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Google Glass - If I Had Glass (google.com)
251 points by GvS on Feb 20, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 192 comments

Two thoughts:

1) Google is obviously terrified that being seen wearing Glasses will brand you as terribly nerdy. (Compare the 'gargoyle' stigma in /Snow Crash/.) So to control the early perceptions they're doing a heavily-publicised early release to some carefully-selected mobile-phone-company-commercial beautiful people. The ideal candidate will be taking photos for /National Geographic/ while cave-diving for her Rhodes Scholarship. She will also be rather attractive, and not a wearer of prescription glasses. (Compare http://www.stevenlevy.com/index.php/05/08/the-sophie-choice . Courting Steven Levy seems to have turned out pretty poorly for Google, eh?)

2) Glasses looks very promising, but isn't it a bit of a stretch to call what it does Augmented Reality? AR more or less implies a HUD, or some other means of superimposing CGI on what you see of the real world. But the http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-it-feels/ video seems to suggest that instead Glasses takes a "picture-in-picture" approach, and the screen's transparency seems to serve mainly to make it feel less oppressive, and to minimise the amount it obstructs your vision when the whole screen is not in use. Goggles http://www.google.ie/mobile/goggles/ is more of a true AR system. (I'm not suggesting this is a bad decision: in light of the current problems with head-tracking http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/abrash/raster-scan-displays-m... and precise geolocation it seems like a good one.)

I disagree that people will be branded as 'nerdy' or like 'gargoyle's in snow-crash. I think they'll be seen more like the people who always have a bluetooth headset on their ear (i.e. douchey).

I'm convinced that perceived nerdiness is a hazard for Google. I will accept that perceived douchiness is another one. I'm sure that the marketers are standing by to reject any application that even faintly suggests that you might use the Glasses to photoblog your dinner.

I think I disagree.. The rise of the "brogrammer" is proof that nerd culture is not only on the rise, but actually revered as the new "cool".

Look at television for example.. Asthon Kutcher is the highest paid actor on TV, and he basically stars as himself on Two and a Half men. Ashton is a product evangelist + angel investor. He makes nerds look awesome

Another example from (popular culture/TV) is Big Bang Theory. "Toward the end of its run, Friends was topping out around 20 million viewers, meaning Big Bang is now standing shoulder-to-shoulder with one of network TV's biggest and longest comedy successes."[1]

Movies like The Social Network + jOBS will further push the perceived nerdiness for Google into a good thing, not a negative thing. Our culture is shifting.

[1]- http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/01/big-ban...

It hasn't shifted that far. Geek culture itself is still considered "uncool", even in silicon valley. When popular culture uses the term "Geek" they really mean "Hipster." It's the aesthetics that are considered cool, not the substance.

The shift you're perceiving is this: people with geeky hobbies and professions are now allowed the opportunity to be cool. That wasn't an option before the dot com boom. Thanks to the mass amounts of wealth and resources geeks have generated, we've been allowed a seat at the table, provided we behave ourselves. IE: no segways, no VR goggles, no LARP.

That distinction is exactly why Google is taking the tactic they are - they want the glass associated more with Apple and less with Segway.

Ashton may have some nerd cred, but I promise you that your girlfriend/wife/whatever does not see him as a nerd.

The new "nerd chic" is real enough, but there's still a line most people are not comfortable crossing, and not respectful of others crossing, and I think Google is in danger of finding Glasses to be on the other side of that line. Even if that isn't actually the case, I think it's fairly clear that Google fears it could be, and the company is trying its best to prevent that.

This guy qualifies for gargoyle in my book. http://eyetap.blogspot.com/2012/07/physical-assault-by-mcdon...

So the first thought which came to your mind after going through the Glass site is how Google is terrified about the appearance of people in those glasses!

You said nothing about the tremendous opportunity this brings in terms of making your lives easier by providing you with the right information at the right time, by recording the key moments of your life easily, by augmenting your vision/view of the world with tons of fact based data etc.

And what you saw was how bad this looks. Some people are hard to satisfy..

The benefits aren't worth it if I can't wear it without feeling like a tool.

This is the first iteration for god's sake. I am sure there will be multiple models of this and you can choose which one to pick and use.

edit: grammar

thera are multiple models of bluetooth headests. Doesn't help the slighttest. For Google glasses it will be 1000x so.

> AR more or less implies a HUD, or some other means of superimposing CGI on what you see of the real world.

I realize that not having grown up on Snow Crash makes me a bit of an outsider to this, but... yeah, I have no idea what makes you think this is a requirement. My conception of AR actually looks more like Tony Stark's holographic interactable blueprints in Avengers, rather than his inside-the-suit HUD which I just consider... a HUD, and not very interesting.

