01
Mar
2013-03-01_19h40_23
Last Updated: March 3rd, 2013

I'm going to be up front: I want Glass. I'm thoroughly intrigued with the idea, I love the possibility of having an always-available camera that sees whatever I see, and completely hands-free Google sounds like a perfectly natural progression of the things like Google Now and voice actions. In the world where personal digital assistants seem commonplace, why should we not expect those things to be always accessible and visible?

Well, apparently there are a lot of reasons. And don't get me wrong. There are many legitimate causes to be skeptical. As is typical of the tech community, however, some things people have focused on are completely silly. Others, not so much. So, which are which?

Here are some very silly reasons to be skeptical of Google Glass:

No One Will Wear Something That Goofy-Looking

glassisabelle

Yes they will. Just for starters, let's get that out of the way. "Silly" is not only subjective, but when it comes to tech, it usually refers to anything that people haven't gotten used to yet. Wristwatches were "silly." Walking around, staring at your phone is silly. Hell, people still make jokes about how dumb someone looks with their head buried in Twitter when they walk into a pole. We all agree it looks silly, even as we continue to do it. Oh, and you know what else looked silly when people first started using them? Glasses.

Here's the trick, though. It's not that people will wear them because they're silly. People will wear them if they provide a benefit that is greater than the silliness they feel using it. This is the primary reason that most people find Bluetooth headsets to be douchey, while a select few still use them. Most of us don't have a problem holding our phone to the side of our heads when talking on the phone. We don't actually talk that much anyway. Some people, whether it's because they're always on the phone, need their hands a lot, or are just monumentally lazy, do have a problem with it. That group of people is a small enough minority (and usually characterized by a wealthy or self-important demeanor) that we can marginalize them.

In the modern world, though, we don't need to hear our phones that much, aside from music. Oh, and fancy that, no one thinks that headphone look silly. Despite the fact that shoving earbuds deep inside your nasty, wax-filled canals is not only a little ridiculous, but disgusting at the same time. Yet, we're perfectly okay with it because the function is greater than the form. That's what matters.

Oh, and this all completely ignores the possibility of integrating Glass into nice-looking frames. According to recent reports, the functional parts can be removed and other frames added in. The early prototype models will look weird, but that can easily change. Assuming people don't just catch on to the look (frankly, I think they look awesome, but I am inordinately biased).

Okay, what else you got?

Everyone Will Hate The Possibility Of Being Monitored All The Time

2013-03-01_19h41_24

While possibly true, that refers to why people will be uncomfortable around Glass users. Not why people will be users themselves. Being on camera tends to make people feel vulnerable. Wielding a camera makes them feel empowered. Still, it's a fair point that it will have an impact on society. That's always something we have to consider as technology evolves, especially at such a rapid rate.

However, let's examine for just a second how much people have really objected to being observed more. 30-40 years ago, it wasn't even possible to talk to someone on the other side of the country without a landline. Much less take a photo of something and show it to tens of thousands of people in the blink of an eye. It wasn't even smartphones that led this revolution. Dumb phones, point and shoot cameras, laptops, microphones, CCTV...it's been going on for decades. This may be a surprise for you, but if someone wants to track everything you're doing and use it against you, they can already do that.

I used to work for a private investigations company. My job was to edit surveillance videos for insurance claims. If a company thought one of its customers was making a fraudulent claim, they hired us and our investigators followed them around. I would review the footage, compile it into a usable form, edit it down to the essential footage and send that to the client (we saved the full video in case it went to court, but it rarely did).

The technology that these investigators used was decidedly low-tech. I worked there from 2008 to 2011. In the entire time, we still used MiniDV tapes. Occasionally a crafty investigator would use his trusty pen cam (these can be bought for as little as $40). Most of the time, all we needed to nail someone was to catch them lifting heavy stuff in their front yards (you'd be surprised just how far those optical zooms work) or carrying heavy things from the store to their car in the parking lot.

I could write a whole post on this (and really, I should), but here's the short version: if you want to be completely safe from people photographing or videotaping you, avoid parked cars (investigators love waiting there, and sometimes shoot in their rear view mirrors, because you wouldn't suspect a car facing away), always assume that any place within a line of sight can and does see you, and don't assume the guy directly behind you in traffic is the guy following you. It's actually the guy five cars back. He knows you're not looking there.

While few people really think that some evil government agency is going to use Glass to record them, insurance investigations may just be the second most likely reason that most people will get photographed without their knowledge and they aren't coming for you with a camera attached to the side of their face. That just leaves the biggest concern: creepsters. On that front, well, have you seen how Glass works? "Ok glass, take a picture." That's a lot more noticeable than the quiet (or sometimes non-existent) camera shutter sound that cell phones make. I know you'd like to believe that you'd be more aware of someone taking your picture if they have to hold up a phone rather than tap the side of their fancy AR gadget, but humans are decidedly, stupidly unperceptive creatures. You are not any better off now than you would be with Glass on the streets.

What else?

No One's Going To Spend $1,500 On That Thing

brin-glass-subway

That I'll give you. Assuming that's the price, though. Here's the thing: we have no idea what these will cost. All we've seen so far are Explorer editions. Prototypes made in limited quantities for people who meet certain, very special requirements. The first batch was people who attended I/O (which was a $900 ticket already). Now it's whoever wins a special contest that is obviously pandering to people who will make good marketing material and want to pay for the privilege.

Anyone who thinks that Google is currently "marketing" Glass in anything even resembling its plans for commercial release is intentionally ignorant.

Now. How much will they cost? The only thing we know for certain is that it will be less than $1,500. How much less, though? None of us really assume that it will be significantly cheaper but...why not? It doesn't seem to be made of much more than goes into any given smartphone. Granted that display technology seems to be entirely new, but is it $1,000 worth of parts?

Let's keep in mind for just a second that every single unit released so far has been part of a limited, prototype, unfinished run. The first ones are always the most expensive. We had a similar dust up at Android Police recently when people freaked out because Ouya was offering an $800 dev kit when the consumer console was only going to cost $100. Well, that's how much pre-production units cost.
Of course, we might be able to guess at how much the hardware will cost based on what's in it. It has WiFi and Bluetooth. A touchpad. That fancy glass display. Some form of processor that's able to handle the voice processing software, though that really narrows it down to any modern smartphone SoC. The parts cost for most major smartphones is below $200, but that's including high-resolution displays. And 3G/4G radios, which we've recently confirmed Glass won't have on its own (it will tether to your phone, which I'll get to in a bit). We don't know if the glass component will be more or less expensive, but it's unlikely that the CPU to run this thing will cost $17 (cost of the iPhone 5's processor), the battery will cost $5 (same), but that tiny little glass display will cost $1,000.

Someone smarter than me, with more experience in the field of electronic components could probably come up with a more educated guess at the final cost of Glass. It would still be just a guess. But here's a thought: What if it costs $500?

I bet a lot of you are suddenly a lot more interested.

It's not entirely unreasonable, either. Vuzix is currently attempting to build its own Glass competitor and that company also plans to make its wearable heads-up display for a sub-$500 price point. Chromebook Pixel aside, Google isn't exactly known for creating the same hardware as everyone else for twice the price (and really, even that hardware is reasonably priced for what it is...it's the software that doesn't measure up). In fact, between the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 7, the company seems to be best known for releasing astounding hardware at difficult-to-grasp low prices. We can't know what Glass will cost when it finally comes out, but we have plenty of reason to suspect Google will want to price it competitively.

