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One Journalist Wants Refund for Google Glass

By - Source: Computerworld | B 15 comments

Three weeks ago, Computerworld's Matt Lake shelled out $1500 for the Explorer edition of Google Glass. Now he wants his money back.

To be fair, Lake lists ten pros and cons of owning Google Glass, starting with eye contact. On the plus side, users can glance to the top right and get an augmented, connected experience. On the negative side, the rest of the world becomes out of focus when accessing this display. You can't make eye contact when looking at the content, thus the other party may think the user could be lying. Plus users also look somewhat cross-eyed when accessing the display.

Moving on to voice recognition, Lake says that Glass is not a good listener. In fact, the device's voice recognition "can be about as responsive as your average 6-year-old after soda and cupcakes." He also claims that the battery installed in Glass will drain like a bathtub when the wearer actually uses the device's full capabilities.

"If you're wearing a $1,500 piece of equipment laden with cool features, you want to get your money's worth," Lake writes. "You listen to music, record video, take photographs, and after a short time, you feel a burning sensation in your right temple. Like all computers without fans, Google Glass runs warm. And in as little as an hour, your battery needs a recharge."

Lake says that even if the wearer has a big face, a big nose or big hair, Glass is still too big, consisting of a large curved metal arc that can't be folded and tucked away in a shirt pocket. Glass is also rather obvious; you'll know the device when passing the wearer on the street. He points out that people fear surveillance, and avoid talking to Google Glass wearers because of that very reason.

Lake also points out that the pictures he took with the specs came out somewhat tilted. That's because one of his ears is lower than the other, so Glass rests on his face in a tilt at all times. To be fair, this is where photo editing software comes into play; you can fix the tilt by simply rotating the image. Naturally, we all want pictures to be perfect the moment they're taken.

The article goes on to talk about the drawbacks of using turn-by-turn directions, using the earbud, and the way Glass has been promoted up to now. "When I look at stories of how people use technology, I'm usually inspired to think of how I can use them. But looking at Glass Explorer stories just makes me feel inadequate about my daily life," he writes.

To read the full list of pros and cons, head here. The article is entertaining, but it also shows how far Google and society have to go before Glass is socially acceptable.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    southernshark , May 22, 2014 8:04 AM
    His complaints sound legitimate to me, especially if the voice recognition doesn't work. That's a big problem.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Cons29 , May 22, 2014 7:10 AM
    "If you're wearing a $1,500 piece of equipment..."
    you would want to do lot's of research before buying. besides, something that small... you really should not expect a good battery life, not anytime soon at least
  • 6 Hide
    Murissokah , May 22, 2014 7:21 AM
    Sounds like some one just wanted to get the device for a review and is now missing their 1.5 grand.
  • Display all 15 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    Camikazi , May 22, 2014 7:52 AM
    So basically the guy bought something without even researching it and now wants his money back. Most of those reasons are just stupid or his fault, Glass isn't a full out done product yet it is basically beta and of course there will be problems. Hell it is called the "Explorer Program" for a reason, you have to be adventurous and expect problems when you explore new territory, I guess this guy didn't understand that.
  • 10 Hide
    southernshark , May 22, 2014 8:04 AM
    His complaints sound legitimate to me, especially if the voice recognition doesn't work. That's a big problem.
  • 0 Hide
    Vlad Rose , May 22, 2014 9:15 AM
    " On the negative side, the rest of the world becomes out of focus when accessing this display. "
    You mean like when you're driving and don't pay attention to the speedometer, but use it as an excuse to get out of a ticket?
  • -7 Hide
    SlitelyOff , May 22, 2014 9:29 AM
    Why is the guy getting such criticism? Has anyone here ever purchased something that didn't work as expected, whatever those expectations are? If you have, have you ever wanted to return that item? The things he mentioned are not things that I had ever read about GG. I don't know would have necessarily thought of those technical issues on my own (other than the social aspects of wearing it) Spending $1500 for something, even experimental, should not exclude you from having reasonable expectations that the product should work.
  • -1 Hide
    clonazepam , May 22, 2014 9:42 AM
    They are all common sense except the voice recognition issue. My nose was broken and therefore, since I have worn sunglasses at least once in my life, I know that a $1500 google glass will not set level on my face.
  • 2 Hide
    ss202sl , May 22, 2014 9:44 AM
    He was fine until he tried to get his expenses reimbursed.
  • 0 Hide
    GlassFTW , May 22, 2014 11:48 AM
    1. Matt lake is an iPhone fanatic and used to write for MACWORLD!

