Google Glass: a day in the life with Chris Chavez


Google Glass Chris Chavez fitting

Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to pick up my own pair of Google Glass at Google’s Los Angeles office in Venice Beach, CA. Since then, I haven’t been able to take them off, hitting the beach directly after my fitting and celebrating Cinco De Mayo the day after. For those of you curious about my experience with Glass during the first 48 hours, I invite you to take a peek into my life.

Google Los Angeles

It was a bit tough to sleep the night before picking up my Google Glass. I had all these hopes and expectations on what Glass would be like. Augmented reality, first person shooters — okay, maybe I was letting my imagination get the best of me. I decided, for the sake of my sanity, to keep my expectations low. This is beta hardware we’re talking about here. That way I wouldn’t find myself disappointed, while allowing enough room for surprise.

Driving to Google’s Los Angeles offices, I wasn’t sure what to expect when arrived. I soon learned that this is the place where Google’s North American advertising team is centered. A fitting location for a Google Glass introduction.

I was greeted at the door by angelic Google employees all wearing Glass, one of which would be my personal Google Glass guide. Everyone was super warm and welcoming, giving my friends and I a quick tour before we had to go upstairs to their Glass fitting room. The Google building was filled with the usual assortment of foosball and pool tables. Google has long been known for being one of the “funnest” places to work, and their LA offices lived up to that. I peeked around corners hoping to catch a glimpse of the Nexus 5, but to no avail.

Google LA

Walking out into the foyer, there was a large white screen and projector for movie time, hanging lounge chairs and tether ball poles, even a full cafeteria. I briefly tried imagining what it would be like to work (live?) in a magical place such as Google, a place filled with beautiful people and brilliant minds.

Google Glass fitting room

Arriving at the Glass fitting room, we found drinks, cupcakes… and Glass. All the colors were laid out in front of me and I was allowed to pick my favorite Pokemon color. Sitting down with my Glass guide, a few beers and good friends, I wondered how I ended up here. My Glass guide gave me a quick run through, and after playing around with the Chromebook Pixel they were using (seriously, it was amazing) we had a few more drinks and it was time to take Glass out on the town.

While we were being escorted out, I decided to let my buddy Mike take Glass for a quick spin down Google’s multi-level parking lot. Here’s the resulting video from that.

Venice Beach

Me Google Glass charging wm DSC00003

Upon leaving the Google LA office, the battery on my Glass was almost depleted. Like a dummy, I left navigation running for the first 2 hours which made Glass extremely warm and quickly dropped the battery to 20%. Since it’s possible to charge Glass while you’re using it, I figured I’d just hook it up to my external battery charger sitting in my back pocket.

The quick walk from our parking spot to the beach, I began feeling self conscious. This was my first time wearing Glass out in public and the fact that I looked like some kind of cyborg secret service agent, made me feel uncomfortable and conspicuous. I quickly untethered my headset and continued on my way.

Venice Beach Google Glass 20130504_164414_270

As a Southern California resident, I’ve been to Venice Beach plenty of times in the past. A popular spot for vagrants and misfits, I didn’t think my experience with Glass would be any different from previous visits — boy was I wrong.

No, I wasn’t bum rushed by hundreds of people wanting a closer look at Glass. I didn’t really garner awkward stares, and nobody was standing around pointing, “Hey, look at that Glasshole!” To my surprise, I found that among all the ruckus and mayhem, I was able to blend in rather easily.

Snapchat office Google Glass 20130504_162818_770

My issue? Paranoia that someone behind me wearing hot pants and roller skates would come from behind and swipe my Glass from off my face. Yes, that was the only thing going through my head the entire time I was out.

Glass didn’t make me feel self conscious. Glass gave me fear. Besides that — there were babes. Lot’s and lots of hot babes. Glass makes it entirely too easy to capture “creeper shots” of unsuspecting women. Within seconds of noticing them I was able to capture these lovely young ladies, you know… for science.

I think the fact that I was able to blend in so well had a lot to do with my color choice. This was intentional, mind you. A move I made to remain inconspicuous while about my daily life. I chose “Shale” – which is more of a taupe – because it didn’t stand out, blended in well with my hair color, and matched my normal attire. Red, blue and white were enticing, but simply not an option for someone who hate’s attention.

During my time in Venice, I was only approached a few times by nice people with huge smiles asking if what I had on my head were those “Google Glasses.” The conversation always ended with how I like them, to which I’d reply, “They’re super cool. I love them.” From the sound of it, it appeared as if everyone thought they were pretty cool, not weird, creepy, or mega-nerdy (of course, there’s always the chance they were being polite).

