“Ok Glass, write this down for me…”
By: Suhail Bhandari
Not since 1997, when Harry Potter first came out of his cupboard, have I heard such a rumpus over a pair of glasses! But this time, we’re talking actual magic. The kind of medical magic, where doctors don’t have to waste time sifting through tons of records in order to diagnose a symptom — or the murder-mystery kind, which drastically increases the chances of a detective tracking down a serial killer — or, for that matter, even the miraculous kind, which makes a blind man see.
Yet sadly, when it comes down to it, this is what 7 out of 10 people think of Google Glass.
An End to Privacy
Really? Really?? How many of us continue to use Gmail, knowing full-well that each e-mail we send or receive is being read, scanned, and then offered back to us via an eerie personalized ad? Or how many of us continue to upload pictures of ourselves to Facebook and Instagram, adding to a massive facial-recognition database that we have no control over. Or how many of us continue to walk down a street, pinging our exact location to every server within a 10 mile radius, simply because it’s “it’s too much effort to turn off Wi-Fi detect.”
The answer is, most of us. But the truth is, all of us. That privacy-ship set sail a long time ago.
And no, Glass isn’t on all the time, and doesn’t record everything you say or do. (But if you’re still paranoid, look out for a bright red light located above the camera.)
It Looks Ugly
Sure they’re ‘bulky,’ ‘plasticky,’ and quite ‘constrained’ when it comes to color – but despite it all, people seem to love their Warby Parkers!
In its current, early version, Google Glass may have been referred to as ‘the scarlet letter of technology.’ But quick to change that, and in true Google ‘dominate-the-market’ fashion, their partnership with Luxottica might very well be the “biggest step yet into the emerging smart-eyewear market.” According to reports, the first smart glasses by Luxottica for Google Glass will go on sale in 2015 and be offered with brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley.
What Does It Do?
We’ve all seen the videos. “Ok glass, take a picture;” “now, e-mail it to John Smith;” “oh, remind me to call him this evening at 6pm,” and then some about videos, maps, and messaging.
But again, it’s more about the potential.
Google Glass is a first of its kind product, with a major company to back it. Quite like when the first iPhone launched in 2007, with its pre-installed apps and novel touchscreen. It had the same ‘worth it or just hype?’ question surrounding it. Owning Google Glass is like owning the first TV on the block. No one has seen it in person before and everyone wants to come over and try it out. Though, still more fun than functional right now, it has the promise of becoming the next big thing.
How Do I Get One?
So, according to Mashable and Scotty Kowall, Google is planning on opening up a store right here in NYC, within purposeful proximity to the Apple Store in SoHo. With any luck, it’ll be across the street from Warby Parker, making it rather convenient for Google Glass buyers with prescriptions!
For the time being, the glasses are “BUY invite only.” Pretty much like when you first signed up for Gmail. The only difference being this time there’s a $1,500 acceptance fee! So, if you’ve been paying attention to anything I’ve just said and have the money to spare, their next guest list will be out April 15th, and you can sign up right here – Google Glass Registration.
So stop thinking of it as a fashion faux pas, or having to give up your privacy, and start thinking of it as the future, right there, sitting on your very nose.
P.S. If you want to try on Google Glass for free, stop by the Seidenberg School at 163 William Street on April 16th at 6:30pm. They’re having a small workshop that will teach you how to use them, let you play around with a few apps, and even introduce you to some of the guys that helped make Glass possible. See you there!