UPDATE: Actually, I've just come across this Steven Levy article in Wired that illustrates the perception challenge nicely. http://www.wired.com/business/2012/04/epicenter-google-glass... On the LEFT: how Google wants you to think of Glasses. On the RIGHT: how you think of Glasses. And again: this was a Wired article, by Steven Levy.

If the market is only people who think it'd be cool to look like a Star Trek character, that is still a pretty big market.

So, the AR happens in the picture-in-picture instead of the main screen. I think that still counts as AR?

In Korea and Japan, people wear glasses to look cool, and they are cheap. People who don't need glasses either just wear glasses with either no-prescription or no lenses. It's not nerdy. It's cool. Think jewelry. Not utility.

Add a chat/texting app and give it to teenagers and it will be instantly considered "cool".

Every time I see Google Glass I think "Oh, cool" and then I realize that what I want/need in everyday life is de-augmented reality (i.e. just vanilla reality). I've already got devices buzzing etc. to get my attention for "important thing".

The argument for things like Glass is that they will make the merging of reality and technology seamless which could have great advantages. I fear, however, that it just means I'll have a thing right in front of my face asking for my attention.

The $1B idea with Google Glass is not the technology of putting it in front of your eyes etc., it's figuring out the software that filters down what's shown to the stuff you actually want/need. I don't think we've done that successfully in other domains yet.

I see these things as a natural progression. The Internet is so important that we are becoming connected tighter with each revolultion.

When I first started using the Internet, it was using an unreliable 56k on a large desktop. I had to visit one spot in my house to connect.

After this, I got my first laptop. This was great because now I can connect any where in my house. By that time, I had broadband do always on, faster and way more reliable.

Fast forward again and I got my first smart phone. Now I can connect pretty much anywhere (given a decent signal) just by pulling my phone out of my pocket.

Google Glass means I won't have to pull it out of my pocket anymore. Now my life will be constantly enhanced at every moment by great hackers, just like it has been enhanced in increasing amounts since I first touched the Internet.

Where "enhanced" == abusive apps that rely on dopamine hits and fear of missing out to spur traction?

No, I cannot say my life has been enhanced by those types of applications.

I'm talking stuff we take for granted like email, the web, word processing. These things have enhanced my life. The web alone opens a whole library of information and I am actually thankful because without it I'd know only a fraction of what I currently know.

Similar revolutions will happen and I fully believe something like Google Glass will be the medium.

Just as a thought, look at everything you use computers for now and think what it'd be like if they wasn't there? Even the most basic tasks should be considered.

I also think people will be much more strict when it comes to picking "apps" for a device like Glass, or at least more strict with permissions.

Just from personal experience the more capable something is of interrupting me the more selective I am with privileges.

While I can barely tolerate ads and always go for the ad-free version of an app when possible, I would mandate precisely zero ads for such a device to register as worthwhile on my radar.

Google Glass means I won't have to pull it out of my pocket anymore. Now my life will be constantly enhanced at every moment by great hackers, just like it has been enhanced in increasing amounts since I first touched the Internet.

Try this for enhancement: shut everything off and talk to a human being, be it the local bagel shop owner or a homeless person. If I had to bet your life isn't being enhanced, it's being drained away, app by app. How many coffee cup pics must one post online? It gets boring after a while, and, imo, it's a sign of depression and a feeling of inferiority.

I've lived my entire sentient life with a cable or faster Internet connection. I spend virtually all of my time that is not spent going out with friends, eating lunch with colleagues, or having alone time with my partner on my laptop, Xbox, or Nexus S. I am, seemingly, what you fear.

I cannot think of a single reason why it would be more productive for me to talk to a homeless person instead of doing any of the things I do on computing devices on a daily basis. I don't think you can name any, beyond straw men like "you're wasting your time looking at pictures of coffee cups on the Internet." Because my life is constantly mediated by technology, I can tell you with very good precision that of the 8,760 hours in 2011, I only wasted 939 of them (and most of that was playing video games over the summer -- it's arguable that I'm not wasting time by experiencing the story of Mass Effect the same way I wouldn't be wasting my time experiencing the story of The Hunger Games, but books are more high status, so I'll give myself incentive to prefer them over video games).

If uploading pictures of coffee cups to the Internet is what you do with most of your time on computers, I feel genuinely sorry for you, and I hope that you can find a better hobby. I don't think that talking to random people you run into during your day is that hobby, though. Have you tried this app ShuffleMyLife? It might give you better things to do outdoors than try to start conversations with shopkeepers.

I can tell you with very good precision that of the 8,760 hours in 2011, I only wasted 939 of them

That's pretty good for a robot but you can still improve.

As for me, I am a normal person, I don't need to track every freaking minute of my life or be "connected" to a million devices at any moment.

The intuitive response to this is an angry rant about the definition of normality and your mandate to define it. Despite your derogatory, I empathise with your sentiment. I don't believe that recording every aspect of your life, or being integrated with the Internet will make me a happier person.

