Apple and Glass-Take Two.

Just a reminder, this blog has officially moved.  I’ll keep co-posting for the next couple of months but the new home is Juliembrown.com/blog.

I’ve posted before about the Apple store and Glass.  While some have reported being ooh’d and ah’d over with their glass, I and a few other explorers have had a different response.  No one acknowledges them.  They may look, stare, or gesture, but no one talks or even mentions them. I wasn’t trying to tease them, but a bit of bad luck and my natural grace caused me to drop my iPhone 5 on Saturday and shatter the screen.  Apple now does repairs for screen damage on iPhones (unless you’re one of those hip kids that think it’s now cool to have a busted phone), and since I’m ineligible for upgrade, I decided it was more cost effective to spend a bit on a replacement rather than an out-of-contract phone upgrade.

It was still functional, just looked horrible.

My mom accompanied me this time, and we were soon checked in and sat at the “Genius Bar” to await whichever blue shirted Apple employee was going to help me.  I’m not poking fun at them, they truly have never been anything but helpful and knowledgeable.  As I was waiting at this very full bar, an older gentleman asked me “So, how are you liking Glass?”  Within a few minutes of explaining my time with Glass, four other people at the bar were now looking at me and asking me about Glass.

I should say here that I am usually an introverted person, but Glass forces you out of that bubble.  You get used to being asked about it or even demoing it to people.  One of the Apple employees who was helping a neighboring person even jumped in the conversation. He quickly withdrew once we started talking about features and went back to helping his customer (which reinforced the statement that they were not allowed to acknowledge Glass).  My phone was fixed and I had a fun night with Glass and the mall.  Even a host at a restaurant came up to ask me about it.  General reactions, despite negativity in the media, are “That is so cool!” “I can’t wait to get one.”  “Wow, that is mind-blowing!”

Taken #throughglass

Taken #throughglass

Glass and Driving…UK edition

Glass and Driving…UK edition

My field of view.

I have written about Glass and driving before (See, here and here).  You do a quick Google search for Glass, and will find various blogs, newspaper, and tech articles either defending or promoting Glass.  Recently, the UK are making strides in banning Glass from drivers. It should be noted, however, that Google Glass isn’t even available to non-US citizens yet.

Are…are those..?

“Excuse me…” The man approached my corner table in Starbucks where I was working on some code for a website.  I look up to see a man towering near me, a huge grin on his face.

“I don’t mean to bother you, but are those Google..um Google Glass?” He stared at the Glass that sat on my face.

I smiled and explained the product, answering his questions.

“How do you like them?”

“What about the privacy issues?”

“Tell me about functionality.”

I offered to let him try them on, but he threw his hands up, “Oh no! No, I was just curious and hadn’t seen a pair in person.” He thanked me for taking time to explain and talk to him and made his way back to his seat on the other side of the cafe.

Starbucks.

Starbucks.

I will admit that I don’t get asked a lot about Glass.  I get strange looks, or even stares, but I live in a small southern town. People don’t know about them, haven’t even heard of them most of the time.  When I’m in a denser populated area, I tend to actually get asked about the product.  One of my friends told me how they are such a cool ice breaker, and will help me make connections.  I laughed and thought it was silly that a product could really gain you connections.  If I were to buy a top of the line Corvette, fresh from the factory, people would take notice while driving, but it wouldn’t possibly advance my career.  Right?

Stock photos for "new car" are hilarious, by the way.

Stock photos for “new car” are hilarious, by the way.

Apparently, they totally can help you make connections.  I had three different people approach my table within an hour and a half today.  One conversation lasted an hour.  Even with all the negative press out there about Glass, people are genuinely interested in how they’re performing.  One man was concerned about privacy, and even joked that he wondered if I had been filming him.  This is silly, in my perspective, because why would I want to sit in Starbucks for an hour and film random strangers drinking coffee? Why would that benefit me?  Also, you can do the same with your phone or even on a more secretive note, this spy pen which records video (for only $32).

The point is, Glass is so much more than a camera.  It does take amazing pictures, and yes you can do so covertly.  However it also translates, emails, makes phone calls, text message, gives directions, Googles, and delivers a myriad of other information instantly.  There are a ton of possibilities out there.

New Experiment.

I posted on twitter earlier that I had discovered something new with iOS7 Beta 4 and Glass.  In a nutshell, I found that toggling my personal hotspot on my iPhone for Glass (which would allow me to connect Glass to the internet) no longer worked the same.  Now, before we jump on board the “Beta’s have bugs” train, I never said it wasn’t working.  Instead of showing up as being connected to Wifi on Glass, it’s allowing me to tether data via bluetooth.  This should help some of the battery life concerns for Glass.

Now, enough for the mumbo-jumbo technical language for all those that aren’t tech geeks like myself. The new experiment.   Google sent out a few emails to select people today.  This is what it said,

No, I did not get one. I may get one, but as Sarah Price confirmed, it is just an experiment they are doing to see added interest with Glass.  Or something.  She didn’t even have all the details yet.  If I were to invite you, you’d still have to travel and pay for Glass, just as all explorers did.

Google Goggles

Only 2 of these actually exists.

Google Glass has been called many things, “Google Glasses”, “Google Goggles”, “Jeweler’s Eyewear”, “That Star Trek VISOR thing” to name a few.  No, I’m not joking, I have gotten those responses.  Just trying to simplify the description of it leads to the latter being used quite often.  Google Goggles is actually a thing though, and pretty cool (It’s an app, available on iTunes or Android).  The others don’t really apply to Glass…except for the Visor thing, it kinda reminds me of this episode.

If you recall, I ran in the Electric Run last Friday.  I was approached by several people throughout the race who asked questions about Google Glass.  I’ve only ran into a few other people who have asked me what it was or if it was, indeed, Google Glass.  I try to politely correct them when they refer to the unit as something other than what it is.  After explaining or demoing it, however, they usually get bright eyed in amazement if they’ve never heard of it before.

All I can suggest to those who are newly entering the Glass world is to ask questions or even ask to try them on.  Pretty much every Explorer I’ve spoken with has no qualms about letting others demo the product.  Ask questions. Try them on.  See for yourself.

The Cool Factor

Glass has been compared to many things, and there is still a ton of press generated about it daily.  Some think it’s cool or “the next big thing” while others compare it to the next Segway, a device that is neat but will never succeed.

Mashable recently wrote this new article, defending Google Glass with some very valid points.  On the same vein, the New Yorker published an article about daily life through Glass and it’s usually positive reception.  Some negative press involves privacy concerns or negative/suspicious reactions to Google Glass.

 

I’m not going to go into detail about any of the issues I mentioned above.  Positive or negative, whatever your viewpoint may be I urge people to remain open and level headed about Glass.