Google glass – According to Wikipedia, Google glass is a “wearable” computer with a head-mounted display.
And it does a lot many things and is comparable to a smartphone and acts as a great companion to the user. With the Google glass, you can look up the web, get access to maps, take photos, record videos, hang out – all by controlling the device with your voice and your eye movements.
There is mixed opinion about Google glass throughout the internet. Let’s take a look at the glass.
Here’s a handy presentation that summarizes this post:
Google glass – device specifications and capability
Google glass comes with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
The device memory is 16 GB and 12 GB of it will be “usable” memory. Guess the rest of the memory will be for the Android OS and other maintenance related tasks.
Google glass comes with OMAP 4430 CPU (dual core). The device comes with a 1GB RAM of which 682 MB is usable.5 MP camera in the device also helps shooting 720p videos.
The device comes in 5 colors – Black (Charcoal), Orange (Tangerine), Neutral (Shale), White (Cotton) and Light Blue (Sky).
Google Glass – The good, bad and the ugly
The device frame and the nosepad are found to be quite flexible hence making it “fitting”. There are also two extra nosepads provided at two different sizes.
However, in its review, Engadget has noted that the usage of Google glass induces headache.
Google’s support page says that the battery lasts for one full day if used typically. At the same time, when we think that recording videos is one of the most common usages of the Google glass, it is noted as one of “battery intensive” tasks by Google (on its support page).
This is quite disappointing. In particular, most of us expect to have the device on our face for tasks like checking emails, taking pictures, recording videos, Hangouts etc. – having to carry the charger and to rush to a charging outlet in the middle of a work day would be disappointing.
On the same page, Google has warned about interference issues.
In addition, as I pointed out earlier, wearing the glass for continuous hours seemed to have induced headache. Plus recording full length videos heats up the temple (reported by engadget).
Before starting to use the device, you need to pair the device with your Google account. And then you’re set. Hanging out with your Google+ account is pretty cool since you can live stream what you are seeing to the other person while at the same time look at the other person through the screen in the glass.
There are also some misbehaviors as recorded by the users:
1. Google glass sometimes picks up words from the conversation with another person even without uttering the magic word “OK Glass” and starts a Google search on the word.
2. Sometimes the magic word had to be uttered more than once to get the device started.
3. A clean accent is necessary to have the device work sanely – if you’re a foreigner with a strange accent, you could get into trouble.
When will Google glass be available and how much does/will it cost?
The device is currently launched for a closed group of developers. In order to get access to Google glass the developers were required to register at Google I/O. Those who wanted to get the glass were required to attend a “how to” demo session and the price of the developer version is $1500.
However the retail commercial price is expected to be reasonably lower than this.
Google glass – Privacy and social issues
OK Google glass is all cool. But the first time I heard about Google glass all that flashed in my mind is the privacy issue.
With the little cute glass on the face anyone can take a picture or record a video of anyone else. What if a person is in a pub or in a movie screen and doesn’t want to be photographed with his/her friends (say he/she doesn’t want their parents to see them drinking in a pub).
What if someone is in a beach in bikini and any guy with the glass on can take a snap and happily use the picture whatever the way he wants to bully the girl (we all know how bad bullying is and how worse it can get).
And let me talk a bit about the socializing issues. Looking down to a smartphone screen and typing a text message or an email will cut off the “social element” in a face to face get together.
And many Google glass supporters claim that the glass will eliminate such issues. However, in order to start the device you need to tell “OK Glass”. Do you think your friends won’t notice when you utter this magic word in the middle of a conversation?
And the Google glass’s screen appears just a bit above the eye, which means you will have to look a bit up if you are dealing with something on the web – and you can’t get by without getting noticed.
And there isn’t much evidence as of now if having the Glass on the right eye for hours together will have any negative impact on the vision.
Google Glass – Takeaway
While everything sounds so very promising about the glass, I personally feel it to be a bit too much of a gadget. I’m not sure if Google totally forgot about the privacy issues.
And will it not feel as if someone is having two fields of vision on two different eyes with the Google glass on the face? – I don’t know as of now, but I just feel like asking.
Google glass will serve as a smartphone that is right on your vision and that can be used handsfree – just by using voice commands. This is something really cool and I can’t deny the same fact.
But will Google address the ugly and privacy issues before launch of Google glass?
Let’s see how Google glass helps individuals once the commercial version is out. Meanwhile feel free to share your opinion about Google glass right in the comments below.