My second week with Glass was much like my first. However, some themes began to emerge.
Over the last two weeks, I gotten the same two questions over and over: Where/When can I get it? and How much will it cost? Almost without fail, no matter who tries them on asks me the same thing. Granted, the third question is usually how I got my hands on a pair*. What is interesting about those two questions is it’s the two questions I don’t have an answer to. It’s pretty clear there is a demand for a device like this but at the same time it’s also clear it’s not quite ready for prime time. Like the Chromebooks (and even Android) before, field testing this product with a small group works wonders for Google. (I’m sure Apple does something similar but even more private/internal) The biggest bummer is I don’t have a response for them. Additionally, Google really needs to get some sort of MSRP out in the wild soon. Most people (and news outlets) are using the developer edition pricing as a benchmark (which I sincerely hope is not the retail price).
This past weekend I went to Cleveland for final wedding related preparations before we head back in a month or so. One thing I was very curious about was the reaction of people in a different (non tech) city to see if they knew/were aware of what Glass is. To my surprise, a bunch of people did. We went to a local mall and every cell phone kiosk asked me if that was Glass (I then let them try it on). Even in Lacoste, a couple of guys noticed and asked me about it.
Then we poked our heads in a Microsoft store. Almost right away an employee asked me if it was Glass. Within minutes, several employees had wandered over to ask/gawk at it. A few took pictures wearing the device (another trend I’m noticing- more of that in the next post). A couple of kids that were playing on the Kinect display wandered over and asked about the device as well. Everyone seemed to like Glass and it seems that various features appeal to a wide swath of users. This is a slightly different reaction than I saw on the West coast- in an Apple Store, people don’t bat an eye. However, I got mobbed by a pre teen soccer team in a Subway in Pleasanton. They were all blown away and publicly stated they would buy a pair if they were available to purchase.
Like the sellout of the Chromecast, there is a pent-up demand for something like this. It’s not just a snazzy Bluetooth Headset (actually, it’s quite terrible for phone calls. Really hard to hear on both ends). There are parts of the Android experience that are really convenient like sending a quick text with voice or turn by turn directions. I didn’t think I would use these as much as I did. However, there is a big caveat that keeps me on the fence- while my tethering connection is better (plus those features), the voice transcription is god awful. In what is a blessing and a curse, every message/text I send comes with “Sent from Glass” signature. While I cannot turn it off, I find it a blessing as my message is often (hilariously) garbled/doesn’t make sense. Hopefully this is something Google can tweak in a SW update.
A couple of people have asked me to weigh in on the privacy debate. While I need to use the device more to really flesh it out, so far it’s slightly invasive. Not to others, mind you, but to myself. It’s akin to having a conversation on a Bluetooth headset- from a distance you seem to be talking to yourself- but you are dictating (saying punctuation) to the device. And, like talking on a phone in public, its takes some conscious effort to keep what you do private. You can reply to an SMS from the device, call someone, reply to a tweet/FB post/G+ post, etc but other people can hear what you are doing (opposed to using a phone where people have to be looking over your shoulder).
(my 84-year-old Grandfather has an iPhone. I was blown away)
But my third week wearing Glass is when things really began to get interesting…. [stay tuned]
*It’s a running joke (if you can call it that) that I’m regularly mistaken for a Google employee (and I have no idea why). Glass doesn’t help this perception. :-p
- My First Week with Google Glass (iPhone) (joesterne.com)