Jun 13, 2013

Google Glass: Creepy or Useful?

Google Glass is eyeglasses that allow you to connect with friends through social networks, make phone calls, surf the Internet and do a myriad of other amazing, helpful things just with your voice. It gives a second-screen experience, popping up all the information you would usually see on your cellphone or computer screen right before your eyes. It may appear scary at first, as you will literally be connected to your technology and almost unable to avoid seeing a message or an update.

TV and Glass

Google is revolutionizing the media industry by connecting Glass and Google TV using a Wi-Fi connection. Viewers will be able to see a second screen with data, according to Forbes, Twitter comments, ad integration and more. With the new opportunities Google Glass gives to TV broadcasting, it wouldn’t be surprising to see new packages in additions to ones like HD or premium channels. A basic subscription runs about $30 per month, according to Direct TV, but sports and other live shows that offer feeds from Glass-wearers could become an option. Glass will use personal experiences from the day to suggest what TV programs to watch at night. Ads could be tailored to the viewer, as opposed to having to sit through various ads that aren't applicable to your lifestyle.

How D​o I Look?

However, there are a number of different aspects to Google Glass that have to be taken into account by both Google and the general public before we truly know how the new technology will effect the consumer. For one, there’s the aesthetic quality that is already being mocked on various blogs and tumblrs, like the hilarious White Men Wearing Google Glass. Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen poked fun at Glass during Weekend Update, making the concept awkward and ridiculous. Though the SNL sketch places Glass in a poor light, the comedy star tried the real product with tech blog Engadget and looks much more impressed by the official tech compared to his character on SNL (though he still had trouble wearing them with his glasses).

Google is a step ahead of SNL and Mr. Armisen's qualms with Glass and normal eyeglasses. It's working with eyeglass manufacturer Warby Parker to design more attractive frames for the technology. This will also allow them to serve millions of people with prescription glasses needs.

Nothing is perfect when it's first created — think first generation iPod, brick cellphone and computers that take up an entire room. Currently Google Glass is comparable to Bluetooth devices, pocket protectors and cases for cellphones on people’s belts, according to FactCompany.com. In other words, not cool looking. Google will undoubtedly pump hundreds of millions of dollars, if not more, into this image issue to keep it from effecting their plan with Google Glass and most people will respond — assuming the technology wows them as it should.

Durability and Price

Can Google Glass be made into something that is both affordable for the general public (in the range of an iPhone) and not break easily, so that Google won’t have to cover every problem that arises with the product. Like any physical device that is ever sold, this will not fully be known until the glasses hit the marketplace—much like iPhones were notorious for breaking when they were dropped from even low heights for their first few generations. In other words, we won’t really know if Google Glass will be a success until we are all each using it ourselves.

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