As a self-proclaimed geek, technology tends not to scare/intimidate/worry me. I research prior to purchase, and once I buy the research intensifies (because tips and tricks are important) as does the hunt for accessories. Wash, rinse, repeat. But my routine needed to be altered when I received my invite to join the Google Glass Explorer program. At first I was SUPER excited for the opportunity and found a way to afford the $1500 (not including accessories) price tag. I was excited and I let that cloud my judgement and alter my regular tech requirement routine. I didn’t finish my research prior to buying (the invite expired in 48hrs) but I did have questions and called the Glass helpline (they also extended my expiration date by 4 days). While I did get some basic questions answered, I had no idea what I was in store for once I finally received my Glass.
Let me be clear, Glass is very simple to set up. The instructions are easy to follow, and they even give you videos just in case. It’s actually not a very complex device (on the user end). I got my wifi connected, downloaded the app onto my M7, loaded the essential Glassware and literally said out loud ‘is this it?.’ Nah it can’t be, so I sent a few Hangouts, made a practice call and still felt just…meh. There has to be something I’m doing wrong. There has to be more to Glass than this. So I did what any other able-bodied technophile would do: I Googled Glass which didn’t produce the results I had hoped for. Sure I found more than enough articles titled ‘My Week with Glass’ but nothing describing any ‘getting started issues.’ This added to my frustration…greatly. I joined the Glass Explorer community…still nothing. My frustration grew and then I remembered there was an option to ‘Visit a Basecamp’ when I purchased my Glass. I quickly scheduled an appointment at the Chelsea location in New York and I let Glass sit until my appointment.
The day finally arrived. I was late (I got lost no thanks to Google maps which is ironic to say the least) but my visit to Basecamp completely changed my view of Glass. When I introduced myself to my Guide (that’s what I call them), I explained that I’m as regular as they come. I don’t work for NASA so I won’t be wearing Glass in space, I don’t race cars, I’m not a pro-athlete…I am just a regular person who takes more pictures then the average bear. She understood, was not condescending at all and proceeded to walk me through understanding my Glass. I learned better ways to adjust the headset (not to mention the best hairstyles to be worn when wearing Glass), we went over ALL of the features (wink to click is uncomfortably my fave, more later) and when I left, I didn’t feel so ignorant about my fifteen hundred dollar purchase any longer. So I strapped on Glass (which reset itself 3 times during my appointment) and managed to take some practice pics. See below.
Unfortunately, there are only three Basecamps in the US (NYC, LA and San Francisco) but as a new Glass Explorer, I would recommend scheduling a visit if you can. I really got a lot out of my BaseCamp visit and appreciate Glass more.
Google does its best to prepare you for the social awkwardness you’ll experience as an Explorer but nothing compares until you actually feel it. I have pretty good social skills and never shy away from any interaction but the stares I received wearing Glass made me feel ridiculously uncomfortable. Yes, I’m staring at the screen in the upper right hand corner of my eye but I can still see the points and whispers and I felt very odd. No one snatched anything off of my face and I didn’t feel any immediate danger but the attention you get while wearing Glass takes some getting used to.
While I can appreciate this advanced technology, I don’t think Glass is for everyone. You get to a point where you just don’t know what else can be done with Glass. While my BaseCamp visit has renewed my appreciation for Glass, I just don’t see me incorporating this into my everyday life. And maybe that’s the point, Glass isn’t meant to take over my everyday life; it just gives me another (read: expensive) option to share it. I’m still learning Glass, yes I do sit on my couch and scroll through the cards just playing around with it, getting more comfortable with it and (FINALLY) enjoying it. Check out some more of my pics:
Are there any more Explorers out there? If so how are you enjoying Glass? What (if any) problems have you experienced? Have it out in the comments or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter. I’m looking forward to reading about other experiences.