My First Hand Experience of Google Glass

21 May 2013

I was one of 700 lucky enough to be invited to attend this years Google Atmosphere London which was held this afternoon (21/05/2013) at The Brewery.

The event was aimed at enterprise customers and covered Google Apps for Business, Maps, Compute, and Search Appliance. The main theme was around big thinking and how some of these Google services aim to contribute towards enabling a suitable environments for such thinking.

The event was full of examples from both Google and their customers. The Acado story presented by, Technology Director was particularly interesting and inspiring.

I had the opportunity to speak to a couple of Googlers including Site Reliability Engineer John Looney and play with a few gadgets such as the Chromebook Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S4. However the highlight would have to be getting to try out the Google Glass!

I’m not going to do a full review, just a little on my experience and my thoughts on it’s future.

I’d heard that it was like having a 20” screen in front of you, therefore understandably I had expectations of a submersive experience. The reality was far from it. The projection is around 2cm by 1cm and for me quite blurry. Others said it was quite clear for them. The voice control worked pretty well, however I’m personally not a big fan of voice control. I think it’s a bit weird talking to a device that can’t interact with you intelligently. The touch control on the arm was easy to master and worked well. Audio through bone vibration was neat.

“OK, Glass. Take photo” to take a photo. “OK, Glass. Record video” to record a video. Followed by a couple of taps on the side of the Glass to share or delete. Other attendees tried similar commands for search and maps. Seems to work pretty well.

Although exciting my experience wasn’t mind blowing. There are several reasons for this including the likes of Google setting my expectations high. However I think is an amazing advance in technology. It’s so small and light for what it does. It is a platform just like a smart phone. It took these technologies several years to become ubiquitous. Further, their real value was only realised when combined with several other technologies and models.

It’s pretty obvious the same is true with Google Glass. It has bags of potential applications and the coming months and years will see this potential released by third party companies and developers when they start getting creative. I’m sure there are already many early adopter projects out there.

I am a great believer that the more connected we are the better our life can be. We are connect via our devices and the interfaces of these devices are ultimately a limiting factor to the quality of this experience. Google Glass takes us one step closer to the ultimate seamless interface we see in science fiction and dream of. Well at least I do!

Personal blog by Janaka Abeywardhana. Thoughts on topics other than Software Engineering and Product Management. All of that is over at [janaka.dev](janaka.dev) by Janaka Abeywardhana. On Github, Twitter, and Instagram

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