Armen Chakmakjian

Posts Tagged ‘google glass’

Merry Glass-mas Shopping

In technology, wow on December 22, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I still have yet to run into someone from eastern Massachusetts or southern New Hampshire wearing Google Glass.  Given that reality, when I go out shopping I am invariably looked at as an oddity (ok so I am even without google glass…it just makes me a conspicuous oddity.  People once in a while would comment on my black fedora, “Nice Hat”.  Now they look at me funny and then say, “What is that on your face?”

Yesterday, we did a round of stores and malls mostly trying to round out the gifts as most of our real shopping was done about a week ago.  Oddly enough the stores themselves weren’t overcrowded and given the awful traffic getting the Costco in New Hampshire it was no wonder.  Most people were in traffic and not in the stores themselves.  This is a different Costco than the two that I normally go to, so I was expecting at least the first pattern of strange looks that I would normally get.  The people in the Costco in Waltham, MA are kinda used to me at this point.
After leaving Costco with only a couple of small glass sharing incidents (one guy said I look like Bono with my glass and hat), we proceeded to the Pheasant Lane Mall.
 We were actually only going to Target, but I did take a quick stroll through the mall looking for a Starbucks.  The next thing that piqued me was that most of the stores had some customers, but it wasn’t out of control.  But Starbucks?  The line was out the door and wrapping around the side. I stood there for a while and the line was just not moving.  Starbucks to me is a thing that you wait a short time for so you can sit and enjoy the coffee slowly.

I could see the frantic pace of the baristas and looked at the long line for a while and then gave up.    The only thing of interest that I saw was the Verizon Droid just behind me. This was not enough to satiate either my morbid interest nor my caffeine need, so I got out of line and walked back across the mall.
This week I didn’t tempt fate by actually going into the apple store. I did sneak a picture as I walked by though. Except for Starbucks it seemed to be the busiest place in the mall. In the intervening time, the temperature outside had warmed and as we made our way back to the car, it was the first time I noticed that even in New Hampshire, the snows from last week’s storms were receding. Later on that day we made our way to the Merrimack outlets, going slightly deeper into New Hampshire. I had been to the outlets my first weekend with glass and I was still figuring it out then. This week though I was at full tilt.  I had my personal hotspot on and I was able I snapped off a couple of shots and posted them to Facebook. The Merrimack outlets have a Ski Lodge and Lift motif going, and it is pretty cute from that point of view.

We did stop to eat finally and I had a meal that I think was a mistake at a Sbarro’s knockoff in their main food court. Why did I do it? I was hungry and there was a 20% AAA discount. It came to $7 and change but I think it is still in me 🙂

Once we left the food court we made out way through a bunch of stores. and there was enough of a buzz in one particular store that I had to take a video clip.

We went into a couple of other stores after that and in the Swarovski store, somebody finally asked me what that glass object was on my face.

I’m sure that I was eliciting some strange looks because I was practicing the “wink” feature as I went around the store. Between the head tilts and winking I probably looked like I had some sort of condition. The sales person was eager to try on the glass and was able to snap off a picture of me which I will not post 🙂

On the way out of the outlets, there is a Starbucks and I wanted my coffee.I’d have gone to a Dunkin Donuts too if there was one there, it didn’t matter to me.

All I knew was that I wanted coffee. One person kept looking at me over and over and finally asked me if that was an “Apple thing”. I said WOW inside, since that was the first time someone associated an odd piece of electronics with Apple in any of my trips with Glass on my face.  He of course was afraid to try them on 🙂

By the time I got home my glass and I were both out of energy.

A small bit of progress…

In Random, technology, web 2.0 on December 15, 2013 at 11:59 pm


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.


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…

Glass and IOS7/iPhone 5S

In Random on December 7, 2013 at 3:49 am

Apparently the limitation that I read, that IOS7 that disallows google glass from accessing services via bluetooth on it is not true.  At least according to this video.  If what this videoblogger says is true, google would not give up the opportunity of gathering data off of IOS device by connecting glass with it.  So I am anticipating that there’ll be a an IOS7 “MyGlass” app in the near future.  

