After a couple weeks of consideration, I decided to take advantage of my recent acceptance into the Google Glass Explorer club. I plopped down $1500 and my Google Glass arrived three days later just in time for me to take to the Course Technology National Conference. On day 2 of the conference, I shared my new Glass with dozens of computer teachers. All were equally astounded by the clarity of the small display dangling just above their right eye. It didn’t take long for most to master the interface, although there were some photos accidentally posted to my Facebook account. A few teachers were uncomfortable with the threats to privacy that Glass imposes. But all recognized the game changing impact that this technology will bring to our lives.
Personally, I find the potential of Glass irresistible, although I feel a little uncomfortable wearing mine in public. I generally don’t like to call attention to myself, or distance myself from those with whom I converse. Google Glass definitely draws people’s attention, even though I opted to buy the eyeglass frames to try to better disguise Glass. It also tends to serve as a distraction when interacting with others.
With Glass you can take a photo, store it in the cloud, and post it online all within a few seconds without people around you knowing. That ability makes many people nervous, and some irate. It’s also relatively easy to accidentally post photos and videos. I wouldn’t recommend wearing Glass in the bathroom or locker room!
I am still new to Glass, and perhaps some of its limitations are the result of my own inexperience. Google Glass is still new to the market as well, and has some pretty serious shortcomings that makes me think that it is not ready for prime time. For one, the battery lasts for only a couple hours before requiring a charge. I’m working on techniques to prolong battery life. Also, Glass tends to heat up during processor intensive tasks like recording video. The interface warns that Glass must cool down before continuing use.
As a teacher and researcher, Glass has provided me with fascinating insight into the next generation of computing, which seems to be only one small step from computers embedded in our bodies. Some public places are banning Glass, but, in my opinion, the pervasive existence of these technologies in public places is inevitable. Before long, as these technologies shrink, it will become impossible to detect if a person (or robot) is taking pictures or not.
I look forward to sharing more Glass experiences and opinions in future posts.