Thursday, June 06, 2013

I've slightly changed my opinion about Google Glass.

Imagine if you got an opportunity to try on Google Glass, and they actually talked you out of wanting to.

Sure, I've been a critic of Google Glass. I've been around Silicon Valley for a long time now. I've seen a ton of Vaporware, so I have a healthy skepticism of all products. Even so... you never know which products are going to catch fire. You can never outright say xyz product is going to fail, because human nature is unpredictable. You have to give every product a chance, or at least try it before you outright pan it. Which is what I wanted to try to accomplish.

Let me start out with the positives. Google glass has the equivalent of a juicebox for extra power. They work really well. That's it. Now the negatives.

This was billed as a Google Glass Hands on Workshop. So you can imagine this set an expectation. We all thought we were going to get some in depth insight into the product. What happened however was mostly a marketing pitch for an hour and forty minutes.

I've been to a ton of boring conferences. A TON! I've never ever seen one of the attendees stand up and say - look, we are all developers, and there is only 20 minutes left..this is why we came. We want you to get to the technicals. And a lot of the audience clapped!

I am not actually going to go into the technicals, because you people are smart. You can do a Google search. What did rub me the wrong way was the speakers position that if you didn't like the idea of Google Glass you were positively a luddite. He gave the impression people hate change and this is no different.

A gentleman from another country (I have to admit I don't remember which one) stood up and told the speaker than in many European countries this device would actually be illegal. I didn't know this, but apparently there is some law that you can't walk up to people face to face and take a picture of them without their consent. The speaker did not want to hear this, and I'm not sure he completely understood what the guy was trying to tell him. Besides, whatever that guy said didn't matter. Google knows it's going to have a lot of privacy lawsuits according to him. He was so unhearing of the concept I thought to myself - the first time some creepy guy takes a picture of a child at a pool, they are going to have problems. As a female, even I sense some resistance when I want to take pictures of someone else's child at a public event. I always, always, ask permission. And I'm a girl! I don't feel that same obligation with adults.

Then there is the price. At the time I got my first smart phone it was 600 bucks. This was before the iPhone. It was an HTC slider. That has to be eight years ago maybe. That was pretty spendy at the time. Even thought the economy was awesome. I bring this up because Google Glass capabilities are way less advanced than that generation of technology. People would never put up with paying that price for the capabilities Glass has. As far as I know, Google glass doesn't even act as a phone. The price point really needs to be in the 300 dollar range.

Having said all of that - I do now believe Glass will become mainstream. In about five years. There are just too many people working on Glass like prototypes. I was slightly surprised how acclimated I'd already become to people wearing Glass.

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