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.)
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."
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just from personal experience the more capable something is of interrupting me the more selective I am with privileges.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
... 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.
Is there any cool tech that doesn't have difficult social implications?
This is far less problematic than an omnipresent, monitored, shared, catalogued and indexed in perpetuity, video system.
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".
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.
I agree, far from trivial and benign.
(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.)
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.
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.
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.
Google Glass augmenting reality was coined by the press.
That should give you an idea where Google is heading with this product.
"Explorers will each need to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person"
I think the normal idea under these circumstances is to increase the price until the demand meets the supply.
You don't become a billionaire by wasting your money.
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.
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.
There's another way to get to Australia other than plane too: walk and swim.
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.
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.
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
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.
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'.
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?
It's like applying and paying for a development kit to a games console, etc.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Go look at half the captioned-photo memes on the internet. Not all of them were self-recorded.
(Edit: HN is stripping apostrophe in link - should be Hitchhiker's_Guide)
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 :)
There's regulatory hurdles for them to cover.
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' ..
I am so excited for this I hope they get it fitted for people with bad eyesight.
Have so many ideas about augmented reality that it truly feels like a set back to learn its US only.
always kills it for me :(
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.
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.
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.
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.
There will be apps. Will there be free/ad supported apps? I hope not.
Would probably do an auto 911 after an impact just as a way of making up )).
Can it overlay reality with giant scary monsters?
Here is sunglasses on Brin from opposite profile:
(oh and I wear glasses so I probably couldn't use it even if I wanted to)
And who is to say this isn't piggy backing off your phone in your pocket?