There has been a lot of hype surrounding Google’s new venture, Google Glass. If you are not aware, (and have been hiding under a rock for the last couple of months!) Google Glass is a wearable computer that displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format that can interact with the Internet, take pictures, take videos and make calls via voice commands.
As the commercial launch draws ever closer (the end of 2013 is dubbed as the launch date), two camps are forming; those who are embracing the new technology and those who are slightly more sceptical. Issues such as privacy are also causing big concerns as it is not clear to anyone but the user when a photo or video is being taken (although Google has said it is dealing with this issue). There are also concerns as to how this new technology could impact on social situations. For example, if a first date turned up wearing Google Glass, would you go back for another?
Some of the top journalists around the world have had the opportunity to review Google Glass and there are currently thousands of “Explorers” out there who have volunteered to test the technology. However, according to the Daily Mail, it’s not just tech geeks who are testing out this next generation tech – dentists, teachers, doctors, hair stylists and jockeys have apparently all got their hands on a pair. The general consensus from some “Explorers” is that the most useful features are the hands-free camera that shoots photos and video through voice commands. (Images can also be captured by pressing a small button along the top of the right frame of Glass.), being able to connect to the Internet simply by tapping on the right frame of Glass to turn it on and then swiping along the same side to scroll through a menu. That menu allows them to do such things as get directions on Google’s map or find a piece of information through Google’s search engine. However, among the biggest shortcomings they cited was Glass’ short battery life, especially if a lot of video is being taken.
Whilst reviewing the technology, Charles Arthur, Technology Editor of The Guardian, asked the pertinent question as to whether we shape the tools or do the tools shape us. In order to make the product work you need to tilt your head and touch the frame of the Glass in order to scroll through the options in front of you – so in 2 years’ time, will we all be sitting a room nodding our heads and touching the frames of the Glass to make phone calls or will commands of “OK Glass” be heard as we walk down the street? Will we start to see this as “normal” behaviour?
Google believe that Google Glass can become a consumer mass market product and one which will propel us into the future. But will we all be walking down the street wearing our Google Glass and not batting an eyelid when your date turns up wearing a pair? And I suppose the bigger question is, will it ever replace the smartphone? Only time will tell…
Let us know what you think. Will you buy a pair at the end of the year?