What I am really looking forwards to, is being able to lean back and read or watch video's without having to hold anything, or sit in a big room designed for the purpose.

Is the sense of superiority you feel towards tedks worth more than that?

If you aren't dead by 30, you're grossly abnormal in comparison to most humans throughout history.

The "abnormal" aspects of modernity are the most valuable parts of it. If you feel dehumanized by technology, maybe you need to reconsider what humanity means to you, and whether it's a worthy goal.

> Every time I see Google Glass I think...

... do I really want fragments of my life to be recorded by total strangers and then shared with God knows who? I really don't.

It's a cool tech, but its social implications are far from being trivial and benign.

> It's a cool tech, but its social implications are far from being trivial and benign.

Is there any cool tech that doesn't have difficult social implications?

So I take it you never go outside? CCTV is already omnipresent. I'm not saying I agree with it, just that there are larger surveillance battles to be fought.

Most CCTV cameras are private and not monitored. You install them and have them record on a loop - old data is automatically erased to make room for new data. When something bad happens (an accident, a robbery, etc) recording is stopped and the existing data is handed over to relevant parties.

This is far less problematic than an omnipresent, monitored, shared, catalogued and indexed in perpetuity, video system.

Don't substitute the issue.

There are no CCTVs at workplace, at the parties and in the subway carriages. And no CCTVs are sharing out to the public. And, no, they are not "omnipresent".

Since you live in the UK[1], I would guess CCTV would be everywhere. However, not every country is covered with CCTV (yet). That will probably change in the future though.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-circuit_television#Uses


You only need to look at Google Play's lack of privacy to realise they see the user as a consuming resource.

At least Apple treats you more like the owner of your purchase, rather than something to drive ads with data.

You mean like the government, every single day of your life?

I agree, far from trivial and benign.

Maybe for you, but the trend is to become increasingly more connected. People can still choose not to use their phone 16 hours a day, and yet they do it anyway.

It does seem to rely heavily on picking at low hanging fruit. Flight times are important if you are in an airport, but its hardly life changing. My hunch is that it will be made by a hundred thousand small niche uses rather than a single billion dollar idea. This could be completely transcendent, and maybe needs to be to cut through the sensible aversion to this kind of tech.

I think the biggest application for Glasses is hands-free, head-up, relatively inconspicuous outdoor on-foot turn-by-turn navigation. That is the nearest thing you can get on-foot to the pleasure of in-car turn-by-turn navigation, with no need to walk around holding a mobile phone screen in front of your face. (The same kind of navigation indoors would be almost as wonderfully useful - especially for finding your way to the bloody airport departure gate! - but I assume that neither airport interiors nor v1 Google Glasses are ready to provide that today.) Combine that with the secondary application of convenient, hands-free, heads-up, relatively inconspicuous first-person photo and video recording and I think you have two pretty attractive and non-niche uses for Glasses to add to the long tail of more specialised applications. I'd say that the things most likely to hold back Glasses are price, privacy concerns (the wearer's and others'), possible social stigma, and fear of being mugged.

(You could do a decent poor-man's approximation to Glasses' turn-by-turn navigation if you had a Bluetooth handset that did head tracking and the right software for your smartphone: you'd have the audio navigation directions in your ear, plus a turn-by-turn map display on the phone screen to glance at when you wanted to. I haven't heard of any such system though.)

Flight times at the airport are a great example. I don't need to know the time of my flight, but I do need to know if it's been delayed or if the gate changes. I don't need to know those things I already know them in some other way.

But the flight example could work just as well or better with text messages from the airline. Your example is just a more annoying way of displaying notifications.

I was about to disagree with you, but I realized the real problem I wanted to address was the importance of context.

Text messages from an airline aren't great because by default they have the same "ding" as random jokes and "hey what's up." messages.

But Google Glasses could easily start having the exact same problem.

We need software to be trained with more intelligent context awareness — hey, Nathaniel put his phone on silent, but he is at the airport and here is a notification about a delayed flight, so the phone should vibrate a little bit to make sure he sees it.

We're getting better at this, as an industry: I walk into the Apple Store, it asks me to check into my genius appointment. If I walk into the movie theater, my phone pulls up my ticket as a QR code. But we still have a long way to go, and I think it's a far more interesting and important problem than whether the information shows up on my glasses or my phone.

Absolutely agree. Perhaps what is lacking is an effective feedback loop. When Google Display an incorrect search listing it is obvious based on user click patterns and can be factored into the algorithm. If Google don't tell you that your train is delayed there is no feedback loop.

> I've already got devices buzzing etc. to get my attention for "important thing".

Isn't that the point though? Glass should require far less of your attention than these devices because it eliminates the need to reach into your pocket, pull it out (your device that is), swiping/unlocking, having to look down, needing a free hand or two, etc. Even something as simple as being able to scroll through my email/G+/twitter/IM hands free would be revolutionary for me and make them well worth wearing, as long as there's a gesture or gyroscope or subvocalization input mode of some sort so I don't need to give it constant voice/touch commands. It'd be well worth looking like an idiot nodding every few seconds or whatever.

