Glass

It all started with the most epic demo ever:

Live video feed through thin glasses! In the air!

It is not easy to get Glass in France because Google sells it sparingly, and in the US only. The equation was set:

device from the future + scarcity = gadget-loving-geek getting really excited

I can haz Glass?

I now own a Google Glass (by the way, please don't say "glasses", it has only one glass). me with glass

Being a so-called "Glass Explorer", I chose to wear it all day, every day. I wear it at work but also outside, in the streets, in the subway, in stores, at home.

Basically, if I'm awake, I wear Glass.

You look silly with it!

I have seen different reactions:

  • Some are curious and ask me to try it
  • Some laugh at me, thinking I'm ridiculous with such a big frame on the side and no glass at all, besides the big block in front of my right eye
  • Some gawk at me, not knowing what it is
  • Some stare angrily at me, mostly being afraid of being filmed

Can you think of another device that can spark such a variety of reactions, from enthusiastic to defiant? How cool is that? And it's really exciting to be part of the future-shaping, society-redefining community of Glass Explorers. Oh, and did I mention that you can take pictures of your cat with it?

What Glass can't do?

Let me debunk some myths about Glass:

  • It can't record everything you do continuously. The battery is just not capable of it.
  • It can't do facial recognition. Google forbids this kind of app. Of course, there will be unofficial apps that will do it anyways.
  • I can't see you naked through it. Just like there is no such thing as a "naked scanner" you can download for 1€ on your phone. Guys, seriously!

So, what can you do with Glass?

Glass is not always on. You have to activate it to see something on the screen. To do this, you just tap on the side, or turn your head up. You then see a screen showing the time. There you can either navigate on your timeline and see what you have done with Glass in the past, or you can speak an order. Yes, Glass is able to do voice recognition (english only for the moment). So you can say "take a picture" and voilà, it just took a picture of what you're looking at. You can do a google search, and the most relevant result will be printed on the screen AND spoken in your ear.

Here is an incomplete list of what you can do:

  • Take a picture, in a fraction of time you would need to pull your smartphone out of your pocket.
  • Record a video. In my personal experience, you can shoot about 20 minutes of video before the battery runs out.
  • Search via Google. Just speak what you are looking for and a nice female voice will read you the answer. It tends to give a wikipedia abstract often.
  • Make a phone call. Glass is connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth, so it becomes a hands-free headset. You can initiate or answer a call from Glass, no need to take your phone out of your pocket. And you can see who is calling, of course.
  • Send a message (hangout, SMS, tweet, Facebook status). Voice recognition again, so english only, but it works well.
  • Receive notifications of a new email, SMS, tweet or Facebook message. You hear a sound, and you have to activate Glass to see the notification on the screen.
  • Get directions via the GPS you have in your phone. Speak a destination and the step-by-step directions are shown on the screen. Battery killer.
  • Listen to music. You have to have a Google Play Music account and you hear it on the right ear only. Not the best experience.
  • Translate text. One of the apps that really impressed me is World Lens. It replaces a text with its translation in place. Really cool wow effect when demoing. (it also exists on Android and iOS)

But, what about your phone?

I have a the best phone on Earth.

Some sceptics ask me what I can do with Glass that I can't with a phone. My answer is this:

Try to shoot a video of a ride on bike with your daughter with a smartphone.

Glass is about not getting in the way, and being able to fully live an experience while recording and sharing it with others.