    2. ALL iPhone fanatics, especially the apple paid reporters, trash android and especially Google glass.

    3. Apple, in the end, will be single digits in market share and people will laugh at those who own apple products.
  • 4 Hide
    joaompp , May 22, 2014 12:45 PM
    So he pays $1500 for an obvious beta product, writes an article about his experience in order to pay his bills, then request a refund?
    He sounds like one of those girls that buys a new dress for a job interview then returns it the next day.
  • 1 Hide
    DePalouk , May 22, 2014 3:50 PM
    I just bought my first smartphone and I want my money back. It has no buttons for the numbers, I have to actually touch the screen, this is ridiculous. And the camera is not even as good as a dslr. Plus, it requires a sim card to make phone calls.
  • 1 Hide
    mapesdhs , May 22, 2014 4:47 PM

    Hmm, so the author says, "...people fear surveillance...", yet more than
    a billion people have splurged themselves all over Facebook, etc. The
    hyporacy of the modern general public beggars belief.


  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , May 22, 2014 5:49 PM

    Hmm, so the author says, "...people fear surveillance...", yet more than
    a billion people have splurged themselves all over Facebook, etc. The
    hyporacy of the modern general public beggars belief.


    People fear surveillance, yet they all flocked to smartphones that track your location.....
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , May 22, 2014 5:58 PM
    1) Eye Contact
    People won't think you are lying, they'll assume you are looking at Glass. At least until they make it invisible, which the author seems to expect.

    2) Voice recognition.
    This is a fair criticism, though I haven't heard it from many others. Considering that the product is still in beta and voice recognition isn't great in ANY product currently (though getting better), it is understandable though still a bit of a let down.

    3) Battery
    Well of course if you use it heavily the battery won't last long. The device is tiny. Are there any other devices out that are as powerful in a similar sized form factor that get better battery life?

    4) Size
    While it would be nice if it was smaller, it is pretty damn small for such a powerful device. Hopefully the first real release will be even smaller.

    5) Conspicuous.
    Does the author really want nobody to be able to tell that you are wearing them? This seems to be such a sticking point for so many people. It may not be a fashion accessory (yet), but give it time and people will get used to it. I bet someone wearing headphones would look pretty silly to the common person 100 years ago. Considering that "geek chic" is becoming more and more popular it is inevitable that these will become a status symbol.

    6) Tilted photos
    Not sure what Google can do about this one. Maybe have a gyroscope to automatically level the photo? As the article mentions, photo editing software seems to be the simple way to 'fix' this.

    7) GPS
    How is the author mad about requiring a connection to your phone for this? Does he want to pay a separate monthly fee for his Glass just to get a cell connection? Does he not have a smartphone? This is just a baseless criticism.

    8) Earphone
    Another fair criticism. Hopefully Google will come out with different shapes and sizes. For a beta product it seems to work pretty well for most people.

    9) Envy
    This is basically a problem with social media that has nothing to do with Glass. Don't look at social media and you won't feel inadequate. Or stop caring so much about what other people do and have fun yourself.

    10) Too soon
    It's a first gen beta product, what does he expect? The first gen iPhone was a POS and early versions of Android were pretty terrible too.
  • 3 Hide
    Haravikk , May 23, 2014 3:35 AM
    I was interested in Google Glass when I thought the actually glass lenses would be the part displaying the augmented content, like it would be adding it to the world around you. As soon as I found out it's really just all in that goofy little prong on the top right, I was turned completely off the idea.

    Then we learned that a big focus of the device is on the camera and social integration, and I am now completely uninterested in the device except from the perspective of whether I'm now going to be subjected to idiots wearing them and taking pictures all the time; battery life and comfort are irrelevant after that.

    So yeah, Google Glass is just a tacky, limited and disgustingly overpriced and overhyped piece of kit that isn't anything like what people really should expect from wearable tech, and with the battery life where it is, it's just not ready for use yet anyway.