Humans can walk and talk at the same time. We cannot walk and read at the same time.

We can drive and talk at the same time. We cannot drive and read at the same time.

To me the conclusion is obvious: pervasive wearable computing must talk to us, not show us things, to be useful. More specifically it must talk with us--understand what we want, when we want it, and give it to us.

I agree with you that the hardware is nothing compared to the complexity of the decision-making software. I think it is probably a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity, but it's so hard that no one company will solve it suddenly enough to corner the market.

Uh. What about superimposed maps on roads for example? What about product information just being there when you look at that in the super market (and whether it's cheaper somewhere on the internet). Or its nutrition information/health hazards etc. ! There are thousands of applications of pervasive wearable devices which 'shows us things'.

If you superimpose a map on a road, you can't see the road anymore because the map gets in the way.

You really think so? Which class you are studying in?

If you talk to the members of the Google Glass Team, they actually tell you that the device is not to augment reality at all.

Google Glass augmenting reality was coined by the press.

That should give you an idea where Google is heading with this product.

Just to clarify you are not winning anything free here (still an amazing opportunity though):

"Explorers will each need to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person"

They need people with cash, otherwise their users won't be able to afford all the horses, planes and balloons necessary to enjoy the full Google Glass experience.

You may be right, no one wants their tech demo to be someone standing in line to cash checks.

On the other hand, a shoulder surfing app is a concept unique to Google glasses. ( Since taking out an iPhone is too obvious).

Apparently they're seeking explorers financed by king Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.

Compete for the amazing opportunity to give us $1,500 of your money!

Is the same thing as people trying to buy a Ferrari. Demand vastly exceeds supply so they will have no problem finding people that will think nothing of spending that amount of money. And frankly speaking $1,500 is not a lot of money. If you are poor or stingy I guess it is but at this point in time they are not targeting cheapskates.

I was with you until you mentioned poor/cheapskate. How's life in that bubble of yours?

Broke and programming everyday on a project I'm working on. And with no income for quite some time. I'm down to two sets of pants and some of my clothes have holes. My sneakers certainly have plenty of holes. My office is the local library. Life is great!

Let us know how it turns out!

speak for yourself buddy....$1500 is still a big slice of pie to some of us

> …Is the same thing as people trying to buy a Ferrari. Demand vastly exceeds supply

I think the normal idea under these circumstances is to increase the price until the demand meets the supply.

So they increased it from $0 to $1500. Sounds reasonable.

So, comrade, it costs $0 to produce a Google Glass?

Are you implying that they should have priced it higher? I mean, if we're going to go by "what we paid to produce it" rather than "what people previously paid for it", it should probably start at $10k.

I'm not sure what conversation you're having with yourself. I'm just pointing out that the time-honored capitalist response to demand outstripping supply is raising prices rather than having contests.

Probably not but developing it wasn't free.

I'm starting to think what we really need around here is an English proficiency test.

My bad, only skimmed the comment.

Many people who make millions or billions still pause at paying more than $1 for a cup of coffee.

You don't become a billionaire by wasting your money.

While there's some truth to that, you also don't achieve success by being penny wise and pound foolish, which that kind of thinking often leads to.

Couple that with the cost of getting yourself to one of the required meeting locations...which can easily run somebody as much as the cost of the device. Some of us do live in flyover country. Though that's probably our fault and not Google's ;-).

That cuts out a sizable demographic from "exploring" it.

This is open to everyone, right? So what was the point of signing up for Glass at last year's I/O? The only thing that came out of that were:

1) A hangout that confused everyone involved because nobody was leading it

2) An API training event that had extremely limited places

My block of etched glass appears to stand for very little.

Oh man, I wish I was in the US, I've been raving about glass for a while. I really think it opens up new doors.

One way is combing augmented reality and social networking with Glass. There are a number of cool things that come of this.

One is being able to look at someone also using the Glass app and being presented with their profile, plus options to send messages or view more information. It may even be possible even if they don't have Glass using a combo of geolocation and facial recognition. The most exciting bit is sending a message between two glass users because it'd be pretty much like telepathy.

When the 'internet of thing' comes about, it may even be posdible to control all your various devices without lifting a finger. I could look at my kettle from across the room and flick it on!

There are tonnes of possibilities and I think, especially when it's on a contact lens, it will make what's currently considered magical (telepathy, psychokinesis, etc) a reality, just like the plane removed the magic from human flight.

I think wearable computing opens up many exciting doors and the two thoughts above only scratch the surface of the possibilities I imagine.

In fact, I feel so strongly about ot I'd emigrate to the US just to get my hands on this awesome tech. I need to get onto it ASAP.

