Google Glass – Part 2 – Pros & Cons

Google Glass Pros & Cons by Marcio Valenzuela Santiapps.com
Google Glass Pros & Cons

In the first review I covered basically what Glass is and what its not, what it can & can’t do.

Now on to usability!

PROS (IMHO)

  1. The biggest advantage in my opinion, is being able to interact with information without having to look down like a zombie.  Or more importantly, not just the fact that we all look like zombies throughout the day, constantly checking our phones.  Because of course some will argue we are “Glassholes” or look like morons wearing these glasses.  But if you’re a true techie, you don’t care how something looks, you care about what it can do.  Its very comfortable to be able to get my information instantly, without getting distracted from what Im doing.  This goes for driving, talking, playing soccer even typing at a computer.  Its another screen for you to get your 21st century informational fix and more importantly its one you don’t have to grab and point at your face.  This makes Glass, in my opinion, the best wearable device that comes close to Star Trek type gadgets.
  2. Even though Glass apps (both Glassware & native) are currently very limited, as developers we have access to THE Glass team.  This means we are able to really sway which way this thing is going.  There have been quite a few iterations and a lot of functionality has been added and improved on.  Some apps being worked on are:
    1. Aside from single camera shots and continuous video, there is an app for adding long-time picture taking to compromise between the heavy long videos and a possibly mis-taken single photo.
    2. Barcode scanners
    3. Medical reference material
    4. There is a ShopGlass which lets you create shopping lists and take with you at the supermarket
  3. The handsfree & voice concept is ideal.  There are many times where I have found myself incapable of doing something because I needed to hold my phone.  So you come up with ideas of holding it in your mouth or putting it on top of something you are carrying.  Freeing up your hands for other tasks is great!

Now on to the CONS:

  1. Again, IMHO, the biggest #FAIL is the small screen.  Its big enough, sure, but it limits what you can do or rather, how well you can do something.  The voice-command menu is the starting point.  OTB Glass comes with about 4 or 5 commands.  You tilt your head up & down to scroll through that menu.  After a few more apps are installed which have voice-command triggers, that starting point list gets kinda long.  This is where voice commands will have to become a much more important channel for communicating with Glass.  Typically we use about 20 apps on our mobile devices every day.  Within those apps we perform about 3 common tasks every day.  That alone is about 60 commands.  That would be a long list.  A visually scrollable list of commands is not going to cut it.  Extending the screen to the size of glass lenses is not going to work either.  The whole idea of Glass is that its THERE but its not in the way.  Otherwise it becomes a hazard.
  2. Battery as with any mobile device is an issue.  It lasts about a day on a  single charge.  But then again it depends on how much you use it.  Not only that but it comes with its own charger.  So now I have to carry around an iPad, iPhone, Mac & Glass plus at least 3 different chargers.  The typical techie carries around at least an phone and a tablet.  Adding a 3rd device is an issue, unless it fully replaces one of those.
  3. Culture.  This is an odd one but important to mention.  Glass is meant to be worn, not hung around your neck like sunglasses.  This means they are to be worn at all times (well except in the shower perhaps & while sleeping {http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/google-glass-sex_n_4637741.html}).  In some places there is this culture issue about respect.  I don’t know about you guys, but when I go into an office or even meet with someone outside, I take off my sunglasses at least while I say hello.  I certainly don’t eat with them at the dinner table.  So what would be considered cool and intriguing in a US-tech-rich scenario, would be plain rude in certain places.  So there may be some generational gap there until us old geezers die off and newer kids grow up without those traditional ways of thinking.

So what do I use it for?  Whats my typical day?

I wake up and unplug them.  Oh because while they charge and if they have internet connectivity, they upload your images and videos to your private google account.  I put them on as part of my getting dressed ritual.  They’re with me while I drive and I can check stocks, weather and scores while I drive.  I get notifications while its sleeping on my face and I can just gesture to see what email just came in.  I usually don’t have it read aloud but I could if I ask it to.  So in that respect, its cool to know that my informational fix is quenched by simply knowing the sender and subject of a recently received email.

I keep them on while in the office but take them off if someone walks into the office.  I keep them on for errands but take them off for lunch.  Then put them back on for the rest of the afternoon.  Usually have them for my kid’s soccer practice for snapping pics.  I take them to solar installations with me to get ideas for the app Im working on.  I usually program with it as well when I develop iOS apps to get ideas for a programming app.  Then when I get home I take them off just because I want to rest.  Unless I decide to try a cooking recipe.

So as you can see, Im not yet a fully fledged Glass Explorer.  But I think its just a matter of time.

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