Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), Knives, 1981. Color polaroid, 4.25 x 3.25 in.
What Google Glass Is
When searching for Glass posts or reviews, I read and hear a lot of what Glass isn’t so I want to turn that around and tell you what Glass is.
A Device Companion
It is the perfect companion to your phone or tablet rather than a standalone device as many believe. I describe it to people on the streets as, “It’s amazing, it’s going to change the way we interact with our devices completely.”
It connects to your phone through bluetooth and through that bluetooth connection glass can receive and display your texts, calls, emails and other notifications. You can also reply (Through voice) to those notifications.
This makes glass almost like your personal assistant (A damn cool one). I rarely have to look at my phone anymore unless it’s for an app that isn’t on glass yet or I have to send a long message. Need your agenda? Say, “Okay glass.. Google.. my agenda” and voila, up comes your days agenda. Need to take a note? It’s there too.
As soon as you accept the fact that glass is a companion to your existing device you’ll enjoy glass a lot more. Don’t set some pre-conceived expectations that it’ll completely change the way humans exist because it’s not that but I repeat, it is still amazing.
Contrary to popular belief, I have a much lesser chance of running into a pole or tree wearing glass than while using my phone. The reason is that the glass piece itself is situated above your line of vision. This allows you to talk to someone and not see any of the glass. To see the screen/projection you need to look up at it (Which also makes it basically impossible to ignore someone and not have them notice).
Another reason is that the screen/projection (Technically what you see is a projection but it looks and acts like a screen so from now on I’ll refer to it as a screen) is translucent which means it blends in with the background. Think about the screen as a transparent image set to somewhere between .4 (40%) to .6 (60%) opacity. This allows you to be walking down a hallway and glance up quickly at glass while still paying attention to your surroundings instead of looking down at your phone.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS ON. Please, please, if you’re reading this, remember this. The device’s UX is designed exceptionally well so that it gets out of the way quick. The screen shuts off after about 3 seconds of not using it and it only turns back on if you command it to through a head tilt or a tap on the touchpad. Just because someone has glass and is wearing it doesn’t mean they’re doing something with it or spying on you, in fact, 70%-80% of the time it just sits there waiting for that individual to interact with it. Which is really nice.
A Device with Infinite Potential
Someone recently brought up a discussion on G+ that the only thing he sees posted from glass are photos and videos taken through glass. This idea makes Glass basically a glorified go-pro. Although it is true that #throughglass posts are the most abundant posts that come from explorers that’s not what glass is all about. In all honesty is the camera not the most glorified and used piece of hardware in phones nowadays? That being said, yes, the camera is an amazing and useful feature. It’s so easily accessible that I even want to take pictures of every meal I eat.
The truth is that nobody knows exactly what Glass is just yet. Is it a glorified go-pro, is it a personal assistant, is it augmented reality, or is it a device that will change how we live. This is the thing with Glass. It’s so new and innovative that it doesn’t have too many apps yet. Also, it’s extremely hard to show people what it does unless you have somebody try it on. I can’t show you, for example, that I can go play golf and an app will tell me real time scoring and distances, or that I can see cooking recipes while cooking, that it shows me the distance I’ve ran and my average speed or that I took a note to do an assignment for my Computer Science class. All these things are functionalities that exist but cannot be shown to anybody in a feasible way other than having someone literally try it.
Not to be cliche but, It’s something that must be experienced. Literally.
Those are in my opinion, the three most important things Glass Is. Here are a few others:
A music player (Yes, you can play music on glass and it’s awesome), video screen, stopwatch, a GPS that gives turn by turn directions, camera and video recorder, a Notification (Currently notifications from Gmail, Hangouts(texts), Sports Scores, Traffic, Google Now) and News Central (Currently from CNN, Mashable and New York Times), an app that tells/reminds jewish individuals when and what to pray, an app that translates foreign words on a sign to a language of your choosing by simply looking at it and running the app on glass and much more.