First Google Glass users share their experiences

April 19, 2013
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We’re all pretty excited for Google Glass… but all this non-disclosure stuff is annoying! We want the details. What’s it like? Do people freak out when you’re wearing them? Are they comfortable? So many questions, and the only people with the answers haven’t been able to talk.

As Glass becomes more available, that NDA that swears those in the program to secrecy relaxes. As more and more of those people involved can talk, the fervor surrounding Glass grows. Hearing more about it makes us that much more excited for it. Even if you’re like me, and not quite sold on wearable technology, it’s important to understand that nobody has said anything negative about Glass. By now, you’d think someone would have been a contrarian and been negative about it… but no.

All of the users in the program have actually gone the other way. Not only do they find Glass pretty cool, they consider it the next step… a place we’ll all be going. That’s a lot of praise for new technology, and leads us to wonder what it will be like to wear them day-to-day.

Brandon Allgood, an early adopter of Glass, recently took to his Google+ page to outline out his experience. The Chief Technology Officer for a company specializing in pharmaceuticals, Brandon is a pretty smart guy… but not a day-to-day app developer. He seems to be approaching Glass for the same angle many consumers would, and that’s one of use-case scenarios rather than the ‘cool’ factor.

Using Glass for a few days has been a positive experience for him, and one he considers to change the way he goes about his daily activities. Though interacting with Glass is obviously different, and requires some habit transformation, Allgood doesn’t consider that an issue or hindrance. In fact, he seems to be enjoying it as a means of habit rather than trial.

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Google Now

We know Google Glass will rely heavily on contextual data, and Google Now is clearly the easy answer for getting you that data in the right way. Allgood reports the cards popping up is handy, rather than bothersome. The screen also doesn’t seem to have an “always on” affectation, meaning Glass is truly a companion device to your life, not an obnoxious information feeder as some were concerned it may be.

Of course, Glass will do much more than simply pop-up some Google Now cards, but that function carries the bulk of the info that Glass gives you. Things like GMail or Google+ notifications seem to be available as well, perhaps mimicking the Chrome notification center… or vice versa. Perhaps Google is going to HOLO everything!

Issues

Google Glass is definitely not without issues, and really… how could it be? If nobody is really quite sure how to proceed efficiently with Glass, the technology will have issues. That’s all part of the growing pains any new technology has. Glass, however, has a unique set of them.

Allgood notes a few interesting hurdles Glass will have to navigate. Things like bold text in an email not appearing properly, and the readback option not being as smart as it could. Even joining a WiFi network had to be done via a physical keyboard, which makes sense… but also shows how Glass isn’t a standalone device right now.

The WiFi issue makes me think of that odd patent we saw regarding the projection keyboard a while back. Perhaps the team at Google X Labs knew it was a big issue, and are working on a solution. If Glass is ever going to be our only device, things like this will need to be addressed.

Conclusion

In daily use scenarios, it seems Glass is a lot less pervasive than many assumed. Users are reporting people are interested in the device, and rarely shy away from it for fear of being recorded. That is perhaps the more promising news, as the bad press Glass was getting is troubling.

In an interview with eWeek, one thing Allgood said stood out from the rest. In noting his experience with Glass, he made a very telling statement. An objective guy, who gave both positive and negative points about Glass, called the technology “transformative”. Maybe more than anything else I’ve heard, that excites me the most.

 

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