I don't want to even guess, much less bet, that Glass will cost in the area of $500 when it comes out. Mainly because I don't think I'm that lucky. But I do remember the last time I thought to myself "There's no way they'll be able to cram that much awesome hardware into one device and still make it reach a $500 price point."

The next day, the iPad came out.

Okay, so this is getting boring. What are some good reasons to doubt the success of Glass?

Wait, I Have To Tether This Thing To My Phone? That Sucks!

I've heard exactly zero people mention this, but that's my biggest worry. I have a special name for devices that have to tether to my phone: bricks. It's not even about paying the extra monthly plan (or acquiring tethering via less-than-approved means). Tethering murders my battery. I use a Galaxy Nexus right now. I'm lucky to leave the house for a full day and still have a smartphone when I return. If I want to use Google Glass as an always-on, all-the-time access point to everything on the entire internet, I'll be able to get that for about an hour before I'm completely boned. This, to me, is the single largest hurdle to getting Glass to achieve any level of success. I am averse to getting any new data plan on any of my devices, despite knowing how great the freedom is, because I hatethe idea of paying a second time for data. But, I'm sorry. Either battery life on phones needs to step way up (and hey, maybe the new Motorola phones will do that), or there needs to be a version of Glass with a 4G radio in it. I have very little use for something that needs a tethering option, and I am fairly convinced that this is a concern I share with average customers. Far more than "glasses look silly, and also I haven't updated my opinions of people who wear glasses in two decades."

(No seriously, I read a piece today that characterized regular glasses as "the defacto symbol of unattractiveness." What is this I don't even.)

I'd Always Forget To Use It

Here's the problem with Google Now, voice actions, and hell, Google in general: people forget that the entire damn internet is at their disposal. 24/7, there is no need for you to ever not know something. I have had to institute a policy among my friends: if you own a smartphone, and you ask an easily-answered question around me without reaching for your phone, or make a claim that can be quickly verified with uncertainty in your voice, I will cause a ruckus. Possibly smack the back of your head if you're within striking distance.

"I think there are 32 ounces in a quart," is no longer an acceptable thing to say if you have a smartphone. It is "There are 32 ounces in a quart." Why? Because you can press two buttons, ask the sentence out loud, and have your answer almost immediately. Despite this obvious superpower, I regularly see people just not know things! Crazy, right? You can know anything off the top of your head, but people so easily forget that they have access to the friggin' Library of Alexandria. It's not that being curious or wanting to access information fast is not human nature. It is. But so is being forgetful.

If there's a reason that Glass will be "before its time," it's not going to be because it looks goofy or people are afraid of cameras. It's because we just got used to talking to our phones. Kinda. It's because, for as much as we love to tag and share and social and shoot, we still haven't quite grasped this fundamental principle: information is everywhere and it is constantly available. Maybe my anecdotal evidence is not representative of the majority. This is entirely possible since I don't always get out a lot. But I'd bet far more heavily that Glass might face more trouble convincing people they need to spend money on a new device (when most folks haven't even fully unlocked what their phone can do) than it will convincing them to wear a silly thing on their head that actually kinda looks awesome.

Which, really, leads us to the biggest reason of all:

I Don't Go Skydiving And I'm Happy With My Phone

There's very little that threatens the success of Glass more than the idea that people are simply content with their smartphones. As I said before, I'm not optimistic about the idea of the device reaching a $500 price point, but here's the thing: it needs to. It absolutely needs to at least come a lot closer to $500 than $1,500 if it wants to overcome this hurdle. $500 is in "I don't necessarily need this, but it might make my life easier" territory. That's exactly the note it needs to hit in order to convince ordinary people who don't spend their time playing with snakes or jumping out of airplanes or having birthday parties near high-bandwidth WiFi that they should spend hard-earned cash on it.

It's important Google hits that point because the alternative is "I just spent $200 on this phone. Why do I need Glass?" Which, to be fair, is a surprisingly low barrier. For as nice as tablets are, no one really needs them. Smartphones and laptops do all the same things. Tablets are just nicer. While the iPad leads that pack, even Android tablets and Kindle Fires are doing remarkably well given how little they bring to the table over smartphones. Virtually every cost-benefit analysis of a tablet over a smartphone ultimately boils down to "it's nicer." If Glass can be "nicer" than your smartphone for taking quick pictures, replying to text messages, getting directions, looking up information, or taking part in a Hangout, then it might be worth it.

That's still an uphill battle, though. And it will be almost perfectly tied to price. Let's not pretend that Glass is going to be something for everyone. I live in Georgia. Bless this state, but I know some backwoods people that will be terrified of this. I also know a lot of people who will be entirely incapable of justifying the purchase even if they are entirely enamored with the idea. Heck, I might even be one of those people, depending on the price. And forget about developing markets. Google Glass is not intended for a majority of people on the planet. It is intended for two groups of people: technophiles with more money than sense (which is a guaranteed market no matter what) and, more importantly, people who like gadgets that make their lives a little easier. The latter is the group that Google needs to court and the only way it can is on price. Even at $500, it might be a hard sell, but I think it can be overcome, if it works as advertised. But if it's priced too high to be affordable for regular people, it will flop.

There's a lot threatening Google Glass. There are a lot of reasons to doubt and a lot of reasons to wait and see. If you could buy stock in just one product of a company, I would not be advising anyone to buy right now. However, there is potential here. What Google is offering is the ability to do what we've all secretly wanted: have permanent, always-on access to a world of information that's personally tailored to our specific needs, yet still have the ability to take it off at the end of the day. The rest is so much frills and worries. It's dorky? No one cares. It will scare people with its camera? No it won't. But it still might not succeed.

I'd really like it to, though.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • GazaIan

    I'm sure it's usable without tethering it to your phone. Glass has a WiFi radio in addition to the BT and GPS, there's no way in hell it can have a WiFi radio and still require tethering.

    • Kylecore

      Dude, the wifi radio is so it CAN tether to something... BT isn't that fast lol

      • Steven DeFreitas

        Untrue. I tether my nexus 7 to my phone with bluetooth all the time and it works perfectly fine.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      WiFi is a form of tethering. And even if it weren't, Glass isn't useful if I can only access the internet while near a hotspot. There may be some advantages to having Glass offline. Maybe it can remember directions (my tablet can), or play music, but to really get significant usage out of it, it needs an always-on connection.

      • GazaIan

        I know WiFi can be used for tethering, but if Bluetooth can be used, that's a bit redundant isn't it? On top of that, if the sole purpose of the WiFi in Glass is for pairing, then that means you can't use WiFi on your phone while Glass is connected, and you're limited to just a data network, then that would absolutely suck for people who have a slow network or no data.

        • 8Charlie

          Do you think this device is being designed for people with a slow data connection? Even phones aren't designed for people with slow data connections anymore. Google relies for all it products on a capable always-on connection. That's the one thing they want EVERY single person in the world to have.

        • Marc Edwards

          unless glass is clever enough to see that you have a different wifi hotspot available, disconnect, connect to that and tell your phone to do the same. bluetooth connection to re-establish

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    That's a very thorough writeup, but the main reason I'm skeptical is health issues. I worry what wearing a piece of glass that pretends to be further away than it actually is might do to my eyes. I worry about the extra eye-strain it might cause.

    • http://twitter.com/trickedoutdavid David Margolin

      eh,,, with all the screens i look at each day (if not each hour)... my eyes are already f_cked....

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        Yeah. I'm not a health expert. It's very possible that this will be a legitimate worry (though I won't actually worry until any real studies come out), but I am surrounded by screens all day. I'm killing my eyes no matter what happens.

