By Richard Bush, senior staff writer, Car Keys
Although still in its mainstream infancy, wearable tech is absolutely everywhere. No longer is it a thing of sci-fi fiction. You can now have a watch that makes phone calls, a wristband that measures your vitals 24/7, and you can even get clothing that harnesses your own kinetic energy. Exciting times indeed…
So what about Google Glass? Imagine a pair of glasses with a camera that can record everything you see, take pictures, make phone calls and browse the internet. But you know what they say; never meet your heroes, you’ll only be disappointed.
When I heard that our office was acquiring Google Glass, I was naturally excited. I couldn’t help but entertain thoughts of The Minority Report, James Bond and Iron Man.
Expensive kit, but worth it?
First off, let’s not forget, this technology cost over £1,000. Let’s get that in tech perspective. A Samsung Galaxy S6 will set you back about £559 if you were to buy it out right, or for £999 you can get yourself a very powerful MacBook pro…And so the rant begins.
We got our hands on Google Glass to keep up to date with the fast moving world of tech, but also to utilise its connectivity credentials when it comes to taking pictures and videos then subsequently pinging them out via social media.
Battery life is one of your first concerns. It doesn’t take too long to fully charge, but start shooting a video on it and the battery will quickly deplete. There are battery packs available for extra life when you are on the go, but this requires you to pose as a Ghostbuster with a cable running from the headset to your backpack.
Hot heads for all
When you embrace the features of Google Glass, you will be made fully aware of it due to the increased heat on your head, as the CPU (which sits just near your temple,) gets quite hot. This is also where you swipe with your finger when navigating the augmented displays. This itself requires a fair bit of training; two finger swipe, tap twice, slow swipe, fast swipe, the list goes on… One thing’s for sure, you can’t simply pass it to a friend and expect them to know what they are doing.
Internet connectivity can be a little touch and go and you may find yourself involuntarily opening a browser or sending something out on social media. But the main nuisance comes with device pairing.
If you plan on sharing Google Glass with a friend or colleague, be careful who syncs their contacts and social channels as you can find yourself calling someone else’s relatives and even sending out tweets on behalf of someone else by accident. This happened to me plenty of times.
Was that a wink or a blink?
But, it’s not all doom and gloom, there are a few fun features to play around with, like photo features that allow you to snap away by merely saying “take a photo” or winking. On the winking front, be careful how you blink, you may end up taking a photo without knowing it. And be careful as you may accidently share it on your social channels, or a friend’s social channel, or your work’s social channel!
But less about Google Glass as a product; what about the concept of smart glasses and recording what you see every day? Well, people don’t like to be recorded, especially if a camera is all up in their grill; I found that out very quickly. Even if you are not recording, it can be quite intimidating when someone starts playing around with a gadget that is clearly aimed in your direction whilst talking to you.
And I haven’t even mentioned the ‘Google Glass face’ yet. When you start focusing on the small display situated just above your normal line of site, you will end up pulling a rather silly face. Picture it, staring just above someone’s head while speaking to them, while being cross-eyed at the same time. Put it this way, I wouldn’t use it on a first date; #MicrowaveMealForOne
So, I leave you with this. What can Google Glass do that is any more streamlined or practical than a smartphone? Nothing.
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