Upperdog’s Marketing Pack Leader, Annabel, was one of the lucky few to try the innovative Google Glass this month. Despite being launched in 2012 there are just 6 devices here in the UK – so she was excited to say the least! Over to Annabel to give you the lowdown on this uber gadget…
I was at an event last week and the opportunity arose to try out Google Glass. All attempts to block the geek in me from jumping out hugely failed. First in the queue and probably holding the rest of the queue up I was fascinated to spend some time with this Google wonder. I hope my write up of a brief encounter with this spectacle provides you with even a smidgen of what it’s like to use Google Glass.
What is Google Glass?
Google Glass is an Android-powered computer built into spec frames. You wear it on your head, yep that’s right. Google Glass is effectively a hands-free smartphone which displays information in front of you from the internet via spoken commands. No nonsense access to information wherever, whenever.
Once I put Google Glass on, the display loaded to the upper right of my vision so I could still see without my view being obstructed. As mentioned, Glass (FYI this is the ‘cool’ way to refer to Google Glass) responds to spoken commands alongside touch from the touchpad bar that runs along the right side of the frame.
Here’s an example of the display, dog related of course:
Being typically Google the specs are both a novelty and practical, as they are available to wear with prescription or non-prescription glasses or shades.
Glass does a lot considering the size of the device, including;
- 16GB of flash memory with 12GB of storage
- Syncs to your Google Drive to store all your media in the cloud
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi built in
- No GPS, but has Google Maps
- Tethers to your smartphone, including iPhones
What did I love?
Feeling like one of X-Men. Glass did make me feel like I could do pretty much anything (within reason, let’s be real here) literally at the touch of a button. Once I had put the device on my head I could go from searching Google to find the first President of Russia, to getting directions, to taking a picture instantly. All of this appears as a small screen in front of your right eye – like the dog example a few paragraphs above. The user-friendly hands free concept is brilliant and did bring my superhero instinct out… if you’re one of those who’s always wished they had super powers… which I’m clearly not. At all. Not one bit.
The display I saw in front of my eyes is actually a lot smaller than I expected, roughly 4 x 3 inches for me. The display is projected in front of you and is coloured. I learnt that how far away the glass is from your eye determines the size of the display you see. I liked that my vision wasn’t blocked and the display was just the right size. Neat.
To operate the device I just had to simply say “Okay Glass” and I was presented with a range of options to choose from including loading a compass, getting directions, taking a video and much more. You can scroll through the options by verbally saying one, or using the track pad to navigate. By tilting my head back the current time would pop up. Cool huh? See a real life video from some Google Explorers here.
What could be improved?
Whilst all the attractive models on the Glass site look good with the product on, I on the other hand… looked a bit like a robot.
Although they are lightweight and fairly sleek, I think a reduced track pad to remove some bulk would be beneficial. The colour range is varied enough (Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton and Sky.) If posed with a choice I would opt for charcoal as a colour that ‘goes with everything’ but I expect this colour range and the overall style itself will evolve once it is launched to consumers.
The camera was great and can be used at any time just by pushing a button on the top of the frame, the only thing is the reflection from the Glass can look a bit creepy – as you can see from my semi-robot photo below:
I found out the battery life is around 5-6 hours so not quite practical for the keen amongst us who’d want to wear them all day and due to its infancy the range of apps is a bit limited.
What next for Google Glass?
Rumoured to retail this year, I think this is a product I could really get to grips with. Nonetheless the usual dramas have commenced; there has already been a court case for a woman arrested for driving with Glass, debates about privacy, and competitors are rumoured to be developing and patenting their own versions.
There’s a lot of speculation about how they could impact life; one of my favourites is this video about How Guys Will Use Google Glass.
Current RRP is $1,500 (~£990) but consumer devices are expected to be released cheaper.