    • http://www.facebook.com/babywarez Gerardo Sarabia Molina

      You have a point. I thought the same when the first video came out... but, hey... nobody (of the Glass team) has gone blind... yet.

    • HellG

      as far as i know (feel free to correct me if i'm wrong) the "screen" is a simple piece of glass with a projector on the side that projects stuff on it, so there's no kind of 'radiations' that might effect your eyes

    • http://insight.pinkonbrown.org/ Dr P Fenderson

      You shouldn't worry about that. Science to the rescue!

    • Nathan Buth

      There actually is some research that shows it is good for your eyes to focus close and then far away constantly. So with Glass you might just get a beastly right(or left later on) eye. XD

  • http://k3rnel.net Juan Rodriguez

    On an entirely different note, in Mexico, it is necessary, by law, to use "a headset" while driving if you want to use the phone. Taxi drivers often wear wired headsets (one-ear+microphone). I happen to have a bluetooth headset in the car for that same reason. :P

  • http://twitter.com/trickedoutdavid David Margolin

    yeah, i was worried about a connection on glass.... tethering will kill my battery and im not yet willing to pay for a 3g/4g plan for google now and a camera (it does more than that but lets call those the core features)...
    as far as looking bad in them goes.... i would love to wear one of these at school.. i wont be worried about looking bad in them... id be worried about people always taking them off me and playing with them cause they are just so damn cool...

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    >> Either battery life on phones needs to step way up (and hey, maybe the
    new Motorola phones will do that), or there needs to be a version of
    Glass with a 4G radio in it.

    You are contradicting yourself. If you buy a version of Glass with a 4G radio in it, you will still have to pay for the data twice, which you hate.

    No, I don't have a solution for it, but I hate paying my data twice, just like you do. But, I would rather hook my Galaxy Nexus to a small power brick, then throw it into my bag. "Supposedly", the Glass will replace many of the functions of my phone, and I won't need to use the phone that much. More importantly, I actually think my Galaxy Nexus will last longer if I use it to tether to the Glass. Man, I found that the single biggest thing that kills its battery life is the display. I actually did an experiment myself a while ago, I tethered my Nexus 7 to my Galaxy Nexus (Verizon), and used my Nexus 7 to do all the stuffs I would normally do on my Galaxy Nexus (including calling, thru GrooveIP / Google Voice). That weird combo actually lasted almost 7 hours, which I've never been able to squeeze out from my Galaxy Nexus (FYI, I do have the Samsung 2100ahm battery.) For those of you who are curious why I experimented with that -- I was trying to see if it's a viable way for me to use a Nexus 4 on my Verizon plan. I gave up this thought after I learned that the Nexus 4's battery performance is equally suck, and that there's a chance the Motorola X-Phone will be available on Verizon.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I'm not contradicting myself. I hate paying for data twice, but I won't permanently tether to make up for it. That's kind of my point. I would rather have a second data payment than tether to my phone. I do kind of like the power brick idea, but I don't think that's really feasible for my usage patterns.

      It's kind of a lesser evils situation. I agree there is no good solution but like I said, either I'll need to suck it up and pay for data twice, or battery life needs to get better on phones. Because right now, battery life draining while tethering may not cost more money, but it does cost battery.

      That being said, someone on G+ said that it may be able to tether via Bluetooth and save some power that way. I'm not sure if that's true, but if it is, awesome.

      • http://profiles.google.com/holtcg Chris Holt

        The Verge reported that Glass tethers via BT. It's not going to kill your battery like WiFi tethering. So that reason is gone. No carrier that I know of charges for BT tethering.

      • s44

        If you can afford to buy Glass, you can afford to switch to a Note 2 or HD Maxx. ;)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          Just because I can afford to doesn't mean I want to. I like my Nexus products.

          Also, it's a little disingenuous to say "if I can afford to buy Glass" before we know what the price is. ;)

      • iboalali

        it's true about the Bluetooth tethering. because if you tether form a Sony device to another it uses Bluetooth to save power

    • Ivan Myring

      The battery life on the nexus 4 is better than that of the gnex. Much. Better (because of the 3g radios and more efficient processor.)

  • Kenny O

    Levar Burton - the original Google Glass Explorer (and children's book expert)

    • Tomi Golob

      That engine filter on his face made him the legend he deserves to be... Seriously he is a cool guy

  • Glass empty

    This thing is very dorky. You sound snarky. No one will wear this crap. Except for a few nerds. This is no more useful than a smart watch. If I need to get directions I'll check my phone.

    • Alex Anderlik

      *Cough* I bet you were saying the same thing about smartphones when they came out. "Why would I want to pay $600 for a phone with a touchscreen? It's useless and only nerds will use it."

    • http://www.thepixelpuse.com/ Aj Meadows

      Someone works in Cupertino.

      • Tomi Golob

        Oh come on ...he gave an opinion. Chill out. Yes everyone is in cohorts with Apple all right?

  • DependsOnTheLight

    Would you agree that all this explosion of information has made us okay for us to be so forgetful?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Absolutely. I can't look it up right now, but I've even seen some studies that say some of the ways we "remember" things have less to do with remembering the actual facts and more remembering how to get to it. The benefits of this are certainly up for debate, but I definitely think that we're changing the way we learn things.

      Personally, I think that's good, or at least a neutral change. The internet can remember way more things than I can and it saves a lot of time that can be focused on actually remembering other things.

      I imagine that, over time, we'll learn to distinguish between the skills of remembering things and remembering how to find things and hone those skills separately.

      • http://insight.pinkonbrown.org/ Dr P Fenderson

        Not only remembering, but experiencing! Why do I need to think about how to get to a restaurant that I'm only going to once, when I can have my device do it for me and focus on the experience of getting there, and what's going on around me?We're outsourcing all the boring stuff so we can remember and experience the things we actually want to. It's very exciting.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          This is a good point. I will say, though, that (like all of this) is a double-edged sword. For example, I happen to have a fantastic directional memory. Inherited it from my mother. Both of us, once we've been to a place one or two times, can generally remember exactly how to get there forever. Even years later it sticks. However, I've noticed in my life that if there's a place that requires a number of complex turns and I use a GPS to get there, I suddenly have a harder time remembering that. I kind of miss that. I don't think that ability is gone, per se. However there are a few routes lost to GPS.

          Still, it's a trade-off. I think that over the next decade or so we're all going to be having a big discussion about what parts of our skillset we need to hang on to and what's okay to let go. For example, one thing that I still tell people is to keep an Atlas in their car and know how to use it. You may not ever need it when everyone has a GPS in their pocket, but if you wind up stranded in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, you'll be glad you have it. On the other hand, I don't think many people have a problem with us collectively offloading our "What other movie was that guy in?" queries to IMDb.

          That also raises some fascinating questions about what the future of data-driven services will be like. After all, it's now possible to get info from Wikipedia, IMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes all from Google Now without ever visiting any of their sites. There's a pretty ripe future for anyone who can build a successful site around specialized, pluggable databases. Man, the future is exciting. :)

      • netz

        @ocentertainment:disqus you are so darn right, the way we remember things and reality are two different shoes. And there's not one report but many!

        all other aspects have been discussed

  • SkepticalofBeingContent

    "the idea that people are simply content with their smartphones" Please, in this day and age, when are people *ever* content with anything? The majority of Americans are going to want the next big thing, no matter what. Just watch Twitter #iphone or #ipad around Christmas time to see how many cry-baby wannabees there are whining because their parents/significant other didn't upgrade their iPhone/iPad x to the iPhone/iPad x+1

  • Kernschatten

    I am not of fan of Glass.
    If I see some guy wearing Google Glass at the urinal next to mine...at the minimum, there will be harsh words.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      That's...extremely rude. I mean, I guess I can understand being weirded out by there being a camera right there, but assuming the dude is recording you and getting mad at him right off the bat is just looking for a fight.

