Armen Chakmakjian

More days with Google Glass

In Random, Social Media, technology on December 15, 2013 at 2:40 am

20131207-132501.jpgIt’s been about a week since I did my last usage update.  During that time  I went to a christmas party at a family friends’ home and fascinated people there (but I purposely waited for a little bit to pull it out to have other things to talk about).  

I wore glass to a company event that took place on the “Spirit of Boston”.  As the ship toured Boston Harbor, I was snapping off pictures which I privately shared with the members of our team.  Everybody found glass fascinating or weird (honestly, they found it fascinating and me weird for wearing it).  Anyway, my social experiment the rest of the week was to try to wear it at work to see what people would do.  For the most part since I’m the only glass user, and I’m not taking photos and the building’s public access wi-fi is all I can use (not the company enterprise wi-fi) it sort of limits the usefulness during the day.  I’ll probably stop wearing it at work at this point as there are also some reasonable security considerations that make me think that this isn’t something that you can really use “at work” depending on what that work is.  The most important consideration is that any pictures I would have taken or video are auto-backed up to google (I can turn that off, but downloading from the device to as private store seem difficult or an afterthought like Evernote)…Not forgetting to mention any concerns over bluetooth security or the wi-fi vulnerabilities.  Plus it is still this honking huge thing hanging over your right eyebrow and the human interface is just, well, awkward.   I find that when I get into an extended conversation with another person, I have to pull the thing off.  It’s just in the way.

Starbucks

This all being said, when I’m not at work, its less awkward and more a point of fascination.  Today I went out with my wife doing a day of Christmas and have to shopping.  I did visit a Starbucks where some of the patrons looked at me quizzically as I consumed my blueberry scone and coffee waiting for my wife who was running an errand in one of the town shops across the street.

After leaving Winchester center we went to BJ’s.  I continued to wear the glass while I was there.  At one of the sample stations, an employee who was doling out tiramisu and rum cake worked up the courage to ask me if that was google glass I was wearing.  I offered it to her and she took this video:

BJs Employee taking a video accidentally from voice control

One of the side effects of offering google glass to the curious is that you end up with all kinds of photos and videos of yourself (this was notable at the company event the other day also).

We continued our shopping and the utility of glass was apparent as I walked around and quickly snapped off pictures of retail items that I might later look into.  I’m sure google has already processed those photos to determine the items, any text and of course the location metadata.  Yes folks, everything that happens on glass is observed and “processed”.  I’m sure the NSA knows my shopping habits too.

Later, we went to the Burlington Mall.  Because I wear a black fedora from November to Late March, most people didn’t really see the glass under the brim.  Most I say, not none.  As I was trying to be businesslike and trying to not make direct eye contact as we walked through the mall, I did see people looking at me funny…as if to say “What the heck is that thin on his face” and a few mouthed “google glass”.

At Brookstone, I became more interesting than all the gadgets in the place.  Well actually, the glass was more interesting as I allowed it to be passed around the employees.  They had all kinds of questions for me and there were lots of “Oh Wow…WOW” reactions as they tried it.

Food Court photo taken by a somebody trying google glass

Later on we went to the food court and as I waited for our order in front of one of hamburger places, a couple of people tried it on and asked me some questions.

Vignette, facing Sears in one direction and Macy’s in the other

At one point I played with the vignette features which showed how the mall was decked out  for Christmas.  it was interesting to have both directions of the length of the mall in one photo.

Finally, I got my courage up to go to the Apple Store.  I needed to know what would happen as I’ve read several stories in the community about how employees seem to have orders to ignore Glass.  First off I’m deep into the Apple product set and have a boneyard of iMacs, Powerbooks, MacBooks Pro’s and Airs, iPod classics and even two different generations of AppleTV.  So knowing this, I pulled my iPad air out in its nice leather cover as I walked into the store.  We went to the back of the store where all the Nests and Headphones and other add-ons were located and started a discussion over products.  Of course you could see that the apple employees were tense…was I recording them?  NO I WASN’T.

I mentioned to my wife that they had done a good job of not calling attention to my electronic appendage and she said that she noticed them in the distance mouthing “google glass” to each other…of course not confronting me directly.  Don’t worry folks you did a good job.  Now tell Tim to come out with the wrist device and blunt this soon because quirky electronics are in the hands of early adopters like me and we are walking billboards for other people’s ideas (people like me who bought the original palm pilot, the first droid phones, apple TV, and iPod Photos, Livescribe pens and notebooks and listened podcasts before iTunes handled them).  And that means that the masses see us with our wearable computing like the people who had the first bag cell phones….Weird but wishing they had one too.

Anyway, at that point we made our way out and it had started snowing.  As I was cleaning the car I snapped off the start of the storm  that has everyone in a tizzy.

snow…google processes these photos and adds the falling snow…it wasn’t really coming down like that

I finally reached my car and it was covered and had to start brushing it off.  This was real snow, not google snow 😉  Have a safe and warm night.

Ahh New England Winters…

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