So, Google Glass is finally available in the UK, hooray! Its going to cost you a cool grand, boo, hiss!
Now the team here at DPOM are pretty much gadget crazy, but I must admit to having reservations about shoving this bit of tech on my face and going for a walk outside. I do wonder how far I would get before either being mugged or literally being laughed out of town.
There have been several stories in the press highlighting Glass wearers being attacked in restaurants and bars in the US by people being concerned with privacy. These implications are quite concerning when you can take a photograph merely by winking. This could suggest to your subject that you are either trying to pick them up or are about to have an epileptic fit, neither of which is ideal and either could see you studying the inside of an ambulance.
Wear with Confidence
I think that in the UK it will take a very confident person to wear these all day in public, not that you would wear them all day as the battery would run out well before you consider taking a photo of what you’re having for tea. In fact, you need to consider that as well as your Google Glass battery draining, your phone battery will be heading the same way as the Glasses do not have an independent data connection, so you will need to tether it to your smart phone to get the best out of them.
Of course, there are some very useful circumstances for this gadget, particularly in the medical profession where operations can be relayed in real time around the globe, very useful for pioneering new techniques. Industry too would benefit as, obviously, would the military, so there are good points to consider.
Unfortunately, there are some not so good points too. Consider this, you’re walking down the road to Poundland and you have to cross the road. Bear in mind to see the screen on the Glasses you have to look slightly upwards. Now despite spending years trying to perfect the art of pointing my eyes in different directions at the same time, I sadly, have not been successful as, I suspect, is the case with most people. So, you step off the curb and you get an incoming email flash up, your attention is distracted and your lower body is introduced to the bumper of a passing car. Not ideal, and it is because of this very distraction that Google Glass will be banned in Vehicles.
Still in Beta
As it is still in beta, there are very few apps available, although the few there are, are impressive. An app called Word Lens will translate whatever you look at. Very useful when on holiday or when you visit that very upmarket French restaurant in Peckham.
Google maps has also been formatted for the small screen which makes it very easy to see in which direction you are walking/peddling/snow boarding or being chased.
For me, the concept has merit but it needs further refinement. Something a little less “blocky” would be nice and a longer battery life. A thousand pounds? That’s a bit rich for my blood; maybe £200 would be fairer because after all, a smart phone can do what Google Glass does and then some.
For or Against
The jury is still out on this innovation as far as we are concerned, but I have no doubt that we will risk life and limb by wearing them at some point, just not yet.
So, is Google Glass the Dogs DooDahs or is it merely a product of another part of a dog’s anatomy? Time will tell.