      • Kernschatten

        I'm sorry you feel that way.
        But, I think that this is something that will prevent Glass from going mainstream. I'm not ready for the unintended consequences, how will the non-tech consumer feel?

        • Seamus Conley

          Unless he's staring at your junk and touching the side of the device why would this be a concern of yours.

          • FrillArtist

            He wouldn't need to touch the side of the device, you dope.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

            He's referring to the touchpad on the side of Glass that is (as far as we know) the only other input besides voice commands. The alternative is the guy looking down at another man's junk and saying "ok, glass, take a picture" which would be much easier to see. The "touch the side" is referring to the quieter way to "secretly" take a picture.

            Now, please, don't insult other commenters before even attempting to understand what they're trying to say.

          • FrillArtist

            I understand how Glass works. What I am saying is that you wouldn't see the person touching the side if they pressed it long before they entered the bathroom.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

            I don't care what you meant. Don't insult other commenters.

          • FrillArtist

            "Now, please, don't insult other commenters before even attempting to understand what they're trying to say."

            I do understand what he's trying to say and what he said was stupid. Therefore, I will call him out for it

          • fodawim

            Or you know, discreetly use voice commands. "OK GLASS, TAKE A PICTURE OF THIS GUYS PENIS."

        • pawpaw

          relax, I'm sure on public restroom there'll be sign soon:
          "No google glass allowed."

          though I don't know what to do if a 3rd grader kid using google glass use urinal next to me ......

          • chaizan

            just pee on him

          • Kernschatten

            It was just one example. There are plenty of situations where wearing Google Glass could be become awkward.

    • dobbsy

      Awesome. There's nothing more important to me than what a complete stranger at the next urinal thinks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/babywarez Gerardo Sarabia Molina

      For what kind of reason you would be trying to see what is wearing the guy that is next to you at the urinal?

  • Jim Hanson

    I am more than willing to let Google cut out one of my own organic eyes and let them install a cybernetic one. Seriously.

    • Dan Niemi

      i have thought this too, If Google needs testers for the Nexus eye, I would like to be first in line.

    • Asphyx

      RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

    • 8Charlie

      I want a RFID chip inserted in my finger! Maybe a ring for the cowards, lol. No more need for carrying around wallets, keys or money!

      • http://profiles.google.com/bjornvulvan Bjorn Vulvan

        Why not just send all of that stuff to the Feds. Of course they're going to get it all anyway if they haven't already.

        • 8Charlie

          Going to get it? The Feds have a key to every house already. They just bust your door down. A warrant is easy enough to get I think. So might as well reap some of the benefits of living in a world completely devoid of privacy hehe.

    • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

      I'm with you in theory, but in practice I want to see them release some reliable hardware products first. If my eye suddenly became only as reliable as say, Android, or my Google TV, then I'd be having big problems.

      "Sorry about the crazy driving officer, I had to reboot my eye and flash cyanogenEye because my red and blue spectrums stopped working."

    • http://profiles.google.com/bjornvulvan Bjorn Vulvan

      Remind me to never drive with you or go target shooting.

  • http://twitter.com/Bankyy Bankyy

    AP has the best articles i swear.

  • http://www.facebook.com/babywarez Gerardo Sarabia Molina

    I agree with you, When I saw the video that THE VERGE posted, where the team says that this thing is going to be available to everyone by the end of the year, I started to do the math... I am not paying over $500 for this thing. Actually, $500 is a bit pricey.

    • http://twitter.com/TheJauntyJester Jaunty Jester

      Yep. I'd like to see Nexus 7 pricing on this thing but I'm not certain how reasonable that'd be... While I really want a pair, $500 is just too much.

      • http://www.thepixelpuse.com/ Aj Meadows

        This thing would be HUGE if they released at the golden $299 price point. Anything higher than that, and I see this thing failing hard. And this is coming from someone very interested in and excited for Glass. I'd pay 300 in a heart beat. Anywhere near $500 and we're getting into niche territory. Anything higher than $500 and we're looking at a cool device that's DOA.

        • fodawim

          ftfy

          Anything higher than $500 and we're looking at a cool device that's gonna be marketed by carriers and sold for $199 with a 3 year contract for $15/month tethering plan.

  • Jay T

    I think you missed one major issue that may come up. they need to make sure the interface for the person communicating to the glasses is sufficient. I personally am not interested in having only voice control. One thing they could do is to allow you to control the glasses from your phone, but then you've just made the glasses superfluous. I'd like some form of control where you don't have to look at the controller, like a mini remote in your pocket.

    • Steven DeFreitas

      There is a touchpad on the side of the device you can use instead of voice controls.

    • Ivan Myring

      Yeah this is Important. But as they run a version of android can you run normal apps on them? That would be great

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      As someone else said, there is a touchpad on the side of the device, so I don't think it will be too overly-reliant on voice commands. That being said, I do think that voice should be a part of the interface, not just for simplicity's sake (a remote with a keyboard on it, for example, would be entirely too cumbersome), but for privacy and security reasons. One of the big things people are worried about is people being able to take pictures and record video without anyone noticing. Well, that's a lot harder to do if you hear "ok glass, take a picture."

      I kind of wonder if the old legislation that tried to require all cell phone make a shutter sound even while muted will make a comeback in the event Glass allows you to take a picture too quietly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ShitizGarg Shitiz Garg

    I feel like I have read this entire thing before...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      Yeah. After I posted it on Google+, Artem suggested I put it up on AP. I should've known. ;)

  • PhineasJW

    Eric, why are you assuming it's going to be a WiFi tether instead of a low-power Bluetooth 4.0 tether?

    • PCSievers

      +1, I am fairly sure it can either use WiFi directly or use Bluetooth to tether to the phone, not use the phone as a WiFi hotspot.

    • Steven DeFreitas

      I'm 100% sure that bluetooth will be the main form of tethering. WiFi is just to power hungry.

      • http://profiles.google.com/bjornvulvan Bjorn Vulvan

        That's "too" Stevie, not "to".

        • Steven DeFreitas

          Yea I know. I was typing on the phone. :-/

    • StriderWhite

      bluetooth is too slow!

      • fodawim

        No it isn't. Bluetooth 4.0 is capable of 25Mbps. But to limit it to "700Kbps" as someone stated earlier, would still be more than enough for it. See my other comment for more: http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/03/01/heres-why-all-the-google-glass-skeptics-are-wrong-and-a-few-ways-it-might-fail-anyway/#comment-817620347

        • Major_Pita

          Bluetooth 4.0 is a different animal than old farts like me(circa 2007) think of when the topic of Bluetooth is brought up. In 'our day' we had BT2.0 or lower which really sucked because it often did not even reach it's low theoretical speeds due to poor/inconsistent implementation between device manufacturers. Today's BT 4.0 is actually a hybrid of BOTH WiFi and Bluetooth Classic in which the Bluetooth side only negotiates the data transfer over WiFi. In the context of the glass conversation today the Bluetooth vs. WiFi was posed as an "either/or" in connection with power consumption.Turns out the point is somewhat moot due to the fact that if your using Bluetooth 3.0 or higher you're actually using BOTH WiFi and Bluetooth at the same time. Fodawim, I conceed to your point that 700Kb/s is probably enough to make glass work given the fact that the signal would be processed as an 802.x radio signal over cellular as opposed to running a serial stream through a Bluetooth modem's UART chipset which is a well-known data bottleneck. I'll confess that being as unimpressed with Bluetooth as I was I didn't follow the revisions the protocol went through and assumed they remained software-based. Today I learned the there was a hardware element to the revisions as well which brought the WiFi hardware into the spec. I am now schooled...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      That's a fair point. Truthfully, I shouldn't assume that. However, I still have some of my concerns. While it may consume less power, as I said my Galaxy Nexus does not get great battery life and every little bit helps. Maybe other people won't have the same problems.

