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One of my random facebook friends just got a google glass invite and was asking whether or not it was worth becoming an explorer at this point, which would still hold a $1500 price tag. I don't have time to put together a proper organized entry for this, but i told her that i would give her my thoughts about it, so i'm putting this together to give her my impressions of it and whether or not it's worth it. an Actual More Professional version of this might go up on mendellee.com if i have the time, but i doubt that i will until after my concert in March.

First off, i should say that although Glass has evolved and improved a great deal since i first got it in July, a lot of the initial positives and negatives i wrote about when i first got it still apply, particularly positive #1 because of the v.2 hardware upgrade.

for those that don't know, the latest hardware release of Glass makes it possible for someone to take a picture just by winking in a particular way. This in itself makes Glass a fantastic product imo because it even more streamlines the process of trying to capture a moment that would otherwise involve a hassle that takes away from a moment. One of the big issues i have with even casual photo taking is how the process of taking a picture can take people out of the actual experience of what they're trying to take a picture of. You have to pull out a camera or your phone, you have to frame the shot, you check settings, you snap the picture, you put the camera or phone away. Glass eliminates all of that - taking a picture is a literally-less-than-one-second process and once you get a good enough feel for how to wink to take a picture, you can do it without interrupting any thought process or experience whatsoever.

with video you still have to hit the button and then hit it again once it starts recording to do more than 10 seconds, but it's still a relatively quick process and has the benefit of not having to really monitor what you're recording or framing. It's great for giving that first person perspective in a way that's not always possible with other rigs, although Go Pro setups can do a decent job and also do it with better quality video and audio capture. The other thing that video through Glass does is restrict your head movement. If i'm taking video with a regular camera, i can look around freely without losing what the main focus of the video is, but with Glass, if i look around or start dancing while drumming or anything like that, the video turns into a high-motion mess. It's not well-suited for heavy head movement types of activities if you want to capture anything meaningful. Regimented marching music would be good, i've seen a lot of videos of people conducting music, some videos of weddings or roller coasters, etc.

I still have issues with the fact that it's not collapsible, and i also still don't like the way that it generally looks on my head, which translates to me not actually wearing Glass all that often. I know there are some people that choose to wear it on their head all of the time, but i generally only wear it for particular occasions that i know i want to capture - when i'm on the job during football games i use it to capture photos of the band or our football team or take video of stands tunes. I also hand it off to my students to wear so that i can capture moments of the marching band "from the inside", something that i'm long-term trying to use for the purposes of recruiting and public relations. I also wear it more often on vacations, particularly when i know i'm going to take a lot of pictures.

When i'm interacting with people and i have Glass on, it's a tossup whether or not i opt to keep it on or if i decide to take it off to interact with them. I know that it makes some people uncomfortable, and while i believe that the caution is a little overboard and paranoid, i'm not one to disrespect that comfort bubble for the sake of something that's not that important to me. It's not that much effort for me to take glass off of my head or to put it around the back of my neck when i first encounter someone who i think might have issue with it, particularly locally. I also don't really like the way that it looks on my face still, even with the sunglasses attachment - it's not dishonest exactly, but it does feel a little unpure until someone can look past that and see me for who i really am, i feel, so i tend to play the safe side - particularly because in general i try my best to be as unextraordinary as possible so that i can help emphasize the extraordinariness of the people around me.

Ever since i got an Android, i really appreciate how Glass makes turn by turn navigation a lot safer, as well as receiving emergency texts on the road. There's a lot of debate going on about that right now with different states, most famously made by the court case in california, and i'll say flat out that once you get used to it, turn by turn navigation via Glass is where it's at because you don't have to look away from the road to get the directions that you need.

The other functionalities of Glass are not things i use much, but i appreciate that they're there, even if they're basic and clunky, and of course there are improvements being made to them all of the time. Google Now is a wonderful thing on both Glass and my phone, and i rely upon it a lot for weather, flight delays, etc. in ways that are very streamlined. The "translate text into a different language" thing is really neat even though the process is a little cumbersome and buggy, and other practical things such as evernote import or stopwatch/compass kinds of things are nice to have because it's right there and also voice-commandable.