The Boys 20130504_175633_987

After my friends and I had enough with Venice (turns out they were just as worried as me, acting as my personal Glass body guards), we decided to grab some lunch. We found a nice BYOB Mexican restaurant, bringing in our ice chest chock full of ice cold brewskies, and talked more about Glass. My friends – Android fans I’ve met through Twitter – were able to try it out and were more or less impressed. Having instant access to the wealth of knowledge of internet directly in front of your face at all times was enough to arouse anyone’s interest.

Google Glass image search April O Neil

My buddy Mike apparently had plenty of interests to arouse. He strapped on Glass and the first thing he did was quickly search for his favorite “actresses” via Google image search. Yes, it was a success. After clearing my search history and wiping Glass down, we discovered that even while I was wearing Glass, it was possible for someone in the room to yell, “Ok Glass, Google images of (insert the most lewd phrase or image you can think of here),” pulling up images of said phrase. Good times.

After lunch I paid for my check, and answered some quick questions about Glass from the restaurant clerk. We walked around for a bit more before finally heading home. Day 1 with Glass had come to an end.


Google Glass Cinco De Mayo Church 20130505_113952_861

The church I attend in Corona, CA was having a good old fashioned outdoor Cinco De Mayo service filled with food, music, and fellowship. I wondered if I’d feel more uncomfortable wearing Glass in this situation, a place where being showy and/or attracting attention to one self is generally frowned upon. Given this was an outdoor event and the music was barely kicking off, I kept Glass on for the time being and shot a quick video.

Once preaching started, I didn’t want to be a distraction and removed Glass out of respect. This marked the first time I had removed Glass for social reasons since I received it. After the service was over, I quickly strapped Glass back on my face like a crack addict. Given that this was a church environment where everyone is friendly and familiar with one another, it was different from walking around with complete strangers. I was approached many more times than when I was at the beach.

Church with Google Glass 20130505_132904_345

Once again, everyone was intrigued, full of smiles, wanting to know more about Glass and how it worked. My mother seems to think Glass could have been what was foretold in the book of Revelations (sign of the Beast). At this point I began to notice how much everyone overestimates what Glass can do. Whether it’s x-ray vision or ushering in the apocalypse, no one seems realize that Glass is simply a smartphone companion, not a standalone device.

Cinco De Mayo Party

Cinco De Mayo Party Google Glass s_175f6b9b-f963-4968-a5f8-95602ff21c5f-0

After church I traveled back to LA with my girlfriend for a Cinco De Mayo party she was invited to. As soon as I stepped foot through the door, I was quickly approached by party goers with waning inhibitions about my Google Glasses. The most frequent question being, “Am I being recorded right now?” or even if I was able to watch YouTube on my Glass. Tragically, not yet, I replied.

When I first arrived, I will say I noticed some initial discomfort amongst the guests. Even though I wasn’t recording video, everyone was acting much the way they would if they were on camera. Over time (and after a lot more alcohol) they warmed up to Glass and by the end of the night, I could have very well had a banana strapped to my head and they wouldn’t have cared or noticed. A very interesting social experiment, for sure. After a lot of interesting conversation, and daylight drawing near, we decided to make the track back home and day 2 with Glass had officially drawn to a close.

Chris Chavez Google Glass DSC00069

And that just about wraps up my first 48 hours with Google Glass. I hope my boring life was somehow insightful. Everyday I’m getting more adjusted to Glass and I’m noticing that my family and friends around me are doing so as well. As it turns out, what you think would make you look silly or nerdy really has more to do with how you feel about yourself. If you rock at life, you’ll rock with Glass. I have no idea what that even means, but keep in mind once Glass is finally available to the public. It might help you pull the trigger.

Cheers, everyone!

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Chavez always has a unique perspective on gadgets, something other reviewers lack.

    1. And he always finds a way to add hot chicks into his articles as well. ;)

  2. That guys girl in the last pic is cute as hell.

  3. rediculously photogenic baby

  4. It’s funny how these reviews sound more like a social experiment than a device review. It just goes to show how much the technology is invading our private lives, and the people we are in contact with. I am not sure I will be as comfortable with being truly open with friends wearing a device like this.

    1. I think the biggest part of his first time experiment is when he went into a tighter social setting with his girlfriend. At a more compact level within a home or backyard the questions of “are you recording me” are going to come up. Because recording is so easily accessible from your eye, its not giving a comfortable impression like a camcorder would. It would naturally creep out ppl, and make’em wonder. Now take walking out in public, and pretty much everyone has socially accepted we are being watched from CCTV, Smartphones, camcorders, and now Google Glass. As more ppl see Google Glass we further condition ourselves to accept another new device capable of recording. This whole thing about Google Glass recording will die out by next year if the product successfully moves from Beta to full production. This would be a massive tool for Journalists around the country wanting to do first person accounts of war torn areas and protest areas. I think Google Glass will explode in use as our Government and police forces become more intolerant of devices recording them. Just really an all around social problem and constitutional problem which is going to get bigger as time passes.

