I’m not really sure why I hadn’t posted about it here in the past, but it’s true: I’m part of the Google Glass Explorer Program. And last weekend, I went to New York City to go pick up my pair from Google.
I think part of it is I am a little embarrassed about it. I mean, they’re just a bit nerdy, don’t you think? Sure, there’s a slightly “hip” characteristic to them and by themselves they are a beautiful piece of technology; but it’s putting something on my face that automatically showcases that I’m different. Technology usually doesn’t do that. Usually, you need to at least reach into your pocket and show off your new gadget. In this case, not so much. Now you stick what amounts to being a smartphone on your face, the one thing that human brains are really good at recognizing and detecting differences on.
I also am a little embarrassed about the price I paid. Contrary to popular belief, when I “won” the #ifihadglass context (with this tweet), it was not a giveaway. Instead, it gave me the ability to go buy this device. At $1500 per pair (plus tax), it wasn’t the most expensive dev kit I’ve ever used (FPGAs, yo), but it’s also simultaneously far and away the priciest gadget I’ve ever bought. In fact, I bought a phone to utilize 4G speeds and get better battery life so I could use Glass on a cellular connection. Price paid for my new (to me, it was used) phone? $250. So between Glass, the ticket to NYC, the new phone and the food while I was in NY (stayed with an old friend, which was great): probably about the same I paid for my CNC milling machine. That’s kind of extreme.
As for the device, it’s really slick. And if you consider it a development platform (which at this price, my brain is insisting I do), then it is quite polished. I’m already on the 7th generation of firmware (XE7) and it will only get better. I enjoy the navigation, the picture taking (with the very wide angle lens) and am looking forward to other apps I’ll be able to put onto it. Hopefully I’ll also get off my bum and develop for it. I have a long list of potential ideas waiting in the wings; mostly my time is at a premium as I hope to get Contextual Electronics off the ground. I say a little bit more about my plans in this recent video I made:
So aside from that, I don’t have much more to say about it. Really it’s about putting them on every day and getting used to wearing them in public. The lower population density in Cleveland means I don’t encounter as many people staring at me on the subway (we do have one here, btw) as I did in NYC. But it also means that fewer people have them around here and when I’m wearing them, I stick out even more than before. After that, it’s about making stuff to use with them…and hoping other people decide to buy and use Google Glass as well.