Google Glass: First Impressions


The mobile development and innovation company, BNOTIONS, held an event on Friday for the Toronto tech community, and I was excited as anything to attend. The presentations were not just a review of Google Glass but to present Glass from a developer’s perspective and demo some of their initial apps (also called Glassware). I summarized the most exciting points I was able to take away from the experience.

The Most Exciting Points from My Notes

  1. Google Glass makes you look like a Cyborg.
    I wasn’t sure if it would, but as pictured above, I am one step closer to becoming RoboCop. But I think I’m OK with that.

  2. “OK Glass”, when will spoken keywords be available?
    All commands for Glass are started by saying “OK Glass,” (e.g. “OK Glass, get directions to Union Station“). As of right now there are no ways to register a custom spoken directive (e.g. “OK Glass, widgetize my last photo – where “widgetize” is the name of the app, etc). This may be coming soon as the software development kit (dubbed GDK) has not yet been released.

    I would be more interested to learn about how these keywords would be registered. Surely, there will be a huge rush to register common and valuable keywords, much as .com domains were/are purchased. Google will likely have some sort of buy-in and conditional requirements in order to register a keyword, but one can only speculate.

    I will be keeping a close on this because I’d love to get my hands on some keywords.

  3. Poor OS UXP
    I didn’t like the operating system because I couldn’t do what I wanted quickly. And probably more unexpectedly from Google: I couldn’t find what I was looking for!

    The device has “cards” or screens, but of course only one can be viewed at a time. And that’s fine, but not when I have a bajillion cards open, and they’re all organized by when I opened them – timeline is a poor way to organize things. During the demo, people were literally asking others “I’m looking for a video, when can I find one? Response: try 57 hours ago“.

    That’s not cool. We should be able to say “OK Glass, show my video library”.

  4. “It’s kind of like having a GoPro but it sends text messages.”
    When playing a first-person Kayaking video during the presentation, speaker Matthew Patience, dropped a line comparing Glass to a GoPro camera. The room erupted with laughter, but Matthew was actually spot on. Right now, Glass isn’t really all that exciting without developers and an ecosystem to support it.

  5. The Opportunity is Huge: Presentations & Accessibility
    Glass could change the way we live our lives. Well, at least the way I live mine (it’s not for everyone – or even most people. I don’t think this will take off because my wife or mother would never use it.)

    The most real-life example discussed during the presentation was its use during a presentation. The speaker could have notes appear on Glass, just as a teleprompter would present words. Cue cards. Right there.

    This could be further extended to the hearing impaired as a “captioning” service. I’m not sure how this would be technically deployed, whether there would need to be opt-in from the presenter to have real time speech-to-text conversion, but this could open up a lot of doors for a lot of people.


Closing Thoughts

  1. It’s like Siri – but on your face.
  2. There is huge potential for lifestyle integration.
  3. Like other mobile devices, this will rely heavily on an integration/app ecosystem.
  4. It would be better if Apple made it because right now, the usability is lacking.
  5. I still want one. Badly.
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