Battery life is still poor, but that's not a big deal for me since i don't use it often. I have a spare battery that i keep charged up for days in which lots of video is being taken (particularly for my marching band gigs).

i don't use the audio attachment that they gave me because i think it looks very ugly and it's also not comfortable. I don't use Glass for any sort of audio playback at all if i can help it. Video at night time is horrid, as is pictures at night.

Overall, is it worth it? I think so. Even with me not making it a part of my daily life, it has some strong strong benefits to it and it's neat to be a part of the beta community and to see how it's been treated politically, and it's also interesting to see how i react to people differently when i wear it and how people react to me. I've generally loved all of the stranger-interaction i've had with the device, people feel free to walk up to me and ask me about it, and it makes for neat conversation, it's neat to see them try it on and say things like, "woah, cool" or "that's weird." and everything in between.

That said, it is still an Expense, and given the prediction that the commercial version of it is supposed to come out sometime this year and at an expected lower price tag, being a part of the beta/Explorer program is mainly useful for those that want to be slightly ahead of the curve and/or are interested in being a part of the community that can help shape the final device with their feedback and opinions.

ultimately it depends on how you think you're going to use it, and in that way it's no different than any other piece of technology. I'm not going to buy a tablet unless i know that i can get something from it that i won't otherwise get with an important enough amount of frequency. For many years i thought i would never get one, but i'm starting to find that with teaching marching band, both mark and i want to move away from printing out scores and drill charts and move towards having all of that available via tablet. Glass was an unusual product for me to decide to buy in some sense because i didn't exactly know what i was getting into, but i at least had a vision of how i could use it, what i wanted to get out of it. i haven't regretted it because i do think it's positives are very strong, it continues to show great potential. I also, oddly enough, haven't regretted it *because* i don't use it often, because i don't think that using it on a daily basis really fits my lifestyle, and if i opted to go that route, i would be a different person than i want to be, one where the technology defines me rather than being a tool that i use, and i never want to be defined by the technology i use or wear.

okay. scatterbrained entry over.

Comments

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derien
Feb. 27th, 2014 10:37 am (UTC)
in general i try my best to be as unextraordinary as possible so that i can help emphasize the extraordinariness of the people around me.

What a nice sentiment. I need to meditate on this.
lifeofmendel
Feb. 27th, 2014 11:48 am (UTC)
:)

because it resonates with you so much, i feel the need to expand on it.

there are a lot of people in my life that think that i am an amazing person. students, former students, peers, close friends, loves. i don't really see myself as amazing exactly, but i do acknowledge that i can be a strong influencing force on both individuals and groups of people (albeit in the context of the small slice of the world that i live in). i don't acknowledge it for egotistical purposes, i acknowledge it because to deny it is irresponsible. it's like a kid holding a shotgun and not understanding what it means to pull the trigger and not understanding why there's blood everywhere on that person that they just shot or why they don't answer anymore if i call their name.

i have Power, and with great power comes etc. etc. there's a lot of ways in which i could use that power and talent i have for my own ends, and i've slowly learned that that's not always a bad thing, but a majority of the time i get the most happiness out of bringing happiness in others, out of finding ways to make people happy about themselves, and to show everyone - particularly themselves - that they are extraordinary people.

fundamentally this is what drives my entire life. that even if i am extraordinary, any acknowledgement of that is something that i'm going to deflect off of myself and on to others. it's much less important to put that in the forefront as it is to use it in a way that puts others in the forefront. i'm content enough with my life that i don't feel the need to prove my worth to myself or anyone else. but i love how i can bring such joy to people by helping them become the best versions of themselves or at the very least see that the best versions of themselves is amazing, something that they tend to downplay or neglect.

i may be amazing, but so is everyone. i truly believe that, that it can just take the right sort of trigger to bring that out, and to me, it's always a worthwhile endeavor to contribute to finding that trigger.

boy, i've been rambling a lot when i write these days. i need an editor. :)
belenen
Feb. 27th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
this was really cool to read about ;-)
lifeofmendel
Mar. 2nd, 2014 05:20 am (UTC)
glad you liked it. :)
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