My First Few Months With Google Glass

What do I have in common with Soulja Boy, Newt Gingrich, or Alyssa Milano? If you guessed that I am a conservative Tony Danza fan with marginal rapping skills, you are not far off.

Me, the Newt, and roughly 8,000 others are all members of the Google Glass Explorer Program — an early adopter program available for developers and consumers to test Google Glass and gauge how people will want to use it.

The program started this summer, and since my trip to San Francisco to collect Glass, I have given several presentations on the technology and confused many more by wearing a computer (or is it a monocle?) on my face.

Now that I've had Glass for a few months, I figured it was time to give it a grade.

Besides its obvious aesthetic flaws, I really feel this is a game-changing piece of technology. I would equate it to the early “bag phone” in terms of its capability to change the marketplace.

It’s a brand new, never-before-seen piece of technology that to some will be exciting, to some will be odd, and to some (currently, many) it will simply be something they will "never need.” 

Glass and other wearable technologies will soon become more mainstream, normal looking, and integrated into other products. For example, when purchasing a pair of glasses at your local optometry shop, you may have the option to choose frames from the Glass Collection.

Glass and similar wearables will become standard fare at wireless stores, allowing you to purchase a pair with a data plan. 

The biggest positive, personally, is not having to live through the lens of my iPhone. I don’t want to miss moments as I try to capture them and stumble with my phone. Glass allows me to record videos and take pictures without having to unlock my phone, find the camera app, try to zoom, and then focus on my subject. If I’m lucky, I got the perfect picture on the first try. “Okay Glass, take a picture,” is much simpler and keeps me in the moment of the event instead of diverting my attention to the technology.

As of now, the number of applications able to integrate with Glass is very limited. I would love to see that improve – which it will – and also see the number of available accessories grow.

My biggest gripe? The battery life, which only lasts around an hour and a half when using Glass consistently.

It won’t just be tech nerds like me wearing it in the future, either. Anyone who needs his or her hands free to work or play, but still needs access to data can benefit from Glass. Think surgeons in the middle of a complex procedure, farmers working on a combine engine, QA engineers documenting the first run on the production line to the investor group… you get the picture.

Cell phones, texting, and tablets have all overcome the hurdle in proving their usefulness to society. Glass will be no different. Currently seen as a luxury, it will eventually be considered essential tech to the right user base.

New technology always comes with a certain degree of controversy. Is it weird to have a computer on your face? Is Glassing and driving on par with the distraction of using a cellphone behind the wheel? What’s appropriate etiquette for technology like this? Do we even need it?

All of these questions will eventually have answers. But one thing is for certain: Glass is the beginning of a tech revolution. Lucky for us all, Soulja and Newt are leading the charge.

My grades for Google Glass 1.0:
Comfort/Fit: B
Aesthetics: C-
Software: C+
MyGlass website: B-
MyGlass mobile app: A-
Battery Life: D-
Accessories: C
Processor speed: B-
Camera: B+
Ease of connecting to WiFi: C-
Price: D
Google’s overall first attempt at Glass: B-