@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
  • Guest blog: My short experience with @GoogleGlass by Guillaume (@guillaumephotos)

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    February 28th, 2014mardixonInternational, Tech
    How to go outside with this strange looking glass, on top of my prescription glasses? How to answer people’s questions? How to do it? Can I really chat with people wearing this? How to go outside with this Glass?

    hedphonThat’s really a question I started to battle with in the end of December 2013, when I received my Google Glasses, in London (UK)!

    Of course, I could have been thinking about health implications of the device, or the actual safety of going outside with a $1500 gadget but my main worry was this one.

    FYI: it was very hard to obtain Glass as I had to use some of my friends in the USA to be able to order Glass as and become a Glass Explorer. I waited for them for weeks.

    My name is Guillaume, and I am your typical introverted developer by all means. Started at 6 years old on my Apple 2e in Basic, continued with assembly on Atari, and went up to C on Linux.

    I am also a manager. I work with around 250 people in C, Java and PHP as a technical director. Not the kind you usually see playing as “master chef” with their employees. I am not that assertive and I feel more like the quiet motor of my company. I also like philosophy and poetry but always in my shy way of getting things done. After all, that’s what my native Burgundy family has been teaching me all these years ago: real achievement can always be seen if done correctly.  I am also a dad, happily married with two sons that loves technology.

    logoBefore getting out in the streets of London, I decided to work on a few programs to familiarise myself with the product I was going to wear and completely understand it. I started by working out a small Javascript keyboard to be able to type, using my neck to point, and fingers to click. I then evolved to Mirror API, into sending notifications to Glass and even websites links (Url2Glass). I also made a daily poem Glass system (with pin, read aloud feature). Mirror API is fairly easy to implement and will be useful to a big range of developers (and I can already guess marketers).

    It was then time to move to native applications, and I created a short app that if run shows my information as owner of the Glass, with a few means to contact me. I decided to create this one after nearly losing my Glass while jogging!  This really permitted me to understand the complexity of Google Glass and get a glimpse of what this concept would become in the future. I have to admit, every weekend, I now get out in central London with Glass, and amazingly never see any strange looks, with just a few nice and interesting chats with people in the street, supermarket or restaurants about the device’s feature. I asked my wife to check out people’s attitude towards it, so I can tell you that most people will not even look at me and others will be interested.

    It was hard and I was edgy at first, but finally, after a few week ends of stress, it just feels normal to me and even to my family. I was actually in Dijon, France a few days back and the interest was very similar as the one I could find in London.

    Mostly, what I have enjoyed about Glass is the ability without touch, but only voice commands to take pictures of my family in the beautiful London’s landmarks and share these on Google+ and Facebook very easily. The picture quality is also fantastic. The next big thing that helped me during the wild British weather we had this winter is the ability to use websites such as “RainToday” and being able to see the rain coming, by seeing notifications of upcoming storms, this by simply looking at a Doppler radar map, through Glass.

    thefutureI think Glass is at an early stage, but I can really see a future for it based on many factors such as some miniaturisation as well as extended battery life! I can imagine people in 10 years using a way more modern wearable device as a normal fact of life wondering how we could live without it: being able to find directions, communicate with their loved ones, reading live information, get help on topics, just by voice actions and without getting as distracted as the use of a smartphone. If you think about it, many people nearly bump into others in the street, while reading information on their phone.

    I can also imagine how businesses will be able to make a living from it, with for instance the use of targeted advertisement, based on multiple indicators, such as what you see, where you are, the weather, time and what you like! Hopefully, there will be ways to opt out – or the targeting and set-up will be so perfect, that none will find these annoying – who knows.

    I could go on for hours on the subject: health, hackers, theft, price, design, business, marketing, development opportunities… but to be honest, Google really created a wonderful device, and I will let all these topics open for other discussions.

    As early as this technology is, I will continue to develop tools for it, wear and be passionate about it.

     

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