      I know quite a few people who will, though. Bluetooth tethering may use less power than WiFi, but not less than keeping Bluetooth off altogether.

      • Anthony Washington

        I keep bluetooth on all day on my Nexus 4 and get well over 24 hours battery life with average use. It may just be the galaxy nexus. My wife has it and has complained about the battery life.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          I'm 100% certain the Galaxy Nexus has battery problems. My concern for the general populace (at least at this stage) is I still know people with GS2s or Bionics or god knows what else. Maybe it won't be that much of a concern by the time Glass finally comes out (I imagine the GS3 gets pretty good battery life, but I haven't checked recently).

          Also, somewhere (I think below) in this thread, someone said Glass may be using a companion app on your phone that uses push notifications to send info to the HUD. Which may also help.

          • Justin Swanson

            The people I know with the (Korean) GS3 says it sucks. It's 2100 mAh and it _might_ last them a day.

          • Steve Freeman

            Yeah, when I first got my GNex I was lucky to get 6 hours. After flashing a ROM (about 2 days later, since I left town later the day I got it, and was traveling and visiting family for the next day and a half) I started getting around double that. With limited use I can easily get through a day, but we shouldn't have to limit how often we use our phones due to crappy batteries.

          • Guillermo Ojea Q

            Hello, which ROM did you flash? I wonder how to get better battery life thanks.

          • Mason T

            I have a gs3 and with average use I can get through the day/night depending on my shifts. The battery for most smartphones is something to be improved on for sure. I dont know much of the science on batteries however, why dont we have the technology to use batteries from implanted pacemakers or internal defibs for people with cardiac issues to use of modern modern tech? Though pacemakers/defibs are small, and extremely expensive, they can last up to 15 sometimes 20 YEARS! Let's work with that!

      • squiddy20

        My (limited) understanding of Bluetooth is that it's like push notifications. It only uses power when some other device sends a signal saying, "hey, I'm here! Talk to me!" Until that happens, it's on, but not actively using power, just ready and waiting for a signal.

        For the past several months, I've left Bluetooth on on my Galaxy Nexus, but the only time it shows up in Android's battery stats is when it's connected to my car's Bluetooth system for more than a few minutes.

    • Major_Pita

      It's unlikely to be Bluetooth except for perhaps the audio. Bluetooth is way too limited in terms of bandwidth. Try to a transfer a file with Bluetooth transfer sometime and you're lucky to get 700Kb per second. I think it's because Bluetooth is a serial data protocol That's really not enough for hi-def pix and video streaming. WiFi Direct is more likely. That's the same process that lets you mirror your phone onto a TV that has the same feature to view pix or movies. WiFi Direct is on some Samsung phones and possibly some other phones under a different name.

      • fodawim

        "That's really not enough for hi-def pix and video streaming."

        Well Google glass only runs at 640x360, not like we need 4k video files streaming to it.

        You take a picture on glass, ok how about to send that to your phone? To send to a phone at "700Kb per second" would only take (at most) 10 seconds (more like 1-2). Again, not like we expect to be able to take 50MP photos on it.

        Streaming hangouts, ok this is the closest for data "700Kb per second". Let's compare it to Skype. Skype uses "500kbps for video calls between two mobile phone devices." or "600kbps for video calls between a mobile phone and a computer." Either way you're gonna be fine.

        TL;DR: Bluetooth is more than poweful enough for Glass' data needs.

        • Major_Pita

          The topic of Bluetooth or not was brought up in the context of power consumption - Bluetooth vs. WiFi with the supposition that Bluetooth uses less power than WiFi or 802.11x. Fact of the matter is that Bluetooth by itself or "Classic" Bluetooth is a slow serial connection that theoretically can reach 720kbit/s. Note - that is Bits per second, not Bytes. Convert that to bytes per second and you get about 90,100 KBytes/s which is not enough bandwidth for audio and video at any kind of decent frame rate. Even at 640 x 360 because there also has to be synchronized concurrent two way audio within the same bandwidth. The result will be choppy audio and or video.

          The higher level Bluetooth 3.x and above you refer to utilizes concurrent WiFi to achieve the higher bandwidth. In this scenario Bluetooth's role is to negotiate data, not to carry any. In doing so you are using both WiFi and Bluetooth at the same time. In the context of the conversation it means much higher power consumption the either protocol by itself.
          Note Wiki data below:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth#Bluetooth_v3.0_.2B_HSBluetooth v3.0 + HS
          Version 3.0 + HS of the Bluetooth Core Specification[31] was adopted by the Bluetooth SIG on 21 April 2009. Bluetooth 3.0+HS provides theoretical data transfer speeds of up to 24 Mbit/s, though not over the Bluetooth link itself. Instead, the Bluetooth link is used for negotiation and establishment, and the high data rate traffic is carried over a collocated 802.11 link.

          Bluetooth v4.0
          The Bluetooth SIG completed the Bluetooth Core Specification version 4.0 and has been adopted as of 30 June 2010. It includes Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth high speed and Bluetooth low energy protocols. Bluetooth high speed is based on Wi-Fi, and Classic Bluetooth consists of legacy Bluetooth protocols.

          • 8Charlie

            I think Google is assuming that you won't be streaming video all the time? Just like watching video all the time on your device would also kill your battery? Video calling kills your battery when you use it on your phone too. So no to little harm done I think.

            So the setup would be simple: use Bluetooth 4.0, queries and simple tasks that don't require too much data = Bluetooth. Any task that requires more data = WiFi with Bluetooth negotiating the connection.

            And Google has really been praising and talking about how important it is to have longer battery life on phones. They've also mentioned that they plan to play a big role in this and bring out a device with incredible battery life. Now we know why.

  • storm14k

    What world are you folks living in where Bluetooth ear pieces are "douchy" and very few people use them? Maybe its just me living in a place where you drive everywhere but they are common. And its more "douchy" here to drive around with your phone to your ear nearly causing wrecks. I mean hell do folks think their loud obnoxious convos are acceptable because they have a phone to their head instead of an earpiece? And again maybe its living in a sprawling city where people are crowding the streets walking and talking but its not hard to know that someone isn't talking to you. If they don't say "excuse me" or "hey" and try to get your attention then they aren't talking to you.

  • MrWicket

    good write up! I feel pretty much the same about Glass.

  • Drajat

    I'm not gonna put silly looking things on my face even if it's free and useful IF there are still available alternative ways to get that functionality, I prefer to use the phone directly and I love to feels as human that 'using' tools, unless on special circumstances that forcing me have to use it, like those special agents on duties using their special earphone like thing, but no on daily routines, just a human instinct 😄

  • Rob Isakson

    I'm a glass explorer and I attended the Foundry event. I don't know anything for certain, but regarding the tehtering, I believe that it wont be tethered directly to internet, rather there will be a companion app on the phone that receives push notifications and passes them along to Glass.

