Monday, July 8, 2013

Getting Glass

It was like Christmas morning in July. On July 5th, I hopped on a plane to head to New York City to pick up my Google Glasses. I decided to do this in a day trip as I didn't want to be away from my kids overnight. The flight up was beautiful. I sat next to a cute couple who were half drunk and hilarious. After about an hour-and-a-half, I saw this:

Flying into Laguardia

After getting off the airplane, I made my way to the taxi lines. I caught a cab from LaGuardia to Chelsea Market. The cab fare was around $35 and took approximately 15-20 minutes. I was about an hour early for my appointment so I walked in the Chelsea Market and had lunch. You will find plenty to keep you occupied in the Market if you're early. There are plenty of food options at reasonable prices and places to sit and wait. Google told me I was free to wait there in the waiting room on the 8th floor, but I was starving! 
Cab from Laguardia to Google - $35

Chelsea Market
My appointment was at 1:00, so I made my way back up to the 8th floor at around 12:45. They checked my ID and gave me my cool little "Glass Guest" card. No, you don't get to keep it.

Glass sign in the waiting room

Waiting for my appointment
After about 5 minutes, my guy came and got me. The first thing we did was go look at the color options. They look different in person and you can change your color selection there. They allow you to try them all on. After that, you're taken to your table while you wait for your box to be brought to you. A very nice lady offered me a beverage; beer, wine, soda, etc. The box came and the fitter told me to open it. They really want you to unbox it. The packaging is very sleek and contemporary. I removed my Glass and we were in business.

After a very quick setup, which includes you entering in your Google account into their laptop computer, your Glasses are ready to be put on and instructions on how to use them begin. It was kind of overwhelming at first, as it is when you get anything new. I thought, "I'll never remember half of this". However, after 5 minutes, it was smooth sailing. I had the issue, and still do, of getting the right fit. My screen always looks tilted. Obviously, my ears are not symmetrical, as most people's aren't. We worked on that for about 10 minutes. 

I was impressed with the My Glass web app. It's very clean and straight forward. After a quick instruction of how to use the website, it was time for me to use Glass for the first time. I was taken to the platform to get a nice snapshot of the city. You've all seen the same picture a bunch of times I am sure, but here it is again for good measure. 

Obligatory 1st photo

Me with my Glass

Before I knew it my appointment was over with. I thanked everyone and left. I got about 2 blocks down the road and initiated a hangout with friends. I was not tethered. I tried everything. I called AT&T and they verified that tethering was enabled on my phone, (Samsung Galaxy S 4). I returned to Google to troubleshoot. We worked for 30 minutes to try and get my phone to tether. No dice. The nice  man and woman at Google did something that got me connected inside. They were working so fast that I wasn't able to keep up with what they were doing. I am an iPhone user and Android is still very foreign to me. All I know is that they went through the usual steps and had no luck to get my phone to tether to my Glass. Again, when I left the building, I lost that connection. I still cannot tether when I am out and about. I plan to call Glass today to further troubleshoot. Any suggestions would be welcome, so please comment if you think you have an idea that may work.

I had a few hours before I needed to be at the airport so I decided to go to Times Square to get my kids something from the Disney Store. All I can say is that when you're out with Glass, people stop you about every 5 steps. I took more photos with tourists that I can count. The interest level was through the roof. Some knew what it was and some didn't. I spent a lot of my extra time in the city interacting with people. I ran over to Yankee Stadium briefly since I bleed Yankee blue. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the airport. After talking to lots of people in the terminal about my Glasses, it was time to board and bid adieu to the greatest city in the world (besides Greenville, SC).

So, I've had Glass for a few days now. Here are my observations:

- From a tech standpoint, these are really cool. The screen resolution is much better than I anticipated. The voice controls are spot on for the most part. The response time is amazing.

- I am still getting used to the look. I think they look cool but I have had a few family members remark how they look, "silly". This will be a non-issue once they hit the mass market. It'll become commonplace to see people wearing them.

- The battery drains quickly if you take videos. The Glass also heats up a bit. Hopefully a fix will come to extend battery life in the future.

What I'd like to see with Google Glass:

- Better social media integration. While I love Google +, I use Facebook often. Right now, the extent of using Facebook with Glass is sharing a photo. I would love to see the ability to share video as well. In addition, getting Facebook notifications and being able to see your timeline would be awesome. I think this will be crucial in selling this to the public. 

- I can't wait for more Apps to become available. I would love to see a good weather app that goes beyond the visual forecast. Let me see radar that's based on my location. This would be awesome when you're out and about and it looks like a storm could come up. 

- I have two email accounts. One is Gmail and one is iCloud. I would like the option to check email from other accounts as well. The ability to compose emails is greatly needed. 

- Eventually offer Glass with LTE. Since I have had non-stop problems tethering, I would love to see Glass have its own independent internet access. 

I totally understand that these are essentially prototypes. The Glass that eventually goes on the market will be completely different than the ones we have now. I am excited to be a part of the process. So far, the experience has been fun and interesting. We'll see what the future holds. I am most looking forward to testing new apps and see how Glass can grow from these. There's so much potential there. 

Until next time, keep exploring! I am planning to do a daily blog with photos & videos documenting my experiences as a busy mom of 3 with Google Glass! 

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