The bottom line on Google Glass

In the very least, Google Glass is an exciting new technology that offers a handful of entertaining and helpful features. The core capabilities — mainly Googling, Multimedia, Navigation, Sharing, and Personalized Recommendations — are a great starting point for what might be the next big thing. The Google Glass UI is beautifully simple, well thought out, and a joy to use. But a few cool features and a pretty face don’t get you “the next big thing” status.

Google Glass camera DSC00161

As with Android smartphones and tablets, the success of Glass will largely depend on developers. What will be the killer apps? What will be the killer games? What new ideas and integrations will be unlocked thanks to the unique capabilities and presence of Google Glass? If developers embrace the platform and unlock its hidden potential, there could be a goldmine of opportunities previously unrealized. But that’s not a definite… it’s an if.

Driving with Google Glass

Furthermore, Glass isn’t without its challenges and detractors. There are privacy concerns with people having such easy access to sneekily taking pictures and videos in both private and public places. There are potential safety concerns: I don’t think anyone would argue it’s a good idea to watch YouTube videos while driving. If private and public institutions place restrictions or bans on Google Glass, the technology could be suffocated before it even has a chance.

Google-Glass-chris-featured-LARGE

Then there’s perhaps the biggest and most unpredictable factor of all: the Segway factor.

In what direction will the public opinion sway? Cool must-have gadget that unlocks the power of technology? Or creepy geek mask for wannna-be time travelers who grew up watching Back to the Future?

There are too many unknowns to predict where Google Glass will wind up when it becomes available for sale next year. In its current form and at its current price, Google Glass won’t find too many buyers. But if Google can smooth over the aesthetics, define a “killer app” category, avoid strangling regulations, and clock in at sub-$500 without ruining the “cool factor”… the sky is the limit.

This is part of our Google Glass Review. For more information, check out the full review, or jump directly to one of the following sections: IntroductionHardwareSoftwareNavigationCalls & MessagingCamera, Day in the life (123), FAQConclusion.

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  • james

    “There are privacy concerns with people having such easy access to
    sneekily taking pictures and videos in both private and public places”

    And the hackers seeing what the Glass users see all day.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      People said the same thing about smartphones with front facing cameras but really, where are these “hackers” with that much time on their hands where they want to see someone sitting at a desk or watching TV all day. :p

      • RitishOemraw

        well your phone is mostly in your pocket and once it sees your face it doesn’t change much…..so pretty boring….but glass is on your face most of the time and the image changes as you turn and look around…..unlike a low res shaky cam aimed at your face.

        Then again I doubt it will see those kind of hackers….unless they target an important individual

        • Ethan

          Yes, but at the very least “Important Places” should be smart enough not to let somewhere where Glass if there’s something they don’t want people to see/hear, even if the person wearing it is Important.

          If this gets widely adopted, what I’m interested to see is the videos where some records criminal activity, and the criminal is too stupid/ignorant to notice they’re on camera. Of course, you can’t completely rule out the possibility of an idiot wearing glass while doing something illegal, and posting it online.

          • RitishOemraw

            Can’t wait for the first privacy lawsuit for when some leaked video appears online of a bathroom break.

            :P

    • Edgar Cervantes

      Seeing you all day? Ain’t no hacker got time for that!

  • Chris H

    Ingress would be AWESOME on Glass! Imagine walking around and being able to see XM and portals!

  • Jayshmay

    I swear, I’m so sick of the word “creepy”. That and “stalker” are the most misused word’s in society now-a-days.

    • Chris A

      I’m sick of people misusing “‘s” as a possessive.

  • Jayshmay

    Before the IPhone people thought Palm Treo’s & Blackberry were geeky, and now more, and more people have smartphone’s than feature phones. So things sometime take a while to catch on.

    Next Year (according to LG, end of this year) flexible displays Will be on the market.

    I’m curious what things will be like by the end of the decade. . .

  • Chris A

    Every time I see a demo or write-up for Glass I think of the Segway. Glass screams “RICH NERD” as much as if not more than the Segway. Sure, it has some really cool (and maybe even useful) features, but I just don’t see us as a society adopting that as an everyday look.

    The difference between Glass and all of the other inventions that people have mentioned that were originally “geeky” is that the latter didn’t change your appearance. The closest thing is the bluetooth earpiece which look ridiculous IMO. Glass is even worse.

    I would refuse to interact with anyone wearing Glass. That’s an invasion of privacy. I don’t even like when someone puts a picture I’m in on Facebook and I don’t even use Facebook.

    • robjackson81

      they both scream geek… but segway screams fat and lazy geek. from a judgemental standpoint I think there is a huge difference.

    • uniquename72

      The obvious difference for the shortbus crowd:

      Google Glass presents and allows you to interact with information in novel ways. It’s a step towards a different computing paradigm.

      Segway is merely transportation for people too lazy to walk or ride a bike.

  • hemipw54

    For $29.95 would not be a bad deal.

  • Michael

    The cool factor/ apps /price will not matter as much as battery life. If my creepy stalker device won’t last all day while secretly videoing ( ie normal use.)

  • RyanSamurai

    I don’t understand the creepy stalker thing. If you aren’t already creepy and/or a stalker already, I don’t think Google Glass is going to turn you into one. I love this idea, I have a terrible memory, and I’d love to be able to afford this gadget. I would literally walk around with it and record everything. If someone told me something or I when somewhere and I had forgotten what they said or where i was then I could just go back and “relive” it. I think this tech would be excellent for proving your case in court or if you were a witness to a crime. There are so many benefits that out weight the negatives that I sincerely hope we don’t shun it because we latch on to the bad and ignore every possibility of it’s use.
    Funny thing is that this tech actually reminds me of an early version of the tech that was used it the movie “Strange Days” would have been like.

    • robjackson81

      Perception is reality and when you’re wearing a gadget on your face that has the capability of recording everything, some people perceive it as creepy or unsettling. Given the fact that you actually plan on recording everything… kind of reinforces that reasoning. You might not have a problem with it, but there are people who do.

      • uniquename72

        But recording with Glass is overt. It’s much easier to surreptitiously record someone on a cell phone, yet I see very little concern about phones being “creepy.” Which implies to me that the people worried about Glass’s privacy implications are dumb.

      • DanielMcCarthy

        Thing is though, I can go on Amazon, purchase “video recording sunglasses”, walk into a bathroom and no one would think twice about it. If people are bothered by Glass, that’s their prerogative but it doesn’t mean a thing to me and if someone forcefully takes them off my face or breaks them like many comments online are saying, they can expect an assault charge. When you walk outside your private home, you give up your right to not be photographed and not to be recorded.