    • Daniela Huguet Taylor

      That sounds a lot more doable!! Thanks for the info. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/jkulow John Kulow

        This is exactly how most OEM car entertainment systems work now. Toyota's Entune system uses Bluetooth and a companion app to utilize your phones data plan for various features of the system.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I really wish this was getting a lot more upvotes so it could be more visible. If this is true, then that could be a lot better. I am still curious how that will work for general queries, though. For example, if I say, "OK, glass, how tall is Jeff Goldblum?" Will it have to send that query to the app, or will it need to form a direct connection to Google's servers?

      I'm actually kind of hoping the former. Now that Android (and presumably Glass) has the ability to transcribe text offline, it seems like the natural solution. However, I don't know what the speed would be like. Also, I'd presume that would mean Bluetooth would be on. Which could be a problem for my completely ridiculous Galaxy Nexus, but I imagine most people would be fine with a paired device that only receives a few push notifications.

      • 8Charlie

        Bluetooth 4.0 has some kind of extreme low-power but always connected feature doesn't it?

      • Justin Swanson

        Eric,

        How does your tethering battery life compare when you use Bluetooth to tether instead of WiFi? I have found that Bluetooth prolongs the battery significantly. I usually use it to tether my N7 to my GSM Gnex.

  • Austin Farias

    The cost is an issue for other reasons - they can easily be lost or stolen (maybe even right off your face if they're $1500). I just lost my second pair of $200 eyeglasses in a little over a year.

  • Martin Nilsson

    And also, Google needs to fix support for more then U. S. and to an extent, English. I have had 2 phones running Android since version 2 and now a Nexus 7. Voice control and Google Now just won't work with Swedish. Fine, I use English. No that's right, unless I change the system language to English, shit won't work. On top of that, Navigation was long coming here, still missing in parts of the world I think. Glass is cool, I would want it, but for now it would be a 1500$ interface for Google search. And it will take pictures. So, not that interested.

  • FrillArtist

    Eric sounds like the typical dope who would love nothing than his privacy becoming public business. What sort of garbage excuse is "I used to work for a PI company therefore, it doesn't matter if Google can spy on everyone through everyone's eye".

    • http://insight.pinkonbrown.org/ Dr P Fenderson

      And your paranoia is better? The idea that Google will surreptitiously "steal" your video feed is just absurd. It's just as absurd as claiming that Google is somehow recording all your phone conversations on an Android device, or stealing all your pictures off of your handset without consent.

  • http://twitter.com/lenasverige Lena Sh

    What really bothers me is how easily they can be stolen right from your face. You don't even protect them with your hand like a regular phone.

    • FrillArtist

      Exactly. Especially for those that actually use these as real glasses. Someone could just swipe it off your face and you wouldn't even see the person or in a crowded area with push and shove, it could fall off your face and someone steps on it.

  • Rugratzz

    Sorry but you point one of those things at me, I am not going to be very happy, Its fine using them for information, and the like, but you are not going to use it to video me or my family, the privacy repercussions, its going to keep the courts busy for years.

    RR

    • http://insight.pinkonbrown.org/ Dr P Fenderson

      You shouldn't walk anywhere in public then. You're passing concealed recording devices all the time (security cameras on public and private property, inside stores, external ATMs, gas stations, banks, taxis and buses, etc), and have been for almost 2 decades (or longer, depending on where you live).

      It's barely going to change the laws that are already in place. How is this any different than holding your phone up to record something, other than it's more convenient? Heard of YouTube? They are the largest repository of privately recorded citizen video that exists on the planet. Most of the problems on there are with the "appropriate" nature of certain videos or copyright infringement.

      Wearable computing is really quite older than you realize. People have been wearing head-mounted cameras for almost 30 years. Google is just making it more accessible for the consumer...that's it. No "new" technology, no radical change in privacy or video recording ability. This "new" technology is basically only going to make a shortcut between pulling out your phone, and simply having it in front of you...no more. Voice recognition tech? 50+ years old. Internet access? 20+ years. Wireless communication? 25+ years old (if not almost 100, if you count Tesla's experiments, otherwise I go with Xerox's testing). Wearable cameras? Again, 25+ years. All of it put together? Around 10 years, maybe a little more.

      I can hold my handset up to my head like I'm making a call and record you just as easily as this glasses display. Has society fallen apart? Nope. No need for paranoia.

      • FrillArtist

        CCTV is different and you know it. CCTV is a security device, this is a personal device. CCTV doesn't follow you into the bathroom nor does it follow you into most elevators nor does it sit next to you.

      • Rugratzz

        As a professional camera man I have to use a release form to allow me to film individuals this can also apply to crowds you have seen reports where some peoples faces have been pixeled out. The same can apply for individuals who film people and decide to publish their work . Try walking past a playground or school with that on your head and see how far you get. security cameras have rules and there is legislation regarding who can access it.

        Maybe you can do what you like in the states assume you are there reference to gas station but in other parts of the world there are strict privacy laws.

        RR

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    Great Piece. I assume "beterrified" needs to be "be terrified" but everything you said is very valid and I for one really want glass but don't really have a reason (I fall into the second "gadgety" camp. I got a tablet back in Nov. and I'm just now really figuring out how it segments in my life. Getting a new device is interesting. At first you figure you'll use it like X or like Y but when you actually get it you will have to come to turns it's not "a smaller X" or "a bigger Y" but rather it's totally it's own thing.

    Google rarely puts this much money into something just so it can fail so I doubt it will. Of course I know people will always bring up WAVE and...holy crap I forgot the name to that Google property that they used to try to jump into social networking that bombed. Anyway WAVE technology is used way more than people thing (hell that should be a complete post) and Google buzz (yeah, had to look it up) was a great learning experience for what would later be Google+

    • Ivan Myring

      Yeah I agree. I want one but there is no real purpose in having one. If it costs $300 then I am really gonna be screwed, because I already have a list of things I want to buy this year and this being added is not helpful. I can't get everything I want cos I'm 14 and couldn't afford it. So, this or the next Xbox?

      • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

        Word from the wise. Don't get Gen 1 products. At this point there are some really good systems coming out and you might want to spend your money on the next xbox or PS4 but even then I'd say wait to see what comes out of it. Same for glass, right now we don't know what it would be used for. If you are strapped for cash then it becomes a waiting game, don't make a move till you have more info

        • Ivan Myring

          Thanks fit the advice. I may well take it

  • adetogni

    As cool as they look in form and function, I would NEVER use them even if given free if they had 3G connection. A source of radiation for so many hours a day always on and so close to your brain? No thanks.
    Besides that I really don't like the idea of "don't having the need to be resourceful since, ehy, you have Google at your disposal all the time!" I like to be a resourceful person and I like deep, varied and articulated knowledge which cannot be solved by a one off question: "how many ounces in a quart" is a really silly question, while "tell me how UK and USA came up preferringimperial measures against metric" is much more interesting. I honestly remember very very rare cases when I queried my phone with these basic questions and the main reason why I don't even use voice search (except for requesting an address to navigate to) since most of the times the simple answer that I receive is not enough for me.
    Additionally I don't skydive every day :-). Jokes apart most of the time I'm concentrated in having the experience than filming it.
    That's of course my idea and the reason why I feel it will be a very niche product but I still like Google pushing the limits :-)

    • http://insight.pinkonbrown.org/ Dr P Fenderson

      I don't think you understand radiation. The frequencies of radio emitted by cell devices, including having a headset like this receiving/transmitting 3G, cannot give you cancer. It just can't. There has been quite extensive research on the subject, on both humans and animals, and there has never been any incidence of risk of cancer from exposure to radiofrequency energy. It's a bizarre urban legend that people continue to propagate.

