Monday, September 30, 2013

Just a quick update to share a local news station, Fox Carolina, and the story they did on me being a Glass Explorer. I will share the interview clip tomorrow when it becomes available!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Strolling Around Manhattan With Google Glass

I had to go to New York City last week for business but I was able to mix a little pleasure in there. I grabbed my Google Glass to document my adventures in the city.

I don't know if those who have Glass have had the same experiences as I have had out and about with them. Either people whisper, "She has Google Glass", or they'll just come right up to you and ask about it. I love people who do that. I like to talk to anyone who will talk back. Further, I like to see the excitement on people's faces when they try Glass on for the first time.

My experiences with people approaching me about my Glass happened immediately upon entering the airport here in Greenville, SC. I had two Marines who were about to ship out asking to try them on. They were really excited and we talked about how Google Glass could change their jobs for the better. I'm sure you all have a few of these photos; the ones where you're telling someone how to take a picture. Here is one of those:

This is in Charlotte. I was delayed by 3 hours. There was a Federal Marshall who was intrigued with Glass.

This was on the ferry from Liberty Island to Manhattan. A group of men were talking about Google Glass and didn't notice I had them on. A friend overheard their conversation and I walked over to share with them. :) They were amazed. (No, I was not about to go all Mike Tyson on him although it looks like I have my dukes up).

I loved having Google Glass while I walked around in NY. I was able to still see where I was going while getting some nice footage. Below is a short video at the 9/11 Memorial.

I love the clarity of the video and the audio is not bad at all. The only little thing I noted is how after I scale the Freedom Tower and go back down to the water, there's a short blackout with Glass as it adjusts to the light.

On a side note, and the most important point, I really was moved at my time spent here. I had been to New York shortly after 9/11. In fact, it was still smoldering and recovery was still well underway. I came back later on when the cleanup was over and it was just a an empty space and it was almost hard to picture such horror taking place there. But, I could feel the weight in my heart. I could see the images that played over and over on the news. I could see the faces of those who lost their lives and the faces full of grief from those left behind.

I went here last week with a friend who had a very beautiful way of explaining how they felt when they visited the memorial. If you stand right beside the edge, you can feel a rising of air. It clearly feels as if the air calmly floats up. It's almost, in a poetic way, as if the souls are rising. Rising above the horror and the terror of that fateful day. The explanation of that from my friend gave me cold chills and peace as I looked at the countless names of people I never met, but grieved for.

The reminder that, even in times of great loss and sorrow, life goes on, is the new Freedom Tower. It's symbolic to me in that it's like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Anytime this tower was in my view, I stopped to look.

I went to Central Park, an oasis in the city. The green reminded me of home. If you've ever been there, you know that it's a nice break from the concrete jungle just outside the borders of the trees. There's also some beautiful spots to take photos. I snapped a few with Glass while there.

I love how the texture of the rock is captured in this shot as well as the clarity of everything in the photo.

This may be my favorite Central Park photo I took. You see the trees that line the city and you see the buildings towering over, reminding you that you're in the middle of Manhattan.

I also took an afternoon to go visit the Statue of Liberty. I took a video of the view:

And, a photo!

My time in New York went by way too fast for my liking, but all good trips have to end at some point. I loaded my luggage into a taxi and told him to take me to LaGuardia. I got a few shots of NY on my way out.

Overall, having Glass with me really enhanced the post-trip reminiscing a fantastic long weekend in the greatest city in America (besides Greenville). I got the shots I could have gotten with my phone or camera, but would have missed the view in doing so. This is my major love affair with Google Glass. The hands-free option has me sold completely. Battery life is still leaving much to be desired for me and I hope a software update in the future will solve that problem. And, off topic, I lost my Glass charger when I changed rooms at my hotel. Any micro-USB works and I have had no problem charging until I can get a replacement.

I am really excited to take Google Glass to Disney World when I take my three kids in the hopefully not so distant future! Capturing their faces as they roam a place they love will be priceless.

Goodbye, New York. See you soon!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Camera On Google Glass: The Good And Bad.

I've been overall very impressed with the photo quality of Google Glass. In the right light, the photo is, in my opinion, comparable to photos taken with my Nikon. The colors are rich and the textures are captured nicely.

This is where I use Google Glass the most. I take lots of photos and videos of my kids. Yesterday, we went on a hike and I brought Glass along.

It was cool to be able to walk around with three kids in tow and film our little adventure. I have a 2-year-old, so she needs a hand on her at all times. I couldn't have done that with a phone in my hand recording and still get the shot I wanted. The convenience of Glass was awesome. I took a few videos along the way:

The one issue I see with Glass is that where there is direct sunlight on the subject, there's almost a glow that comes off of them and the colors wash out. I know this isn't a problem unique to Glass. I wish there were something in Glass that could adjust to extreme brightness and even out the sunlight. If you watch the video, you will almost see a glow coming off of my son's bright yellow shirt. While it's nothing that ruins the video, it lessens the quality of the video for me. There is a shimmer of light coming off of him. It reminded me of how the vampires in 'Twilight' glow in the sun. (Yes, I took my niece to see the movie. No, I didn't enjoy it).

I also wonder if the glowing issue was just the scene - we're in a darker area of the woods with a burst of light coming in directly where my kids were standing? I've taken other outdoor videos that have been just fine, as you can see below:

Another thought I had yesterday was how it would be cool for Glass to have something in the actual glass part that is like the Transition lenses. As you go out into the light, it dims. I know we have the Maui Jim clip-on sunglass frames, but I didn't want to use those since it was darker in places we were in the woods. I don't know if having something like this built in would work, but it's a thought. I have found that the screen is hard to see in bright sunlight or bright rooms. If I do not have my frames on, I find myself holding a hand up in front of Glass to better see. Below is a photo of how Transition glasses work.

On another subject, I still cannot tether Glass to my Samsung Galaxy S4. I had to go buy a portable internet device to connect and am paying a monthly fee for 5G of data. I still fully believe that, when they're released publicly, they need to be stand-alone. I don't think many people will necessarily want to eat into their phone data plan to connect Glass. I am lucky enough to have unlimited monthly data, but a lot of people do not.   

I am very excited that Google has announced a stand-alone Glass App Store. Mashable: Google Glass To Have App Store  This is a great thing for Glass and reinerates the stand alone aspect of Google Glass. The fact that you may not have to depend on your phone for anything will make Glass more marketable. I wouldn't want to buy a product that only does a portion of what I need it to do. I don't want to have to drag my phone out of my purse to use and app that Glass doesn't support. I'm excited to get a peek at the app store once Googles rolls that out. I do think that gaming will be quite difficult on Glass, so I'll be interested to see if Google develops games unique to Glass.

I am excited to see the development of Glass before it "goes live".  The cool thing is that, as a Glass Explorer, we get to watch the evolution of a revolutionary product. I do know that the final version of Google Glass will probably be much different than the ones we have now. The nice thing about this blog is the interaction I get on Google + with other Explorers and how they often times confirm my opinions or even share tips and tricks to solve problems I may be having. There's a lot of changes that need to happen before it is ready for prime time, but I know Google will release a stellar product in the end! 

Keep on keeping on, Glassmates! 


Some say that their Glass does dim in the sunlight. Mine does not. I wonder if this is a flaw in my Glass? I'll have them checked out when I am in NY next week!