Even though Google Glass won’t be broadly available to the public until 2014, the product has already received lack luster reviews from those who Google has allowed to test the product. As with any new product, Google Glass demands users to adjust to the product’s operating system. However, even Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said he finds the Google Glass experience “a little weird”. Several other users have similarly voiced their complaints about the Google Glass experience.
One user, Mike Butcher of TechCrunch, described the experience as exceptionally odd. He found that staring straight into clear space despite that he felt as though he was wearing glasses left him feeling confused. He also complained of the unnatural eye movement required to focus on the display screen that hovers just above and to the right of the user’s line of sight. His friend, who wears contact lenses, also tried Google Glass for only ten minutes only to find himself with a raging headache from the extra focusing effort required to use the Google Glass features. Butcher ultimately suggests that Google Glass may need to be customized to each individual. This upgrade in product services may add to Google Glass’s already expensive price.
Google Glass operates via voice recognition and thus requires the user to speak commands in order to operate its applications and access its features. After trying Google Glass for himself, Schmidt admitted speaking to the product is “the weirdest thing”. He warns that using Google Glass may be inappropriate at times and will require the development of new terms of etiquette regarding products that inconspicuously take pictures and video and display information that only the wearer can see.
Butcher experienced the same awkwardness when operating Google Glass. He points out that the use of voice commands makes it impossible for the wearer to use the product discreetly in everyday life. Because of this, Butcher fears the Google Glass will struggle to become socially appropriate. He can only see the product being used effectively when one must complete a task that requires both hands to be free. For example, builders and manufactures could do their hands on work while using Google Glass to display their work plans and drawings. He also predicted that Google Glass may be used similarly to a GoPro Camera because it allows the wearer to film activities that require complete free movement of the body like skiing. Perhaps Google Glass will be most beneficial to the polic and other security officers. Ultimately Butcher compares Google Glass to the Segway: “hyped as a game changer but ultimately used by warehouse workers and mall cops.”
Do you think Google Glass will ever become socially acceptable or will it only be used in specific situations? In what sort of situation could you see yourself using Google Glass? Is the product over hyped? Do you think Google Glass will be a passing fad for techies?