Earlier this week we had the chance to give Google Glass a try at the Google Glass Basecamp in London. With three lovely Glass experts on hand to patiently show everyone how to use them. It is undoubtedly an impressive piece of technology, but opinions were divided. Here’s a quick low down on what we thought.
The Glass is on standby by default, so as to conserve battery life. A vertical slide of the finger down the right temple of the frame will awaken it and make it responsive to commands. But rubbing the lamp won’t free the genie in this case; Glass won’t do anything you ask it to unless you speak a certain phrase first. In this case it’s not “Open Sesame,” but “okay, Glass.” So, let’s go.
Once you have uttered those two magic words, you can instruct Glass freely. Available functions include taking a picture (“Okay, Glass. I want to take a picture.”), getting directions to a destination (“Okay, Glass. I need directions to ___”), or looking up topics on Google (you get the drift…). As Glass is synced with the omnipresent iCloud, it can save everything to it automatically.
It’s not as sci-fi as some may have imagined. When you give your command, you have to gaze to the top right to be able to see what Glass is doing – it doesn’t seamlessly integrate itself into ones’ field of vision. People who are glancing up at their Glass projection can look…how do we put it nicely- quite comical, as if they are daydreaming or trying hard to remember something.
It was suggested that using Glass to get directions when you ride a bike, for instance, is safer than looking at your phone. Really? Not sure gazing up is safer than looking down. Oh hold a minute, apparently it also speaks to you and can give you directions ‘verbally’. Perhaps this is not the best solution in noisy cities, but it is definitely innovative.
Disruptive technologies are always approached with suspicion at first, and seeing as this is a first generation model, it’s not extremely difficult to point out flaws; lags in processing of instructions, the not-so-beautiful design, the chunky bit of glass over ones right eye (and what about the lefties out there?). Despite this, the fact remains that Google Glass has some great applications. As the product becomes more widely available and is regarded as less of a mythical object, perhaps we will learn to love it more.
Reported by Anna Abrell