usable), and I am fortunate to have one of the old unlimited data plans, I could see myself becoming a very frustrated user without access to the search function or the navigation function, not to mention social media accounts. Yes, the device itself can access WiFi, but if you are outside the house the last thing you want to do is set WiFi up on a keyboard-less device.
There is a social etiquette to using Glass. I’ve picked it up quickly, as I think most would, but there are places and times when Glass shouldn’t be used.
Overall, using Glass has been good, and I hope to continue testing in different situations. More Glass-related posts to come!
Interested in learning more about my experiences, or have some of your own #throughglass experiences to share? Tweet at me with #GlassAct, and let me know!