Jot script Evernote edition

In iPad, Random, Social Media, technology on December 5, 2013 at 1:30 am



And 6 hours later with Glass…

In Random, Social Media, technology on December 1, 2013 at 3:01 am

In my earlier post today, it was before I went out with glass on my face. My wife and I did a quick trip to Costco at about 5pm today and I went in wearing Glass with the little mono ear bud dongle. For the most part people were politely trying not to stare at me (although I could tell that there were trying to figure out what that was on my head). I was wearing my typical winter getup, leather jacket and black fedora so it was only slightly disconcerting to the people. I walked around the store and did a few “OK Glass, Take a picture” of items and their prices. At a certain point, my wife and I had to back track to an end cap near the entrance to look at something on sale. When I turned around I noticed that the young guy trying to get customers to sign up for Amex was looking at me funny. Kinda had a smile on his face. He said, “Is that..” and I interrupted, “Google Glass”

He said, “That’s so cool, how is it working for you.” I gave the explanation above about the simple utility of taking a picture here and there, although I’d be seen as talking to myself. He chuckled. “I’ve never seen one.” I mentioned that one limitation was that although it was bt tethered to my iPhone, w/o internet access it was basically just a bt earpiece and camera and no more. He said that when he first saw me he was wondering if it was some weird earpiece (because of the dongle of course). A co-worker of his heard our conversation and tried to tell me to go and talk to the phone stand there because I could get a wi-fi hotspot from Verizon. I mentioned I could do that with my phone as is so getting another device wasn’t worth it at the moment.

Anyway, I continued to shop and snap off pictures of potential items we might buy. Then I had an “Avoid being a Glasshole moment. I had to visit the facilities, and immediately took Glass off and put it in its pouch and then into my pocket. It started to hit me that general walking around might be ok, but there are certain places where it wouldn’t be acceptable.

When I was done, I put it back on. of course on the drive to and back I did not have it on also, having something obscuring my 49-year-old eyesight at nightfall (even off) is like having a blind spot on your face.

Finally I came home. I’m coming to the conclusion that the glass is very similar to my Livescribe pen. As you know the Livescribe pens have audio recording capability that synchronizes with what you’re writing for later playback. both the glass and the Livescribe are great when doing research or listening to a public lecture, as a couple of examples. However because they are taking on a normal operation (looking or in the case of a Livescribe pen, taking notes) that are culturally perceived as mostly non-threatening, and then adding the ability to record a secondary track that may or may not be detectable to the people in the environment, you have an ethical privacy situation that you are creating.

Here’s the dilemma that both devices create. people see you doing one thing…and assume that there is an imperfect recording (in the observers brain…or even on paper) of the scene. However, with these devices, there is the possibility of a secondary recording (in this case video or pictures, in the case of the Livescribe an audio recording) that would necessarily need someone’s else’s approval to do (at least tacit).

The difference with holding up a phone and snapping off a picture is that the gesture of lifting the camera and addressing your target is very obvious and someone can ask you to stop. in the case of these extension of the human recording operation devices, one might not know that that is what you are doing.

I also went into the Costco wine/liquor shop for a moment and when I had gathered my purchase and went to the counter the rep was looking at me funny as I handed him my credit card. I said, “Yes, it’s a google glass.” His response was “Way cool, I’ve never seen one, how does it work for you?”

This is turning out to be the common question now 🙂

24 hrs with glass

In Random, Social Media, technology on November 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm

No I haven’t left the house yet with it.


General observations:

  • Snapping off a quick picture of the family at the table for leftovers was easy.
  • Once I got Evernote hooked up, saving a quick note to myself is easy (speech to text).
  • Sending a short email was ok once I got a couple of contacts added to the glass contact list was predictable and easy.
  • Because I’m an iPhone user I don’t get text messaging/sms or directions which stinks.
  • Sharing a picture to any service, email, Evernote wasn’t too bad, although not having the ability to annotate the picture with text (using text to speech for a caption) seems like glaring dumbness…Or the ability to do so is so non-obvious that it’s a massive usability miss.
  • Googled a few things and it is ok.
  • I did figure out how to use glass to send a message via ifttt email to my wemo outlets. I’d have used sms to do this, but for the iPhone limitation. The truth is that I don’t need glass to do this, but it was fun for a demo. The time delay for email processing is significant though. I say “send a message to kitchen light…Hashtag kitchen off” and glass figures out I mean #kitchenoff and sends it. 30 second later, the wemo reacts to the command.
  • I haven’t yet figured out how to send a text tweet or a Facebook status update, even though I can share a picture.

Will keep experimenting…