      Although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.

      It is generally accepted that damage to DNA is necessary for cancer to develop. However, radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage in cells, and it has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals

      You're seriously more likely to get cancer from walking around underneath powerlines during your regular business than to have any raised risk of cancer from cell phone or wireless device usage.

      • adetogni

        Have you actually read the link you posted? While it does not say that there is certainity in link between cell radiation (and heat) and cancer, most of the studies says "well, we can't be 100% sure but if you reduce proximity won't be a bad idea at all, particularly for children". Not that I am a paranoid person bit, you know several hours so close to your brain won't make me feel relaxed.

  • Tomi Golob

    Warp factor fuck you

  • alvin

    Will it work for people that already wear glass (vision problem, myopia, presbyopia) ?
    Would these people need to have 2 pairs of glasses, switching them often ?

    How much more money might be required to somehow refit Project Glass with one’s own prescription lenses ?
    For those who also wear prescription sunglasses, would have to duplicate their Project Glass setup ?
    If prescription lenses and Project Glass can’t affordably interoperate, the combined cost of custom made prescription lenses and Project Glass may be prohibitively expensive to all but the geeky avant guard.

    I prefer Google Glass to be some kind of "add-on" device for conventional glass.
    So you can still use conventional glass, with addition of small chip or electronics embedded on it. It's more practical, and more fashionable.

  • http://twitter.com/bales75 Brad Bailey

    My biggest issue? I still don't think voice recognition is where it needs to be. The reason I don't use it on my phone is due to this.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I'm curious about your usage habits. I actually use voice recognition more and more and, with very rare exception, Google's solution gets it right almost 100% of the time. It's not perfect, mind you, but the rate of error doesn't seem any better or worse than auto-correct.

      I have found, though, that this varies not only from person to person, but more specifically, speech habits to speech habits. I make a point of enunciating very clearly when I talk to my phone/tablet, and emphasizing every key syllable in both a natural and clear way. This helps a ton. Meanwhile, I watch my friends who either tend to run their words together (I do live in the South), or who have speech impediments and they usually have to try more than once. It might also depend on accept or the query. I don't think it's perfect, and it could certainly be better, but I do think that, for me at least, it's "there."

      YMMV.

  • GraveUypo

    i'm not going to use it because there's no practical use for that. i don't need a hud. better yet, i don't WANT a hud. that's stupid.

    to be honest i'm not still not even sold on tablets. i don't feel like i need one when i already have a high end smartphone.

  • StriderWhite

    It'll be a miserable failure...

  • Derrick Hodges

    I want a pair! Sign me up!

  • challenge_accepted

    I just need to know there is voice recognition so my friends don't go around saying okay glass search gay porn

  • Sorian

    As far as price, here is the current offering for a powered HUD, http://www.reconinstruments.com/

    This was developed for ski/snowboard, but it falls close enough to Glass to be used as a comparison. Prices fall between $350 to $550 for the HUD and goggles pack.

  • brian hickey

    My biggest concern would be the battery on the GLASS itself. Doesn't seem to be much room for a battery. If they last only a couple hours on one charge it will be a nonstarter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=534239096 Thomas Mellen

    I leave Bluetooth tethering on my Galaxy Nexus all day to feed my Nexus 7. It's only a 1.5 connection, but all I'm using is to keep it on the interwebs. If I want to download something big, I'll swap to wifi for a few minutes. It's barely a hit on the battery with Bluetooth. Definitely not the hit that wifi tethering is. It would be more than fine for voice searches through glass!

  • Major_Pita

    Eric, Great article. Good way to get this into relevant conversation. I think glass is great but some things have to happen. First Glass has got to look more like normal eye wear. What probably cues people to the uniqueness (and that's maybe not good) about them is there's no lenses - clear, dark or otherwise. It's really obvious you've got something weird on your face- even to those who have no clue what they are.The more they don't stand out the better...

    Second, Google has to develop a mission statement for glass, or maybe define the Modes it can work in. First you have wearable camera which is OK, but not that compelling Then you have useful things like navigation where it can overlay directions over your view of the world.Cool, but then not that compelling either, especially if the price stays much above 300 dollars.

    What will get people to throw-down money is full-blown Augmented Reality. Maybe this would have to be a subscription add-on to Google Now. But imagine: You're on vacation on a road trip and pull off the interstate to get gas. While you're at you say Glass "display fast food within one mile". In a second call-outs appear, hovering over and naming each restaurant on the road you're on. You decide you want a little local color, so you say Glass "Remove franchise restaurants", and all the non-relevant call-outs disappear. Deciding you don't have time, you gas up and before leaving the area, you say Glass "show me where I can get a latte" and a call-out for a coffee shop appears above a store front just ahead.

    Or say you're going to a music festival and plan on meeting friends. After arriving you say Glass "display friends list" and you begin seeing call-outs hovering over the heads of the crowd identifying the fiends you're looking for.

    The true power of Glass will be AR. For a very good story which incorporates Augmented Reality in a very interesting and entertaining way, read the two book series Daemon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez. In the second book it really incorporates a convincing implementation of AR. Google them for more info. Not associated with the author or publisher.

    • Asphyx

      I agree Augmented reality is the killer app for this...
      I'm just not sure the horsepower to keep up with that is even available and certainly not going to fit in the Glass unit on it's own.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      While I agree that just a camera and GPS isn't that compelling, what you're describing is not that far off from what Glass can do now. "Show me where I can get a latte" (or something similarly-phrased" is a real feature that's built in to Google Glass right now.

      I'm a little confused by why you would *want* a "subscription add-on" to Google Now at all, but much of what you described can already be done. I think the only command related to finding restaurants that might not be possible is "remove franchise restaurants" just because I don't think there's much of a "remove" function. But you can search for pretty specific things, and that's only going to get better. We can't confirm yet which features are in there, but some of the demos have already shown searching for places, looking up information, or pulling up contact info.

      The friends list thing could be very tricky, largely because many people are generally uncomfortable about the amount of information we give Google. I might not mind my location being tracked and only shared with a few people, but a feature like that would require a lot of people to use it to be any kind of useful. Latitude serves this purpose (and it could be integrated into Now, I suppose), but I don't think many people have chosen to activate it. Maybe Google could try to make it more appealing, but I don't think that is terribly likely to take off in a huge way.

      However, Glass *is* AR, in a lot of very tangible ways. From the videos and demoes we've seen, it seems that whatever Google Search/Now can do, Glass can do. Which is a lot. It can send and receive text messages, look up information, overlay directions, find restaurants or places of interest, take pictures, video chat, and even translate words or phrases into different languages. If the rest of Google Now is any indication it may (probably) be able to pull up flight or public transit info, sports scores, calendar appointments, and tell you how long it will take you to get home no matter where you are. I definitely think there's a lot more potential here than just a couple of use cases. Really, we won't know just how useful it is until we try them for ourselves.

      The bigger question is if Google will open it up to third-party developers. Because *that* could be a huge app boom.