You want to send messages to people you see? There is this other cool tech for that, it's called voice.

For a moment I missed the irony and thought this was a real name for a product. I almost got excited.

What about the situations where it's not possible, appropriate or otherwise best kept private?

There's another way to get to Australia other than plane too: walk and swim.

What you see as awesome I see as scaring the @!#@$ out of me. I enjoy being anonymous in crowds. No thanks.

You're not actually anonymous in crowds, because everyone can see your face. It's just that social conventions lead us to not bother one another. They work because we're not anonymous...if I bother you, you can immediately bother me to the same degree.

The ickiness with Google Glass is the asymmetry of information--one person basically stalking another, aided by a networked computer.

At least you'd know they were doing it by the ridiculous electronic glasses they're wearing.

Being anonymous in crowds is going to go, with or without Google Glass.

Finally, my dream of wearing masks in public has a chance of becoming more acceptable!

As stuff like Google Glass becomes more common, I could see there being a reactionary movement of people who want to stay anonymous. The easy solution is to wear masks like in Venice.

Why do your find the idea of turning on your kettle from across the room by looking at it, exciting? It is because it makes you feel like you've gained a new, awesome, magical power? But all you did was turn a kettle on. I wouldn't exactly consider that a "new door".

This device has zero appeal to me. Actually, probably less than zero.

If Google could develop a technology that would clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- _that_ would impress me. I wouldn't even mind so much that it was covered in targeted ads.

EDIT: rephrased first sentence for clarity

> Why do your find the idea of turning on your kettle from across the room by looking at it, exciting?

That use case is exciting because it'd be a phenomenally useful device for the elderly or bedridden. Being able to see who is at the door without having to get up and look through the peephole, then letting them in if you know them; answering the phone without getting up; generally just operating your house's devices without undue movement really would be quite something.

That's true, there are good use cases for it, and similar technologies, in this domain. If the commenter to whom I was replying prefaced their excitement by explaining they were elderly or bedridden, I likely wouldn't have asked that (not-entirely-rhetorical) question -- it would have seemed reasonable to me. From the context I got the impression (possibly mistaken) that they were able-bodied, though.

That's fair enough. Let me put it another way: the thought of turning my kettle on by looking at it isn't that exciting to me. The extended idea of someone turning a kettle or other connected device on, is.

You're missing the fact that the only way to interface with it is by voice. If you want to send a message to another person, you need to speak it out loud. If that person is nearby, it's not really telepathy, it's just talking.

Google glass isn't going to get a bunch of apps or options, because nobody is going to go around saying things like 'ok glass scroll left', 'ok glass install/open instagram', 'ok glass show me his profile'.

Yes, the interface needs to be improved/replaced before what I'm talking about is practical, even if it's so you can whisper rather than speak at normal volume. Personally, I do not think using voice as an interface is the correct way forward with these devices at all.

I haven't many ideas for this, my best guess would be using the eye to control it but then that has many challenges - how would we click?

I wonder how Glass will handle other people randomly shouting out instructions.

I guess what people in the top rungs in society will have in common with those at the bottom is the tendency to randomly shout things.

"Explorers will each need to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles." Interesting. Now we gladly apply for the chance to pay a company $1500 plus tax for a product.

It's not a product yet. It's a development device and it has a lot of interest. Having to pay $1500 for it will mean that the people who apply will be serious about building things for it.

It's like applying and paying for a development kit to a games console, etc.

If it came with a Glass development kit, I would gladly pay a lot more.

Fair enough. Nevertheless, a company like Google could certainly afford to be gracious with developers and let them contribute to the future product's success without making them pay a hefty amount.

There still has to be a barrier to entry, or everybody and their mother would apply, and just leave the glasses sitting around on the table when they got bored with them. The price tag will weed out all but those serious about developing for glass and few peeps with disposable incomes.

Think this in Google's perspective. If developers are begging to take their money, why would they refuse?

I think it's more likely they want to filter for people that are serious about it.

Its a gamble, but if glass actually becomes a thing its the opportunity to be one of the first developers in the market. That's worth $1500

It's not a gamble a sec.

You can flip them at least 10 times the price day one for sure. A lot more if you wait.

People love making collections of expensives things.

I'm guessing that they made a finite number of this version because they'll be making a lot of improvements and new versions in the future. In order to make those improvements they need lots of data about how people use the product. People are more likely to use a product a lot if they paid $1500 for it than if they got it for free.

I'm sure you could eBay it off for a lot more.

I hope I meet someone wearing this. I'll get really close then say "OK Glass, Google porn". Or better yet, "OK Glass, take a picture and send it to everyone"

voice recognition, will not work :P Nice try though!

It'll work just fine with "famous" people. All it takes is enough digital audio. I think newsreader/journalist types will have the worst of it, and unfortunately hype has to flow past them, so there are going to be PR issues.

