Not sure what to make of this statement. The design is beautiful, but I don't see why that would be an artifact of mass-production. The early prototypes for Glass were much sexier in terms of build integrity (optics, for example) than the current mass-produced models. One of the big challenges, in fact, was lowering expenses for mass-producibility. However, yes, the design is wonderfully intelligent. You'll notice some optical tricks when you look at Glass. For example, you'll see as if the frame takes up a portion of the sides, but in reality, there is circuitry hidden behind it--by looking at it you'd never know :)
The interface is not intuitive. It is actually very difficult to use the first time, for seemingly no reason. ... I would have expected more design attention to have been spent on interacting with the software.
I really feel this is a non-issue. Yes, you don't know how to use it when you first get it, but after a few instructions from a friend, I navigated the entire interface just fine for about an hour without needing additional help. Mostly, I just had to learn about the well-disguised touchpad. I've used a lot of silly software and hardware, and Glass is not one of them. It's a new product class, and it's going to have a new interface.
Glass doesn't communicate with you very much, and when it does, it doesn't use audio. It makes heavy use of the screen when possible. When navigating Glass, you can rarely speak selections. The only way to fully navigate the interface is to use the touchpad by holding your hand up near your face.
Navigation is definitely an issue. However, the Glass team planned on external devices being used to navigate Glass. Once Thalmic's MYO is fully operational, I don't think navigation will be much of a problem.
The battery life is dreadful. After ten minutes of use, the battery level reported went down by at least 8%. The owner told me that it would probably last about two hours with constant use. (This is hopefully a temporary handicap that will be improved in the future, but I find it hard to consider even this level of battery life good enough for a device that is sold.)
This is supposed to be fixed. Especially if you use video recording, the battery will drain really quickly. The idea by final product, is to have it last about 12 hours with passive use (kind of like a cell phone).
For geeks, probably not. For normals? It's a pretty big deal. Normals weren't entirely convinced by the mouse. They learned it. Sort of. But many never even grokked the whole 'click vs double-click vs right-click' thing.
And the mouse was at least a fairly consistently-behaved indirect pointing device. Tapping and swiping an inconsistent, indirect touch surface, particularly after having learned direct-manipulation touch-screens, is not going to go over well.
Keep in mind that to make a Glass-style wearable make sense to a casual user, it has to be more efficient than simply taking out their cell phone. And for people whom HUDs are a natural advantage, it needs to be efficiently usable without requiring that person's hands being used.
So seemingly minor annoyances can add up quickly to a determination of "not worth it". You've probably got about a half-second of grace before people go back to their phone.
> "Once Thalmic's MYO is fully operational, I don't think navigation will be much of a problem."
Hand navigation might be easier, but the social problems will get massively amplified. Nodding/tapping/talking is 'weird' enough. Throw in some finger/hand/arm movements and this thing's never leaving the den of specialized technologists.
And requiring hand gestures can kill usefulness for those (hands-full) people that most naturally benefit from a HUD.
To me, Glass is looking more and more like Microsoft's stab at tablets. It's an early attempt that's going to make a class of specialized users very happy. But it's not going to be in casual use on trains, in coffee shops, etc. It's supposed efficiency gains are largely hamstrung by interactivity problems that are just annoying enough to send most users back to the alternative tools.
The real test for Google, is whether they address these problems or pretend they don't exist -- as Microsoft did -- until someone else comes along and eats their lunch with a far more modest solution.
I expect high quality from hand produced jewelry, art, etc. Knowing nothing else, I wouldn't expect high build quality and beauty from handmade consumer electronics. I assumed the OP was just saying that it doesn't look like a prototype or hack.