  5. “Arriving at the Glass fitting room, we found drinks, cupcakes, doughnuts, eclairs, froyo, gingerbread cookies, boxes of honeycomb, ice cream sandwiches, jelly beans, and glass.”

    1. Wut, no key lime pie? Oh, right, it’s not out yet..

  6. step number one… look like a douche.

    Step number two.. douche up your hair.

    step number three. wear google glass

    Step number Four… Uber Doucheness +10 completed.

    1. Jealousy at its finest.

      1. that’s exactly what a 10 year old would say..

        1. But a 10 year old wouldn’t say “Uber doucheness?”

    2. +1

  7. Wow Chris you invented a new word and the definition of glasshole is you.

    1. The word has been floating around for a while. You’re pretty big behind your keyboard aren’t you?

      1. Well color me ignorant then.

    2. Eh? You do NOT want to mess with the Chris Defence Force. Step away from the keyboard now.

  8. Chris could you elaborate more on how easy or difficult it was to use the device. Did you prefer speaking your commands or using the touch bar? What did you like /dislike about the device user interface? Were there times where you wanted to do something and it didn’t work as expected? I’ve heard glass can cause headaches, did you experience that?

    1. Awesome questions!

      Glass is actually super easy to navigate. There’s only 3 swipes: forward, backward, and down (back). When at the “Ok Glass” screen, you can only do so much. Because there’s a limited amount of actions (and contacts), Glass is super accurate at knowing exactly what was said.

      I actually prefer speaking my commands (when available), but don’t mind using the touchpad. My issue with the touchpad is it doesn’t always register my swipes (something I hope will get better with time).

      The part I dislike about the user interface is there is no gallery app. That means to find all your photos and videos, you have to go hunting through your homescreen/timeline filled with news, messages, missed calls, etc. Super tedious if you take a lot of pics.

      The only part about Glass that didn’t work the way I wanted was in voice recognition but that’s more a Google thing. I’m pretty picky about (some) of my grammar, so I always use punctuation. Getting Glass to use a “comma” is almost impossible as it spells out the word “kama.” Lol I also don’t like that anyone else can speak your commands into Glass (if you’re on the Ok Glass screen).

      Headaches: HECK YES. I don’t think it’s from looking at Glass as much as it is from wearing it. It’s gotten to the point where I’m scared to put it on. Could be my allergies though…

      Hope this answered your questions :)

      1. I think a smart watch that interacts with glass would really take it to the next level. Guess we better start keeping some tylenol on hand! Looking forward to future articles.

  9. From reading the title i was expecting hair, hair, hair, hair gel, hair, hair, sleep. :-P

    1. I did a lot of editing. O_o

      1. lol. They look good though. Do the sunglasses add-on cause the display to be blacked out a lot? That was a concern i had about that attachment

        1. No, not at all actually. Although looking up at something really bright, sunglass attachment or not, makes the prism display difficult to read.

  10. So, you stay in the Los Angeles region, ey? *cyberstalking Chris Chavez*

  11. Just a thought, and only cuz I kno SC Village is in Corona, but you should go paintballing with the Glasses. :-P That would make for an amazing video.

    1. Our church is actually doing that soon but it sounds…. risky. :/

      1. I say take the risk, they would be behind the goggles, though a little awkwardly. But you can take video running through the course, and aiming down the sights..

        1. Definitely gonna look into it! :)

          1. do it! google glass will be the new Go Pro!

  12. Chris, do you find reaching up to touch glass for navigating the device is intuitive or do you think a companion control accessory could be handy? I’m thinking specifically about the Google Glass ‘ring accessory’ Google have got a patent for. The patent application indicated you would use gestures to control glass, but I can also imagine a ring which is a jog dial for easy scrolling through menus etc… Might that be better, or are you happy with reaching up to your head to navigate the device/take photos etc, and using voice activation when preferred?

  13. You do realize that most of those women were really men in drag?

    1. Glass don’t care!

  14. I actualy spent my hour break at work from 12:30 till 1:37 reading and watching the videos on this post. Did not eat even though I was in the hospitals cafeteria. I am a big chris chavez fan. Lol

    1. Who isn’t?

  15. When did Morrisey get glass?…. Jk Chris awesome review as usual.

  16. The next gen of pornography

    1. Looking forward to it ;)

  17. Meh….Hipsters drinking tasteless beer in clear bottles.

  18. Nothing new same old stuff. For $29.95 might go for a Google Glass, anything more than that it ain’t worth it.

  19. Awesome! I like seeing all the different reactions people had. That one guy at the party was funny, “please tell me you didn’t record me saying” haha
    Skateboard video was cool it was really good quality even moving that fast. Church was a little boring. LOL. Thanks Chris!

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