30 Days with Google Glass

Google Glass Prescription Shield

Google Glass Jerad HillGoogle Glass has became much more useful to me since I had a custom prescription shield made. Now that I can wear Google Glass with out having to strap them to my Ray-Ban glasses, they are more functional and easy to use. This became very apparent to me this weekend when I took my family to the snow. I wore Glass which allowed me to take photos and video of my kids with out having to use a hand to hold a camera or smartphone. As a Professional Photographer who wants to capture everything, it is hard for me to put the camera down and enjoy my kids with out a lens in front of my face. In the future, when features such as crop and zoom come into play on Glass, it will become a very cool tool for capturing daily life and sharing it on the web.

Google Glass still has a lot of bugs that I have been experiencing. To date, here are the issues I am currently experiencing that are a source of frustration when using Glass.

  • Disconnecting from Bluetooth: I am not yet 100% sure that this is a Google Glass issue or an issue with my Google Nexus 5, however I am constantly having to either restart my phone to get Glass to reconnect or restore Glass to it’s factory default settings to get it to connect.
  • Locked out of Wifi Connections: A couple of times each week I have to remove Wifi connections from Glass and set them up again to connect. This typically happens at my office or home where I spend most of my time.
  • Photo and Video Backup: It is not entirely convenient to share photos and video from Glass. You have to speak your post out loud and you don’t really want to do that in public settings, especially when you should not be talking. You have to wait until Glass feels like uploading the images or video to your Google+ which will make them available to share through your phone. There should be an option to upload it and then post it from your phone. What I do now is post an image with no description, then edit the post in Google+ or Facebook. The issue with that is that many will see the image before I get to add the description.
  • Wonky GPS: This could be the Nexus 5, but GPS is a little weird and will bump around at times. When using the Strava app to track a run, GPS went crazy and logged a 3.28 second mile. Looking at the trail map logged by Strava, I could see the issue and why Strava thought I covered that much ground. My Nexus 5 does not seem to have this problem by itself as I have logged many runs in the same area with out Google Glass.
  • Content Feed/Timeline: Though there are few apps that you can have add content to your display feed, I find the process in which you view it not very useful. Hopefully Google will make it easier to customize the feed. There is also no way to hide items you want to remove from that feed. Of course you can remove the feed altogether but there is no way to dismiss notifications. I like to clear notifications after I have seen them. Maybe it’s OCD…

I have been getting the question, “Is it worth it,” a lot lately. It is hard for me to answer that question. At first I would say, “well I am an early adopter and I like where it is going.” Now I feel like giving people a little bit more of an explanation. I don’t want somebody to shell out the money for Glass if they are not going to have a good experience. I thought it would be best to list the top features that I find make Glass useful for me.

  1. Photography: Glass allows me to take photos and videos with out the use of my hands. Of course you can do this with GoPro style action cameras but they still require some form of touch to turn them on and use them. Google Glass is a completely hands free solution. It allows me to stay connected with what is going on in front of me instead of putting something between me and my experiences. This has been great with my kids as I mentioned above.
  2. Phone & SMS: I have enjoyed having a bluetooth device in my ear at all times. Perhaps because it did nothing other than let me talk during calls. Google Glass allows me to make, answer and respond to calls and text messages completely hands free. If I had to touch a bluetooth ear piece or the phone to answer a call, I might as well just use the phone and forgo having a device stuck in my ear all day. With Glass, it is hands-free and so much more.
  3. GPS Navigation: Though I have not yet used it much, I love having turn-by-turn navigation in Google Glass. I never use the built in navigation in my truck because it is out of date. I use my phone, but it is a distraction as it is hard to place conveniently in my vehicle so I can still access it for calls and view it for navigation directions. With Google Glass, I can leave my phone in the center console charging.
  4. Search: It is nice having search built in, especially music search. Though you can easily do most of this from your phone, being able to initiate search through Glass makes it more convenient and faster.

Having now shared that, would I purchase Google Glass again if I had to do it all over again? Yes. I would purchase Glass because I love being on the bleeding edge of technology and trying new things. Am I used to paying for the experience, not always, but in this case Google Glass is so unique and new, I wanted to experience it.

I would find Google Glass even more useful if I lived in a bigger city. I am from Modesto, CA and know this area pretty well. In the near future I hope to have some out of town trips that will allow me to use Glass in a whole new way.

Ultimately, the true killer feature of Google Glass for me, is getting my phone out of my hands so I can experience life with available eyes and hands that are not fixed to a device. I see some form of Google Glass being as common as the Smartphone in the next 5 years. Google Glass makes being connected less intrusive to your daily organic experiences. That is the true value and why I love it.

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