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.
Well, I did it. I drove with Glass. What? OMG. Shocking! Let me start this by saying that I did nothing illegal. South Carolina doesn’t have texting and driving laws, and you can totally talk on the phone while driving. I don’t usually do those things, but with all the controversy over Glass and driving, I thought I’d at least try before a lawmaker who hasn’t even tried the device on makes up a law against Glass in SC.
I left work at lunch and decided that would be the best time to try the functionality. “Ok Glass, Give me directions Home.” I should state that I do have an iPhone, but when I partner Glass with my Android running Nexus 7 I have GPS functionality. I use my iPhone’s hotspot and pair Glass with the Nexus. Boom, the directions popped up and I was on my way.
I have to say, I saw somewhere that someone described Glass’s voice as a whisper in your ear. It doesn’t use a speaker, but rather a bone conduction technology to send you dings and talk to you. Her voice came on and told me to “Drive North on Hwy 161.” With my air conditioner running high, Google Glass definitely sounded like a whisper. Which sounds totally creepy now that I think about it.
Here’s where I explain how Glass functions when driving. It isn’t in my field of view. It isn’t even on the entire time. Each time you come to a turn you need to take, Glass tells you “turn right in X feet.” and pops up a little map of the turns.
So there. To disperse all your fears. Would you rather me be balancing my phone on my leg, glancing down which completely removes my vision from the road? Or glance upwards to see my turn when I get a ding in my ear. Here’s an unbeknown pro to Glass. Have you ever been in the car where there’s a GPS installed. Each turn you have to pause your entire conversation to wait for Miss GPS to finish yelling her directions over the speaker? Yeah, that doesn’t happen. The driver only hears it. I made it home safely, even though my cell lost reception around the Knob (Which means I live in the boonies). Glass continued to give me directions, but with a ding instead of spoken directions. No wrecks. No incidents. I didn’t even veer near the edge of the road.
Oh yeah, by the way. I took that picture without even removing my hands from the steering wheel or taking my eyes off the road.