When B. first walked into our house with his Google Glass on I thought I’d married a cyborg and was just now learning about it.
But when he suggested that I wore it to International CES, the world’s largest event for consumer electronic technologies, it somehow felt natural. Wearables, things you can wear that are in essence tiny computers that do everything from giving directions to measuring your sleep patterns, are a hot category this year. And Google Glass is arguably the most coveted one. It is still not available for sale (don’t ask me how B. scored it) and is a computer built into a glass-style frame, with a clear screen over the right eye.
So here is what it was like:
1. If you want to marry a geek, this is the way to go. I might as well been naked with Playboy-style boobs. People would stop in their tracks, point fingers and discuss among themselves my looks. One guy made his way through the crowd to ask how to get one. Several people presumed that I was intelligent enough to have a conversation about tech issues and would start by saying, “Let me ask you a question.”
2. Very soon you expect it to be your second brain, a living, breathing organism, and get upset when you give it commands like No or Stop and it doesn’t understand. It gives you prompts of choices you can make but having gone through a dictionary of accepted commands ahead of time (beyond, OK Glass) would have been useful.
3. Taking photos and shooting video takes practice because you can’t see the frame. You assume that it is just what’s in front of you but sometimes the composition wasn’t exactly what I expected. I learned to hold my head up higher.
4. Your right eye start itching after a while. Even though the Glass is not on all the time, it’s still double amount of work for the eye. It’s itching now just thinking about it.
5. People react in various ways when you say “OK, Glass” almost right into their ear. Most get out of your way, giving you a better shot. But expect stares.
6. The Glass is somewhat hard of hearing in noisy environments. It hated the Sony exhibit with surround sound.
After two hours, I caught myself developing somewhat of a friendship affection towards it and was sad to take it off (my eye wasn’t). It offers a glimpse of what it would be like to have a second brain, and God knows, there are days when it would be nice. It also offers an odd security (probably false). I can definitely see how in the future it has incredible potential to expand our reality in ways that we may not even dream of right now.
Here’s what it feels like: