Sunday, January 26, 2014

Glass Me Up Scotty!

First off, all I want to say is love, love, love. Must try. Must get. And must use. +Google Glass is incredible, and no, I am not being paid to say this or employed by Google. Aside from the lack of certain apps that I use on a daily basis like +Foursquare and +LinkedIn, I can do almost everything that I can do with my +Samsung Galaxy S III on Glass - call, text, surf the web, take pictures and videos, read and receive news notifications, Twitter notifications, and share media via text or with Facebook, Twitter and +Google+. I am also looking forward to the day when I can message on Facebook with Glass.

Taken with Google Glass

So it has now been about a week since I first received +Google Glass and originally blogged about my post 24hr experience. Since then, most of the problems or frustrations I was experiencing have either been resolved or I've discovered that my initial perspective was wrong. Most importantly, I've discovered how to go back, extend videos past 10 seconds, and add emoticons and punctuation at the end of a sentence. I still haven't figured out how to capitalize though. Additionally, now when I receive text messages or notifications usually they automatically pop up. However, this still doesn't happen 100% of the time and I'm not sure exactly why.

When initially receiving Glass, I had set up all of the special features except for screen lock - "head wake up," "on-head detection" and "wink for picture." Since then, I have turned off the first two - "head wake up" and "on-head detection" - for both features didn't work properly and/or caused other problems. The "head wake up" only occasionally worked, and the "on head detection" caused a problem with Glass leaving it unresponsive at times and unable to wake up without taking it off and putting it back on again. In the process of problem solving these issues, I discovered that +Google Glass has the most amazing customer support. You can reach someone almost immediately 5am-9pm and receive excellent service. I haven't really had a need to use the screen lock yet, but will test it out soon.

The "wink for picture" feature is one of the most interesting, for I still haven't really discovered how it works. Usually when it is on and I wink it will respond and react properly and take a picture, though sometimes it just randomly does so as well. Additionally, sometimes when the Glass is sleeping it will wake up and take a picture. However, when I've tried to Q/A this and blink again while apparently in sleep mode, sometimes it will take a picture and sometimes it will not. Today, while I was over at a friends house I had placed the Glass on the coffee table and when I put it back on and went through my history I found a picture of us sitting on the couch. Not sure how that happened since no one was near it at the time to have prompted it to do so.

 Taken by Glass
Another feature that I haven't fully figured out is the screen saver mode vs. full light display. Sometimes it is in battery save mode and sometimes the display is fully lit up. I haven't yet figured out whether this is something that can be manually adjusted or whether it is just based on the battery life. I do not think it is the latter though because sometimes when it initially comes on it will be in full light display then a few seconds later it will revert back to dim mode. 

Though I figured out how to go back, this design is clearly still in beta. The way one is supposed to go back on +Google Glass is by swiping down. However, the down swipe back function is extremely finicky and there is no protrusion or tactile indication of where you are supposed to do so. Not sure why the Google engineers chose that mechanism vs. a button per say. Usually, on average, it takes about 2-3 tries before I actually get it right. This clearly leads to some problems and frustrations for if you are trying to cancel an action like sending or sharing and you do not touch it just right, out goes the media/message.

Since last week I have now accidentally shared two pictures with the wrong people via Google Hangouts. The most recent of which just happened when I was trying to share the picture that Glass took of my friend and I while it was sitting on the coffee table. I accidentally ended up sending it to someone with the same first name and even though I realized this just as I had apparently clicked, I was unable to cancel/void.

The voice recognition on +Google Glass and my +Samsung Galaxy S III is pretty excellent and accurate about 90% of the time. The most problems arise with weird nouns that it does not recognize. However, it is near impossible to use in a noisy restaurant or any loud area. While I was out at dinner this weekend I tried at least 5 times to add a short caption to a picture of my dinner. I ended up just sending it out with no caption. Additionally, using voice recognition vs. type texting requires a slightly different process of thinking and takes getting used to if it's not a feature you commonly use on your phone or with other electronics. Messaging via voice recognition is more of a stream of conscious and live conversation while the act of producing an edited and fully punctuated message is more in line with publishing. The ability to immediately receive text messages and immediately respond via voice recognition though make it worth getting used to and using. 

One app that I recently added to My Glass is +Evernote though I haven't seen it show up in Glass yet. I must not have completed the set-up process. I also still haven't added my +IFTTT account and look forward to playing with that on Glass as well. I recently added the Strava Run app, but additionally have yet to complete the set-up and use it.

I have the second generation Glass with the ear piece and removable lens. At first, I really did not like the ear piece and found it very hard to position in my ear. I have since figured out how to use the yarn to position it in place and find it much more comfy, though at times it still feels a bit big and causes discomfort. While the battery life of Glass can be improved, at least it can be fully charged in less than an hour. I look forward to the day when I can accessorize and bling out Glass with different shaped and colored lenses. This will enable them to not just be extremely functional but also fashionable. The interchangeable lenses design is amazing and yet so simple.

The +Google Glass Revolution and wearable generation are here to stay and once they hit the mass market this year and next, they will take over just as smartphones did. I have already become so comfortable with Glass that I've forgotten to bring my cell when running quick errands around town, forgetting that it is rendered useless except for taking pics and videos without my cell.

Here are a few awesome pictures I've captured of people's reactions to just discovering Google Glass for the first time:

David Bakhtiari, offensive tackle for the

Stay tuned for more #throughglass feedback, experiences and perspectives.

Sarah Slocum
Founder, I Love Social Media, Inc.