An Early Adopter’s View: Hands-On With ‘Google Glass’


If you’re one of these people who is seriously considering getting their hands on Google’s latest attempt to ‘cyborgify’ humanity, (eventually plunking down the $1,500 required in the process), your first point of call may be to check out some first impressions from an early adopter.

The Entrepreneur’s Taylor Hatmaker was lucky enough to become one of the 1,000 non-Google employees to get her hands on the face-worn device, and thus is one of the first people in the world to be able to convey her experience while both wearing and interacting with Google Glass.

For those unaware, Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display (HMD) that is currently in development at Google. Just over 1,000 units have thus far been issued to people both inside and outside of the company, with the firm currently taking feedback on how it can better improve the product for the consumer and enterprise market.

One of the points of user feedback Google is particularly said to be interested in is the device’s final price. According to recent reports relating to the (possibly imminent) addition of text and navigation services to Glass for iOS users, Google is now expected to rethink the price of Glass ahead of the product’s slated 2014 launch, the result of which could see the company offer the head-mounted display unit for a “significantly reduced price.”

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The main purpose of Glass is to be an unobtrusive addition to the modern consumer’s life, while providing them with a kind of ‘extension’ to their reality through both real-time information and use of ‘augmented’ services. Activated with a simple “OK Glass” voice command, Google aims to make the set of glassless glasses your new personal assistant. One that is both reliable in its offerings, but doesn’t disrupt your life to the point where you feel you would be better off using something else to achieve the same goal.

The first of an interesting four-part series detailing her personal experiences while using Google Glass, Hatmaker notes that she “received [her] pair of Glass on Friday morning” and consequentially “wore them through Sunday afternoon,” taking them off “only to sleep.”

Perhaps a sign of what’s to come?

She continues:

“The experience looking into Google’s custom Glass interface is like having a tiny TV overlay above your eye. You can easily make eye contact with others. To check the Glass display, you glance upward.”

“The screen can be activated via an upward head nod or by tapping the right side of the device. To get around the interface, it’s all tapping and swiping with one finger (down, forward, back) on the side surface of Glass. Many actions also incorporate voice controls starting with “OK Glass” to do things like search Google or dictate texts.”

Describing the disruption to her social life whilst using Glass, she writes:

“I was skeptical, but after wearing Glass regularly I found myself checking my Nexus 4 smartphone less and less. I could use Glass to receive social media updates and receive emails, so I felt at ease knowing that the information most important to me would appear literally right before my eyes.”

Hatmaker concludes her initial experience with the head-mounted device as both one which is “refined,” but, all in all, an experience which seems “a little socially precocious” with a few current limitations.

The Question: Will you jump on Google Glass yourself?

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Read: My First 48 Hours Wearing Google Glass