Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Google Glass: Always On

I read a bunch of tech sites and spend way too much perusing the comments. One of the hot topics of conversation lately is Google Glass. Some people have already declared it the NEXT BIG THING, while others have declared it a flop.

I won't really know what I think about Google Glass until it is out and I can try one for myself, but I do know that I hate carrying stuff. Last night, I attended a panel discussion in downtown Boston and decided to make a day of it. I parked outside of Alewife station, had a late lunch at Jasper White's Summer Shack (soft-shell crab BLT), rode the T into Park Street, saw Star Trek Into Darkness at the AMC Loews, and then met up with friends for the talk.

The day was warm, but I knew that it might get a little chilly by the time the talk let out at 8:30. I decided against bringing a coat with me because I didn't want to have to lug it around for six hours in case I needed it for fifteen minutes; I'd rather be cold. If the forecast had been for rain in the evening, that may have changed the equation a bit. A tote umbrella is less obtrusive than a coat, and being wet is worse than being cold, especially since I'd stay wet for the remaining T- and then car-ride home.

I tend to keep the things that I need to carry to a minimum. I wear glasses and a wristwatch, and carry a wallet, a smartphone, and a set of keys. I don't mind the wristwatch, wallet, smartphone, and keys because I generally don't notice them when I'm not using them. I mind the glasses, but I am using them all the time and couldn't really function without them.

So where does Google Glass fit into all of this? I've read that Glass has only three hours of battery life when the display is on and that it isn't foldable, so I can't put them away like a pair of sunglasses. This means that I am going to use Glass for a maximum of three hours a day while wearing them for twelve.

I don't believe that Glass will be successful in the market if users are only wearing them under special circumstances. For Glass to be successful, it has to be something that the user is prepared to wear every day while out and about. If Glass can disappear on me like my wristwatch does when I'm not looking at it for the time, then it makes sense. If I'm going to be noticing it the whole time I'm not using it, then it doesn't seem to make sense to me.

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