There is a lot of hype flying around about Google Glass at the moment.
Will it be the next big thing in technology and communications? For those of you who are asking yourselves “What the hell is a Google Glass?” no its not similar to those “beer goggles” you can buy from novelty stores (although you might look equally as silly wearing them).
Google Glass is like a pair of glasses that have an inbuilt display whereby you can access a variety of different applications in much the same way as you do now with your mobile phone. The prototypes that were made available to a limited number of applicants (sorry the competition has closed and it still would have cost you $1500US and a plane ticket to the states to personally pick them up), work by tethering off a mobile phone or connecting to WiFi hotspots. Thus allowing them to be smaller and lighter (no cellular connection means no large battery is needed) which are helpful characteristics if this thing is going to hang off your face.
What’s the advantage then? It seems as if the hands-free connectivity is the big selling point here. But, is being able to things hands-free like; view maps, film with a 720p camera (for only 15 seconds at a time), capture and post photo’s, etc, really worth looking like you are wearing a futuristic cyborg pirate eye patch?
The features are controlled with voice commands (in much the same way as Siri works) as well as a touchpad that understands gestures. It also has an accelerometer and a gyroscope that will allow users to execute commands by nodding or shaking your head.
If you have not already, you must look at the video (available here) that was made available on the Google Glass Website (note: called “how it feels” and not “how it looks”). It showcases the many wonderful features and abilities available with this technology and seems to really sell this idea of sharing experiences in a much more free capacity than we have ever experienced. I must agree the idea is fantastic and from the point of view of the person wearing them, everything looks great.
This whole thing, while it has some truly amazing capabilities, I can’t help but think of how much of a lunatic you will look like wearing and operating one. You know how you often spot a business man talking to himself walking down the street, only to realise he is wearing a Bluetooth earpiece. Can you imagine seeing someone wearing a pair of lopsided glasses with one lens in them, walking down the street, talking to himself or herself whilst nodding and shaking their head and repeatedly touching the area near their right ear? My guess is it plays out something like this; van, men in white coats and a long stay in a minimalist country club with lots of pills.
I feel as if I might be a little too critical and I must remind myself that it is just a prototype with the consumer models not due out till the end of 2013. And to be fair, one of the co-founders of Google, Sergey Brin himself suggested that it still had a long road ahead in terms of development.
But this is just my opinion. What does everyone else think?