      • Major_Pita

        Eric, I mentioned subscription only as a way to offset the inevitable 'that would cost a lot to implement' argument. An analogy would be navigation- you could use the free (and great) Android app or if you want to see your speed displayed along with the current posted speed limits, photo radar locations, etc then you pay for something like Co Pilot Live to get those features.
        As far as the 'latte' point, how does Glass do it, by showing an address on the screen or by an arrow or call out in the display?
        Lastly regarding the 'remove franchises', I believe that would involve some pretty sophisticated verbal database querying structure that would allow a more granular approach to Glass displayed data and a more conversational approach to data access. All of which is probably outside the current business model of add supported funding, hence the subscription fees to pick up the added costs.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          Well, I really don't see Google doing a pay-per-feature thing, since Google has already released a ton of powerful features without charging. Maybe third-parties could create apps, but I think we're not there yet.

          I don't know what the UI is for looking up restaurants (since it's a little hard to show what it looks like), but yes, it can do it.

  • Asphyx

    My doubts regarding glass have little to do with the Glass concept itself and mostly to do with the interface. How you make it do whatever it is supposed to do.
    Voice command is a good idea but somewhat limited in noisy areas and prone to mistrasnlation as anyone who has used GoogleNow has experienced. It's getting better every day so lets hope it gets there.
    I certainly don't have a problem tethering to the phone (or tablet) in fact I think they could really get the price point right (down) if they made the Glass merely another OUTPUT device of the phone or device it is tethered to.
    How much more stylish and less bulky could the Glass form factor be if it didn't have to do it's own computing and merely used the proccessor in the phone it is paired with to do all the work?
    Only electronics needed them would be to drive the display and the wireless connection to the phone? the monitor over WiFi technology already exists to do this.
    If they make Glass more along the lines of a BT peripheral that serves as headset, Camera and Display they could really reduce the price of the unit, Allow both Voice commands for purposes where they make sense and also allow you to run other apps such as Mapping regardless of thier ability to take voice commands being built into the app directly from the phone or tethered unit.
    Which would also help people adopt because they would not need to upgrade thier glasses every two years as the proc cycles and cores rise. Just upgrade your phone and the Glass performance is improved. Without having to spend another 1-1.5K every two years because Glass can no longer run Android 10.0 Pink Lemonade

    • fodawim

      You can use a trackpad to navigate menu's without voice, and right now you can send websites to your phone so im assuming at some point you would be able to send items to your glass.

  • Nathan

    My problem is that I already wear glasses. They will need to make a model that attaches to my existing glasses or its a deal breaker for me.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      In the Verge's interviews, they showed that the current prototype models can be detached from their frames with a tiny screw and attached to alternative frames. No announcements for other partners that they might work with, but it sounds like they're definitely considering this idea.

  • BlueAce127

    One thing we know is that this will appeal to the nerds and geeks out there.

  • Jordan Richesin

    Anecdotal: Story telling...ish (I just learned this in school :D ).

  • blam

    How much advertizing will google-ass put on your face?

  • Anfronie

    Why would you need a tether plan to use these?! Shouldn't it just pair to your phone via blue tooth! If you have to add a $30 tether plan to your contract it would be a major deal breaker

  • Mario Jarquin

    I really doubt Glass will fail. If anything, it may just take some time to snowball. If it's too expensive, it will take longer at first, but the applications of Glass go beyond just using it for our everyday life to search for restaurants, or send mms's. Kind of how kinect is being used for more than just paying video games by smart and talented people.
    Glass is one of those things we've grown up seeing in sci-fi movies and we've always wanted, and now it's finally here.

  • Goldenpins

    I like the concept and idea.. but its very true. Its goofy looking. I know this goes against the article, but im looking at it from a different point of view and not just "Google loyalist".I say that because im a Google fan and really like there products.

    They need to find away to make it not be as visible, instead of looking like a Borg is trying to assimilate you. The look isnt for everyone. Serge pulls it off well and a handful of others , but visually its not something that looks correct on everyone. The guy at the Verge who did a review, dressed himself up , but still could not pull it off. It gave the impression he was going for the sophisticated cool look. Instead it was more dressed to impress. How does it look with regular every day clothing?The majority of reviews ive seen on it, they dress up like there 007 instead of using it like normal.

    I dont see blue tooth heads sets as douchey because it serves a purpose to talk "hands free".Plus they sell all kinds of small head sets from in-ear, curved and various sizes and styles. Do i wear one? No.Eventually when the tech improves it may be implemented on the glass itself or maybe something smaller on the metal frames.

  • master94

    POV porn is about to get really popular. jk I would love these

  • deltatux

    My issue is still the privacy aspect of the Glass, who's to say that people can't install back-doors and silently take pictures, photos, GPS data and etc. of what your Google Glass is seeing? Google has NOT addressed potential privacy concerns and talk about the failsafe that they will build into the product.

    In countries where privacy laws are strong, this product might not fly until they satisfy any and all concerns of the Privacy Commissioner of a country.

  • EnriqueDiaz

    i think the potential is amazing for this thing...but is not a deal for me because of location issues...

    i live in south america...so five minutes after i get out of my house byeeeee google glass....here i get a s3,but in the street i use my headphones and keep it in the pocket,but that is like a sign for someone to rob me.

    the other is most of the magic of google now is directed at the american english speaking target,in other language and location,google now only do searches....so that really kill the experience for other people in other places

  • Matthew Fry

    Their biggest hurdle, I think, is getting it out on the streets in large enough quantities that it looks like the tech has some traction. Their best strategy at launch, IMHO, would be to have a Nexus 4 + Google Glass bundle that shifts the cost around. This would allow people to justify getting it as a savings over getting them separately *even though they never would have bought the Google Glass in the first place*

  • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

    I predict they will launch for around $600 or less. A $600+ product is a guaranteed flop, but it might be enough to get the ball rolling on the new market. $300 or more will give them reasonable success, but not a lot of reach. If they price it at $99 then they'll start a revolution.

  • freeordie

    so you used to spy on people for a living. no wonder you don't care if your personal freedoms are being challenged. btw- if i see you with one of those stupid little google glasses and you're "in striking distance", i'll "smack you on the back of the neck".

  • Mark Kayser

    This could be huge in manufacturing. Imagine looking under the hood of a car for the starter and the schematic pops up with directions for how to remove it. Or to be able to look at a machine and have vital stats pop up from cycle time averages to various monitors like oil temp. How much would companies pay for something like that? Even if it is a separate app.

  • Linda Grishman

    How confusing for any mind. Talking to someone while looking at your email? Besides, they are so goofy looking.... talk about getting dizzy and falling. Dumbest thing ever. Really.

  • http://profiles.google.com/bjornvulvan Bjorn Vulvan

    Google Glass is yet another bit of 21st century technology that has every probability to be abused. It is a further invasion of our fast-disappearing personal privacy and the ultimate dumbing-down of the general public. You can embrace it if you want (it's a free country...well sort of) but I am old enough to realize that these so-called innovations are a double-edged sword and that if any device can be turned to nefarious purposes, it can and will. "New and improved" is a marketing tool geared to suckers. Techno-geeks and golfers are paramount among these.

  • Marc Edwards

    i think there's something wrong here.

    "but it's unlikely that the CPU to run this thing will cost $17 (cost of the iPhone 5's processor), the battery will cost $5 (same), "

    run those numbers by me, just one more time?

  • Jeff Weatherup

    Regarding the creeper element: Yes, as of right now, you have to vocalize to take a picture....but how long until someone mods the thing to be able to completely covertly take an image? Attach a button to it, or mod it so that it uses a blinking motion. Massive creeper factor, and this is an entirely plausible situation. There goes all copyright and privacy right out the window. This is my biggest issue with Glass. It's not about what Google *intends* it to be - it's what people will turn it into.

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