Beam me Up! I've Been Assimilated!
My first question, as I went to the Google Glass event, was whether I could wear them with my glasses. The invitation said to wear contacts and explained that they could not promise you could see with eyeglasses. I arrived at Bay7 in downtown Durham with curiosity and was totally surprised to find out they worked fine with glasses! I posted a photo on Google+ and a friend said, looks like the Borg assimilated you . . . (from Star Trek). Of course! Happily assimilated, I will tell you what I learned about these things.
In a large factory atmosphere, after signing a photo release, they led small groups through a short training on how to use Glass and then a seven minute glassy experience for each individual.
Our trainers told us about the original intention Google had to find a solution to the fact that people were walking dangerously everywhere, crossing streets, driving, walking down sidewalks, with their focus on their cellphones. The idea was to provide a safer way for people to move around while still communing with the world on a device. The device now fits on your head.
The type of things you can do with the glass includes asking for directions, for car, bike or walking, see maps with illumined routes, and be led by voice to your destination. You can say "OK, GLASS!" "I'm Hungry" Then it will show you maps and directions to different restaurants in your area.
I think we see the need for the more capable understanding that we are now experiencing in Google search with greater anticipation of our needs than simply matching a keyword. The vocal search that we now have on our smartphones and with Glass is clearly an example of the new directions the search engine is trying to provide for us . . . anticipation of our every need, even before we speak it.
With Glass, you can choose from a selection of activities such as take a photo, take a video, share the photo or video on social media or the cloud.
The software that comes with the Glass is added to your phone and computer system. It will record and save the timeline of your activities. It holds 12 gigs of information. You can load it on your computer to view it later, delete things you no longer want, essentially treat it like another computer file.
This is the way the screen appears inside Glass. You see the words and or the maps and diagrams quite clearly. They play just above your natural field of view and to the right. You can see the screen crisp and bright. It is a hologram that is refected for you to view. You can walk and watch life normally glance up to see the screen, then go back to looking forward naturally.
You can request translation of something in another language. The trainer demonstrated translation into Japanese. The voice speaks the wording to you so you can repeat it. Imagine learning a language live as you walk down the street in a country you traveled to visit. Here they show you the visual translation as it appears inside the viewer. I mentioned that my son and his wife live in Yokohama so they posed for a photo of the screen for me with Japanese.
They also showed us how flexible the glass is. It can bend and twist without breaking. You can see the parts. The large piece on the side of the head is the computer with a touch pad along the outside. You swipe or tap the touchpad with a finger. In the back is the speaker, which rides behind the ear. When you have it on, the speaker is not heavy or noticeable.
And now for the moment I was awaiting - tadaa - I tried it on with my glasses and it worked fine. It was so clear and easy to read. It even fit over my glass frames with no trouble. I am quite pleased with this, now that I know I can wear them. I can't wait to get mine. They promise no specific schedule, but say the target is 2014.
The trainers explained about the way Google has been working with various manufacturers to provide software applications specifically for Glass. They have also been working with eyeglass manufacturers. I was shown the inside screws where the sidepiece is screwed on to the metal band. They are working to enable screws like this for normal eyeglass frames to be developed. Just think, you could just screw this thing to to your eyeglasses in the future and wear your computer everywhere naturally.
The current option is a sunglass front that clips on, another way prescription clipons could be made for glass in the future, too.
Allright Google - I love these!