The great experiment is over, before it really began. Let’s start with the positive. As my Mama always said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Google is such an interesting company, they have gobs of money and are completely unabashed to fail at full speed. It’s like they take the failure is the best teacher notion to about ten levels above what we as the consumer can do. I have no doubt that Google Glass will set the stage for something great. Maybe even something revolutionary. It is great at a couple of things. Full disclosure, I was pairing the Google Glass with an iPhone which does limit it’s ability to do some things. Also, because of the way our wi-fi network is at work, I could connect it to the internet at work. Which essentially makes it a video/photo camera strapped to your head. Also, when I was asked if I wanted to buy a pair and evaluate them I wasn’t going to do it from the prospective of “tech loving, gadget fever, Chas”. I was going to evaluate as “I have two daughters, a wife, a mortgage, and a household to provide for, Chas”. While I do LOVE technology, technology is not sustainable if there is not both practicality and intuition involved. Unfortunately, for me, Google Glass failed on both accounts. But first the good stuff.
1. Recording video and taking pictures – This is be far it’s best feature… The ability to reach up to, essentially, your eye and take a snapshot or quick video within two seconds of thinking about “Hey I should be recording this.” is great. Documenting a point of view how to would be easy!! I think of ericthecarguy and some of the great videos he does. I’m sure this would streamline his process of getting videos out the door. This is the only real reason I would try to justify keeping them.
2. Receiving notifications – It’s does this very well. You feel a little buzz behind your ear, look up and bam! Information.
3. Making you feel great – It is really, really cool (and awkward) to work around with Google Glass on your head. I mean people notice and they ask questions. They want to try it on. They want to learn what it does. Typically about 30 seconds after they first put it on their heads they look at you and go, “so what else?” Then you look at them and say, “well, that’s about it.”
It this point I want to say again how much I love technology. I feel like Paul (THE Paul) in a way when talking about technology. Paul was training by the best, knew the best, and walking with the best. He was a “Pharisee among Pharisees.” I, too, took an immediate internet in technology. I was weaned on the DOS prompt, I have an IBM 5155, Tandy TRS-80, and Google CR-48 in my computer collection. (I’ll let that sink in…) Yes, I have an old computer collection filled with vintage parts from a 2400 baud modem to an actual Bernoulli box. I read the Windows 3.1 manual cover to cover. I used to go to goodwill just to buy old computers, just to see if I could upgrade them. I even have a collection of Intel, AMD, and Cyrix CPU’s ranging from Intel 8088, 486DX4’s, and AMD K6-400’s…
I get it. I get technology, but Google Glass (as it is now) is too much bleeding edge, too much “what is that???”, and too much “that’s all it does”?
I was forced to come to the conclusion that $1500 (yes $1,500) dollars was too much for a device to take pictures and videos with, only at home during the hours of 6 to 10pm. I couldn’t use them at work, in the car, at a restaurant, or anywhere interesting because I would not have an internet connection. However my lowly iPhone 5 can do all those things and with maybe a second or two more of a delay.
I’m very interested in what comes next for Glass. Failure is the best teacher, but necessity is the mother of invention. Only good can come from this. Google had wave, remember that? It was an utter failure, in every regard. But from that came a better gmail, google hangouts, and a better youtube.
For me, I will have one more weekend with my pair. Take a couple of parting videos and pictures over the weekend at some wineries. Answer a couple more questions about what it does and why I have it. Then on Monday post it on ebay and maybe make a few bucks. It’s been a short run and there is a lot of potential. It’s just not yet there for me.