Google shows off its little wearable computer to the public this weekend. Go online, RSVP, try it on, and tell us what you think. We're not sure if we looked like our future selves or just dorks. We're fine with it either way.
There's always hesitation to embrace something new. Large swaths of people resisted – and still resist – cell-phones and social media. There's nothing wrong with a little skepticism, especially these days when e-privacy is making headlines. Enter Google Glass, the computer that you not only take with you like a cell phone, but actually wear like a pair of glasses with a tiny screen built in to augment your vision. The easiest way to describe it is a less obtrusive smartphone. How can something right in front of your face be less obtrusive? Well, the trick is that Glass is not meant to be on all the time. It's meant for short bursts of usefulness. Get walking or driving directions. Search the Web quickly with a voice command. Taking pictures involves two quick voice commands or a simple press of a button. Just look at what you want captured, take the pic, and share to one or all of your social networks. Framing shots can be a little difficult, but the quickness will appeal to some.
One of the early adopters admitted the main problem with wearing Google Glass in public is the assumption that it is always recording. Since the screen lights up if it's turned on, there's an argument to be made that it's easier to clandestinely record with a smartphone than with Glass.
The main complaint against Google these days is that in their attempt to capture a bigger and bigger cross-section of the Internet, they've become a little pushy. Yes, I want a Gmail account, but please don't bug me about Google+. Sure, we want to watch videos on YouTube (owned by Google), but must we link our email to our YouTube account? Glass prides itself on being unobtrusive. If you take a quick pic, instead of asking you what you want to do next, the system just shuts off. Google Glass' Communications Manager Anna Richardson White describes the philosophy of "Get what you want and get out." This felt oddly refreshing, and is hopefully something Google (and other companies, *cough* Apple *cough*) will take to heart with its other products and services.
People wanting to give Glass a spin must RSVP online and choose a time slot. The event takes place this weekend, Saturday & Sunday, Dec. 14 & 15, 10am-6pm both days at Brazos Hall (204 E. Fourth). If you have $1,500 to burn, you can join the Glass Explorer Program and get one before they're released to the public some time next year.
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