I could imagine entire soundboards being created to spoof people into viewing internet shock sites, etc.

For example, lets pick on Leo Laporte, because I like him and he's famous in the tech journalism community. He must have thousands of hours, tens of thousands of hours, of digital audio free for use on the net. So all you need is a simple audio editor and an audio player to play the spliced commandline and you can spoof him. So at any time in his long recorded career has Leo ever said the words "girls" and "one" and "two" and "image" and "cup" and "google" and "search"? Well, I think he could be shock site'd pretty well with this technique. Not just shock sites, but rickrolls would be funny too.

This takes some planning ahead, but not much.

If they're smart, they'll pick up the bone vibrations from the wearer. You know how your voice sounds different when you hear it back from a recording? They should be able to detect when the wearer is saying something in the same way you hear yourself when talking.

They're already doing that produce sound. http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-02/04/google-glass-...

for everyone downvoting: It's a joke.

You must be proud of yourself for coming up with such an original joke. You know. One that hasn't been floating around since the first day Glass was even leaked.

I saw someone in a store with those glasses and I had to say I felt a bit weirded out by the thought they could be recording things. Does it indicate to other people if it is recording? These things are going to run into some social issues I think.

That's an interesting reaction.

You're sort of in public. You're just living your everyday life. The person recording doesn't know you; probably has no interest in you. Why is it a problem that they're recording? (Note that I'm not saying you're wrong! Or that you should change your mind!)

Candid photography has provided some fantastic photographs over the years. There's some amazing social commentary. With a bit of luck we'll get something similar (as well as petabytes of junk) from people recording everyday life.

> Why is it a problem that they're recording?

It's a problem because while I don't expect privacy in public, I do expect my presence to be transitory and under my control. The two seconds I spend scratching my arse walking down the street are forgotten by all who saw it instantly, but not if that moment is immortalised in flash memory. When my wife's skirt blows up in an autumn breeze she gets embarrassed, I get amused and the van drivers get titillated. We've all forgotten it minutes later; now some passing pervert with terminator glasses can grab a freeze frame and share her misfortune with the world.

Henri Cartier-Bresson didn't have his camera up to his eye constantly. By the time he'd reacted to her skirt billowing up and readied his camera she'd have yanked it down again.

I feel like someone should invent a directed emp pulse weapon so I can disable these permanently whenever I see them. What a horrible future awaits us. I hope Google glass fails. I realize this is inevitable, but I'm not ready, and neither is my family.

Let's hope they don't have a pacemaker.

Your candid photo is not connected to Google servers which can be doing… well, whatever they please.

This has already been happening for years, though in a more curated/artistic way.

Google up the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Gilden, Daido Moriyama, Garry Winogrand, Nan Goldin, etc.

As a street shooter myself, I've observed that most people's reactions to being photographed is somewhere between ambivalent and happy - the HN crowd's attitudes re: being photographed is decidedly non-mainstream.

Though I'll admit, there is a difference between being photographed with reason (some action, your clothes, your location, whatever), even by a stranger, than being photographed as part of a kitchen-sink recording activity.

> As a street shooter myself, I've observed that most people's reactions to being photographed is somewhere between ambivalent and happy

I never take photos on people on the streets, I'm only interested in taking photos of buildings in my city. Even so, I've been verbally assaulted because of that at least 3 times (apparently it's ok to threaten some skinny dude with beating him up and swearing on his mother if you see him taking photos of dilapidated buildings with his phone).

Yes, I do not live in Silicon Valley nor in any similar cocoon-like area as those advertised in Google's presentation videos, I live in an Eastern European capital city of 2.5 million people, but hey, we're not that big of a market anyway.

I don't live in the Valley either ;) AFAIK NYC is not particularly cocoon-like, nor SF or Toronto where I've also done a lot of shooting.

There are strategies to shooting on the street - you have a tremendous amount of control over how people react to your activities. How you project your presence can be the difference between being bullied and harassed vs. being left alone or even being assisted.

Or to put it more pointedly,

Go look at half the captioned-photo memes on the internet. Not all of them were self-recorded.

The store probably has CCTV cams recording you already...

That's different. The store isn't taking their (low-quality, single perspective) cctv feeds and uploading them to Facebook for others to see.

Its only a matter of time before someone decides to upload videos of people rejecting them at bars with accompanying "woe is me" commentary and resulting subreddit.

Obvious idea: Peril Sensitive Glasses [1] that go opaque at the first sign of danger


(Edit: HN is stripping apostrophe in link - should be Hitchhiker's_Guide)

Wonder if "US only" means you just have to be there for the in-person pickup. Because I am totally willing to do that ...

That said, I wonder how difficult it would be to modify Glass so it mounts on my regular glasses.

Either way, I applied. I won't be picked, but at least I tried :)

No chance unfortunately. Even the IO 2012 signup was only available to US based attendees.

