The Requirements And Future Of Glass
The Requirements of Glass
It’s also worth noting the limitations of Glass in its current incarnation. First of all, while it paired just fine with my iPhone 5 over Bluetooth, turn-by-turn directions and text messaging aren’t available. For this, you need an Android 4.0.3 or higher-based device and the MyGlass app installed. TechCrunch claims that this will soon change, but to get my initial impressions down, I had to run down to the local AT&T store and buy a new phone.
After that $700+ spend, I figured out that Glass also needed a Wi-Fi connection to the phone in order to connect to the Internet. That means you need a tethering plan. I’m seldom on the road, so I was cruising along with 300 MB/month of data. Now I need 5 GB/month to get mobile hotspot functionality (which turns off Wi-Fi when it's active, meaning you’re pulling a lot more information down over LTE than before). That’s $20 more a month.
The Future of Glass
Glass hasn’t even officially begun its life yet. It’s in the hands of very few folks, and the capabilities Google shipped it with are still few. Already developers are arming Glass with lock screens, wink-recognition (for snapping photos), support for Reddit, and Twitter access. To the folks derided Glass as a buggy first-generation product, give it a chance to get out of the training wheels. Yeesh.
As Google improves Glass through updates like XE5 and gets the platform onto more heads (hopefully at a better price than the $1,500 we spent), you’re going to see a lot of people using Google’s software products that weren’t before. I’m on Facebook fairly often. I use Twitter occasionally. Google+ is not in my regular rotation. Post-Glass, however, it’s obviously a lot more important. And there are clear paths to the company’s other technologies, too.
How about Glass in the Angelini household? It’s certainly not leaving with me every time I run an errand, and mostly because of the form factor. I’m just not comfortable wearing Glass everywhere, and I’m not carrying them around in a pouch when they’re off my head. I don’t have unrealistic expectations about the battery, the projector doesn’t give me a headache, and I had minimal trouble with Google’s voice recognition—many of the gripes I’ve read elsewhere haven’t soured my experience. But Glass is as inconvenient in your hands as it is helpful sitting on your head, I’m not particularly enthused about adding $20 to my cell plan, and some of the rough edges (like low call volume and poor A/V quality in hangouts) still need to be smoothed over.
Regardless of what Google eventually charges for Glass, I see a lot of folks waiting on the sideline for their killer app. Take it from a dad, though: there’s something to be said for playing with your kid and recording it, rather than watching him run around, passively, through a smartphone camera (50 minutes of video at a time, that is). And if you want a different perspective, try turning the tables. I did it as a joke (and because I figured my wife would find it cute). Turns out it's actually pretty cool to get reminded what everything looks like from half my height.