Yes, I coughed up $1,500 to be a Google beta guinea pig for Google Glass. I was very excited at the privilege of doing so, after all, one even had to be invited to join the Google Glass Explorer Program and the invitation came with the opportunity to test a really cool, disruptive tech product months before the rest of the world.
It's a Very Expensive Camera...
I'll cut to the chase: it's a very expensive, goofy-looking camera. Oh, the video works all the time, too, but, I really don't fancy the notion of taking a video as I am walking...just about anywhere.
Saturday Night Live Got it Right
Saturday Night Live had a news skit where a guest was showing how cool Glass is: the only problem, nothing worked. Well, when I muster the "let's-try-it-again" spirit and don my Google Glass in public, scores of people (truly) will stop me to say, "Whoa, 'Google Glass' - how cool are they?!"' I always want to say, "Really cool!!!" I can't. They're not even close to cool.
Why Can't Google Fix Google Glass?
"The time is nigh for your new Glass," the message I received from Google intoned when it informed me that I would be getting a box to exchange my version one of Google Glass for the updated version. The difference in the two? I did get an ear bud with my updated version of Glass, but, beyond that, I can't point to anything with version two that made me say "wow" or "finally" or "thank you!" Even the earbud didn't seem to really improve the phone's sound.
This week I received another (I have received several in the past) survey request from Glass. Though I dutifully completed the previous surveys, this time, I am not going to bother to even fill it out, because I hate having to repeat myself. This speaks volumes about the state of my relationship with Google Glass.
What Don't I Like About "Google Glass"?
- Connectivity is a problem.
- Connectivity is a problem. (Did I mention that before?)
- CONNECTIVITY IS A PROBLEM. I even bought myself an AT&T mobile wifi device after an AT&T rep told me that the hotspot activation from my iPhone really didn't have the strongest signal and the mobile device should address any connectivity problems I might have; it's made little difference. "OK Glass, get me directions to...." "OK Glass, get me directions to..." Whips out iPhone and maps it. (Now, I did have it give me directions in San Francisco and it worked and it was cool...That was once.)
- "What's the weather going to be like tomorrow?" It tells me. Cool. "What's the weather going to be like tomorrow?" It ignores me. Not cool.
- Wink app. Cool. I'm on a trolley in SanFrancisco. No cameras or smartphones allowed to be used while on the outside seats to take pictures. I've got the wink app. I wink. It takes a picture...But, then it takes a bunch pictures - and I'm not winking!
- Real-time translation of text? It's there as an app, but, I'll be darned if I can get it to work sitting down patiently at my desk, in slow motion - don't think I'll be trying it in a foreign county.
- Play music. When it works, you just ask it for music by...and it plays. When it plays, the sound, even with the ear bud, isn't very good...But, too often, the only thing it wants to let me do is take pictures or record a video.
- Google Glass is not a smart phone that you can discreetly, comfortably fit in a pocket, which means that you have to pay close attention to the weather, as an unexpected rainy day means you're stuck with you Glass tucked in your shirt.