There's regulatory hurdles for them to cover.

Regulatory hurdles schmurdles. If we could get the iPad and iPhone years before they were officially available here, we'll find a way to get Glass too :P

I just finished my first Augmented Reality app, which is rolling out to its intended users as I type, so I'm a bit biased about this .. but personally I think: AR is AMAZING.

I've used the Vuforia SDK, and the ability to track paper with accuracy on the basis of a well-designed customized brand or design layout .. this is fantastic.

So my app is to demonstrate how AR can overlay and track over print, and edit print materials smoothly .. and I'll be damned if it doesn't work just great.

My next app will be for kids to make planes, in fact. Use the iPhone like a Magic Loupe, print out the picture, get a folding guide in 3D. Oops, I guess I gave that idea away for nothin' ..

Without denying that it's "neat", I'd like to be on record as looking askance at the fact that a company that makes >90% of revenue from advertising wants to sell me a tiny screen to put an inch in front of my eye.

Google is sort of on record on doing cool things for mostly-free simply because they're there to be done.

Though Google's a big company, they still have bottom lines to meet. I think the key word in your comment is "mostly", and how much that means to the average Glass user. What you think of as "mostly free" may be preciously expensive to someone else.

Maybe for $X/month you get the experience ad-free. As sad as that type of deal sounds.

US only? :-(

I am so excited for this I hope they get it fitted for people with bad eyesight.

I'm from Israel. Willing to pay for just an opportunity of time slice with Glass.

Have so many ideas about augmented reality that it truly feels like a set back to learn its US only.

the ' and live in the U.S. to apply'

always kills it for me :(

I'm really excited about these. Between this, driverless cars, and Google Fiber, I'd say it is safe to say Google has taken over Apple in innovation.

Maybe, but I never met anybody wearing Google Glass driving (riding?) a driverless car. Real artists ship.

I wonder, when this becomes mainstream, what is going to start happening on the roads? It is already quite dangerous with some drivers texting/talking on their phones while driving. So now they will have yet another thing to look at (other than the road they're on)...

Not saying glass is a bad thing, I think it's really great. Just wonder how (or if) this is going to affect the road safety.

I think google has another project to help there.

I think it could either enhance or diminish road safety. It all comes down to the person using the technology, though.

The sort of person who would use something like Glass to use GPS or a HUD (speedo, tach, clock?) without taking their eyes off of the road will likely be a more safe driver. HUDs have been credited with enhancing aviator safety; this could bring such innovations to the road.

The sort of person who looks for distractions anyway will now be distracted by Glass. I'm not sure if this will constitute new distractions or a new way to consume old ones, though.

Some cars already come with HUDs which are projected onto the windscreen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1s6SZ73i8A

"what is going to start happening on the roads?"

Generally the more crooked the police department, the more violently they react to being filmed in action. Where I live they're fairly lawful so they kinda laugh and/or cooperate (pose for the camera, would your kids like some free baseball cards, etc). On the other hand, there are less civilized places on the coasts where you'll get pretty well beaten and jailed and your camera destroyed if you film corrupt cops, even if by some miracle they're not breaking the law at that moment.

Aside from corruption, this is going to be a pretty big issue for "drive by recording", both sides of every little drunk driving traffic stop and minor fender bender (oh and worse situations too) will probably want your recording data, even if its just a few seconds outta the corner of your eye. Even if its a complete waste of time, if its a high enough crime you'll have the criminal system going bonkers with you in the middle. I could see this affecting road safety in a self censorship manner. Oh no a crash, better not look that way or I'll get dragged into court as a witness for the zillionth time, whoops just crashed into the ambulance that pulled out while I was intentionally not watching the accident.

I've always hoped that the Hitchhikers (Zaphod Beeblebrox) method for initiating an interaction with computers (saying "OK [computer]") would catch on.

The best useful purpose for headmounted displays is lifelogging. A reasonably high definition stream with audio and video of everything you see during a waking day (call it 16 hours) is only about a hundred gigabytes.

There's no reason not to do it, at this point. Imagine if we could go back and look at the lifelogs of historical figures. In order to achieve that, you basically have to archive everyone, since you don't know in advance if an individual is going to be important later in life.

People complain about the panopticon, but I'm interested in the opposite.

You can think of no reason someone wouldn't want to have every waking moment of their life recorded?

Yup, I'm assuming that we're neglecting permissions and privacy issues - imagining that nobody but you could ever access it.

And, of course, the government if it's stored on Google's servers.

I really don't care if these look and feel dorky. How often do you get to participate in using something that looks like the future? I want in.

Just remember the people in the past warned us about the future!

must be a US resident... well thanks google, dont you think that foreigners may also be interested, you are a multi-national organisation that operates on a global scale providing a service to users in almost every country, yet only americans can test your product. It almost guarantees that your test base will be predominantly white, male, educated and middle class anyway.

