If you were to say that some people are excited about the release of Google Glass, you would be making the understatement of the century. Despite our growing anticipation, there are only a few walking among us who have been able to try these marvels of technology out for themselves. Project Glass was created as a way for Google to work out bugs prior to Glasses release sometime in 2014. Among those people, Robert Scoble of Rackspace.
Mr. Scoble has just completed his two week review of the product. Scoble published his feelings about the tech on Google+ on April 27. Let’s just say he’s a little excited about them. So much so that he says, “I will never live a day of my life from now on without it.” He’s what one might call an early adopter of the technology. To prove this, Robert wore his glasses in the shower, and apparently they still work fine.
So what about the Glass has him so excited? In his review, Scoble explains that it is a fairly seamless way to live socially while retaining the ability to interact with technology. Scoble was able to take pictures with ease, no more having to take out your phone and open an app or even press a button. He also addressed the ongoing privacy concerns that some seem have concerning Glass. Scoble found that really, when people were able to see and use the technology for themselves, their privacy concerns quickly dissipated. One guy was so comfortable he even asked Scoble if he could use it in the bathroom.
That’s important, because while much has been said about the privacy concerns, there’s been little actual substance to them. There will be obvious challenges and quirks to using a wearable computer on your face. Even Google Chairman Eric Schmidt admits that, at times, Google Glass can be weird or inappropriate. For instance, using Google Glass in the bathroom or in a changing room would fall into the inappropriate category. That doesn’t really differ from the social rules we have over using our cell phones in the same locations. It’s a fairly widely accepted social more to not use something equipped with a camera where others are getting undressed.
Schmidt recognizes that speaking commands into the open will take some getting used to. That’s again, no different than any other new technology. When the iPhone was introduced people had the same privacy concerns. The same questions about how it would be used in public or how it would change our interactions were asked. These concerns are inevitable, especially when we have nothing else to do but wait and speculate. The glasses are not expected to hit the wider market until 2014.
Scoble noted that much of the success of Glass will have to do with its price point. He said that the majority of people would be willing to pay $200 for the product, fewer seemed to be willing to pay $500 in an impromptu Q&A session he had. Though, it’s pretty unlikely that a price of $500 would do much to damage the success of this product. If nothing else, people would be willing to pay that much just to say they own a pair. This technology is just that important, that significant, and that groundbreaking. People will fight, clamor, and pay whatever is necessary to get a piece of what they believe is the future in their hands.
Robert says, “This has changed my life. I will never live a day without it on.”
The enormity of that statement should not be downplayed. That means despite the odd look of the product, the still somewhat clunky tech operating it, Scoble has been so transformed by Glass that he never wants to take them off.
Release date: Although Google Glass Explorers have begun receiving their pairs of the device, the general public release is not expected until later, perhaps end of 2013 or possibly even 2014.