The world of technology has drastically changed in the past couple of decades. There have been many radical changes. The personal computer, the smartphone, and more recently, the tablet. Many played a role in this change. A huge influence was, arguably, Steve Jobs who told his team many times that they would make a dent in the universe. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something ground breaking, like the touchscreen, but Google is here with a brilliant new way to interface with the tech in our lives.
“We’re here to put a dent in the universe.” -Steve Jobs
Glass Prototype Google Glass, previously called “Project Glass”, was born in Google’s X Lab, which is just a snazzy name for their R&D lab. As the Glass employees went on with their lives they realized that people were way to distracted and involved in their phones, that they wouldn’t even look up and acknowledge the world around them. So they thought up an idea to put the technology in front of you with out distracting you from what you are doing. Thus Google Glass was born. It reduced, but didnt eradicate, the problem of humans being fundamentally distracted all the time. They are trying to make it a distraction that is easier to handle. Rather than taking out your phone when driving to send a text, you can just reply with your voice and not take your hands of the wheel or eyes off the road. It was formally demoed at Google I/O 2012, with orders for Explorer (Developer) editions of the device being taken there. Since then it has been seen many times in the public being flaunted by various high profile people, models and Google employees. It’s been worked, tweaked and reworked to arrive at this near final product set to go on sale at the end of 2013.
Many people find the idea of having a display in front go your vision can obstruct and distract you from the real world, like a car coming at you when you are crossing the road. It’s very new principle and there are a lot of things Google will need to explain to the public, like the radiation from the Glass when they are communicating with your smartphone. That probably won’t be an issue for the early adopters and tech savvy. For those on edge about Glass, there’s a sunglasses attachment to make it a bit more normal feeling.
Google Glass can do so much for such a compact device that just sits on your head. It’s really surprising how Google was able squeeze so much into a slim frame, and it’s a far cry from the prototype that Isabelle Olsson cleaned up. The prototype was a logic board soldered on to the side with stuff hanging out and just crudely placed objects. Thankfully, in the near release version, everything is all tucked away in the arm or behind your ear. It’s amazing that Google trying such a great feat of getting people to wear a piece of high tech glasses that look so awkward and just different. There could be a partnership with Ray-Ban or Warby Parker to do something more normal.Glass consists mainly of a small display that’s mounted to the top right corner of your right eye (awkward for lefties).It displays all the info like map directions and search info. The framework is raw silver aluminum and the rest of the parts are polycarbonate which comes in a variety of colors. There’s a weight behind your ear to act as a counter weight to the tech in front of your eye. There’s also a 720p camera to take a photo or record a video, which can be streamed live to YouTube or a Google+ Hangout. There’s a touchpad on the arm, so you can control it, but it also works through voice. It has inbuilt WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS, but it’ll need your smartphone’s help to connect to 3G or 4G data services. I love the way it’s got Google Now, with it’s clean yet informative cards, and Voice Search, with it’s abundance of data from Knowledge Graph. This device becomes truly functional and brilliant when tied in with all of Google’s services and your smartphone. The Glass Explorer Editions were sold for $1500 a pop, but Google assures us that it will be less than $1500 at launch ($1499 anyone?), and it will work with Android and iPhone.
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It’s some of the most impressive pieces of hardware I’ve seen and it’s as expected as we see Google step up its game with the overall form and function of its devices, like the Chromebook Pixel. The unit comes in different colors and the reason Google felt that this was necessary was because they feel that people will connect with their Glass on a more personal level if it’s in a color that suits them. Shale. Tangerine. Charcoal. Cotton. Sky. A lot of colors here. Basically Google doesn’t want you looking like a weirdo or you feeling the same. They wants Glass to become part of you. as weird as that sounds, it makes sense when you are trying to turn consumers on to a product that is so radically different. The Glass Explorer Editions were sold for $1500 a pop, but Google assures us that it will be less than $1500 at launch ($1499 anyone?), and it will work with Android and iPhone. Glass Colors Google Glass, to me, seems like the perfect device. It’s what we need in this never ending barrage of smartphones, tablets,laptops and desktops. It brings us back to the world in a different way that the one we left on. It gives you everything you’ve come to require from your devices and gives it to you without turning you away from the real world. Glass is a new way to give you information that doesn’t hinder you. It’s going to be weird when a handful of people are waking around with these contraptions, but I think that we’ll get very used to the idea of it when we walk around see people doing more. Google Glass will empower you do more and prevent you from being hindered by the phone in your pocket. Soon the only barrier between you and the world will be only be separated with a hyper-informative display that just floats in the corner of your eye. It’s the future and I can’t wait!