Multi-national organisation unable to sell Google Nexus 4/10 in Ireland, where they have their European HQ. Like if they cared about multinational, except to reroute taxes...

So... you are entering a competition to win the privilage of spending $1,500. People will sign up for this? Wowser.

It's aimed at developers at the moment ... early access to this technology could give you a small piece of the giant cake that is about to come. Might be worth much more than $1,500.

It's a status symbol, and an awesome toy. I don't think anyone is looking at this as a sound economic decision :)

People spend that much money on leather sacks...

I'm not sure how I would stop myself from rage smashing my Glass the first time an ad popped up at an inappropriate/dangerous time. Glass could be really cool, and it could be really, really stupid too.

There will be apps. Will there be free/ad supported apps? I hope not.

Hey, it looks like you're on Hacker News. Amazon thinks you'll love this book. Do you want me to open this in a new tab in Google Chrome?

If the glass measured pupil dilation it could disable certain functions in times of emergency.

Would probably do an auto 911 after an impact just as a way of making up )).

The main thing that Google Glass makes me think of is the movie "Final Cut" starring Robin Williams : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364343/

I have no idea of the rendering power available in these things, but a kick-ass alternate reality game with things only glass-wearers can see would be a good start.

Can it overlay reality with giant scary monsters?

No, the display is only in the upper right corner of your vision. Not suited for overlaying reality.

Aww, shame. Some of the graphics on their site seemed to suggest it was more central.

Shame only in the US. I want to get these into our UK warehouse.

I think Google really should be running this as a free promotion. A pair of Google Glass (Glasses? Not sure how to pluralize) is worth less than two shares of GOOG, they can afford it. A contest to win a free pair (or two) would really drum up some buzz, I don't understand the strategy of charging for the winner. It's kind of like those contests where you "win" the chance to buy super bowl tickets.

Is it me, or a fundamental flaw in it, is that someone who wears normal glasses, can't wear it? It can't act as a stick to a blind man, can it?

I think it looks better with glasses: https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSQr6-v...

Here is sunglasses on Brin from opposite profile: https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTvbW54...

It looks like its designed to work with any type of lens, some of the pics at http://www.google.com/glass/start/what-it-does/ show it without any lenses at all. Its kind of like a projector that beams onto whatever lens is used, I think.

Check out the "what it does" page towards the bottom under the headline "evolutionary design" it shows a picture of a lens mounted on a pair I assume you could get a prescription lens if you wore glasses.


I normally wear glasses, but would gladly pop in some contacts for this.

Now away from the fun side, this could be a cool gadget for education also. For example imagine guitar lessons filmed using Glass.

true, the tutorial videos would become far more detailed and interactive, than right now.

After all that application process including collecting ideas from people, I was really thinking they'd give a pair of glasses to each of those 'selected candidates' for free. Turned out it's not the case. Would I do all that application process when I'll possibly be able to buy it after some time without that for the same money anyway?

TL;DR: Google's focus on the mass market, social stuff and slick appearance is precisely the wrong path to be going down for a user interface as novel as this.


#ifihadglass i would give you all my ideas for free so you could earn money with it and make me pay for using it

So I have to build up an application so I can get invited to pay $1500 for a device I don't really know what it does and probably don't want?

(oh and I wear glasses so I probably couldn't use it even if I wanted to)

You don't have to do anything.

Cool initiative. Too bad I wear glasses already and don't live in the US.

Someone was spotted last month wearing a Glass with prescription lenses (I'd looked it up 'cos I'd need that too)


Wow. Thanks! I wear glasses to and it's also my concern. But my problem now, my lens are too thick (my grade is high) to be held up by a half frame. I always need a full framed glass. And I think, that one in the picture is just half framed.

Looks like you could replace your frames with this.

Why must I live in the US to apply for each and every hardware beta...

Not trying to justify it but just saying it could be privacy laws in other countries.

I know, lots of extra issues besides the one they already have when they distribute the technology in the US. It still sucks to be excluded.

Was so excited until I read "and live in the U.S. to apply"

Please take off your glasses before entering the restroom.

Would anyone here strap a cell phone to their temples? In voice of Arnold... Its not a tumor. Its a Google glass side effect.

I would. Mobile phones emit and receive non ionising radiation. They are perfectly safe. Are you worried about the constant radio waves hitting your skull 24/7 from radio, tv, wifi etc?

And who is to say this isn't piggy backing off your phone in your pocket?

I bet some people here would attach a Bluetooth headset to their ears.

What about Cochlear Implants?

I wonder why Google felt the need to put this out just before the Playstation 4 announcement today.

I don't think they care about that. Not like the products overlap much.

When I saw the icon I hoped it is a synthesizer because of the sawtooth wave. Too bad.

Seeking Google to at least include Canada :(

The POV porn industry is going to love this.

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