I was one of thousands of people to receive the next round of invitations for Google Glass. And responded immediately to the email invites that Google sent out with a code to acquire the device. The big draw for me was the “exclusivity” and being part of a niche user group to be considered a “Glass Explorer” and test out this new piece of technology.
Initially I was completely sure I wanted the device. I had spoken with a couple of people whom I knew in the tech industry for some feedback on what they thought I should do? Some were hesitant in expressing a complete answer. Although it never dawned on me just how long I had before the invite would expire in order to take part of the program.
I swayed the options for a few and within the hour of receiving the invite I took a jump and made the purchase of $1500 for the unit and $250+ for an additional set of frames that would fit prescription lenses that I would need. That’s over in excess of $1800. I just started to imagine a number of possibilities involving the use of this product and was psyched about what I would get to do with it.
However I really began to feel buyers remorse the next following day. Here’s the thing, I never EVER make really huge purchases like this without at least thinking about it for a couple of days. And to ask myself these questions, is it a necessity? …can I live without it? Even the first generation iPhone I purchased took me a lot of time to cave into the idea of acquiring.
It was really out of my character to invest that much on a product that is still in a beta test program. Now mind you I am unemployed without any real debt at this moment of time and certainly do have the capital to make such a purchase. But I really came down to earth after seeing how much of a purchase I made on a device I just do not need right now. Taking the time to read about the reviews from other people and what others had to say about the first phase of the program was really an eye opener and to some degree I agree with most of their thoughts.
rememberlenny.com – I Returned My Google Glass After 30 Days
internetevolution.com – Why I’m Returning Google Glass
davidchristian.co – Why I’m Returning Google Glass
digitaltrends.com – A Google Author’s Description of Glass
These would be a great product to use I think in most circumstances however the one thing I would be uneasy with would be the social implications that it comes with. It would be something I would most likely play with at home or if I were to attend a tech meetup where a majority of people already know about this product and what its function is. However if I considered wearing these out in my day-to-day activities I would be inviting myself to a lot of attention from people. I am not sure if I could handle the social situation of strangers staring at me with curiosity. Who would either respond in a positive way by asking questions about the device or in a negative situation in which they would avoid me outright or the possibility of getting violent in nature thinking that I am secretly recording them.
…and looking like a cyborg might be somewhere on the list as well. Or worse get this new fan-dangled gadget stolen.
The reason for why I returned Google Glass before it could even be delivered to me pass my doorstep, is that I cannot justify such an expensive technology purchase due to how unsure it would further benefit my life. Even with the 30-day return policy Google provides with the device. I understand that being a Google “Glass Explorer” as its name implies is to do just that, figure out how the other half of society could benefit from its use by being in its program. And think of software designs that could enhance its capabilities.
Once this product is out in the wild a lot more and is available to the consumer market masses (with hopefully a lower price tag) then I just might rethink it. Being a Google ambassador to such new bleeding edge technology is of great responsibility. It is just not for me right now. Once it is accepted by the general public more, then I think I could rejoin in on the fun with the rest of society.
However there seems to be some really great articles coming out about Google Glass and its application use in other industries:
Massachusetts Police Officers Are Trying Out Google Glass
NYPD Testing Out Google Glass
Could Google Glass be used to predict disease outbreaks?
A pretty amusing article I came across discussed how even the Walkman was considered an obtrusive looking thing.
Where people really that skeptical of the Walkmen?
…Olsson is pretty relaxed when the weirdness of Glass comes up — it’s obviously the most common question she has to face when talking about the product. “It’s interesting to see the parallels with headphones,” she says. “The fact that people walk around with these huge headphones is kind of crazy, in a way. But now you don’t think about it as technology, you think about it as something that delivers music to you.”
As a kid from the 80s I NEVER thought that either devices were strange. In fact I thought it was rather cool and never knew there was any fuss about it. My father had one which might have been the first one in my household which I pretty much stole from him inevitably when not in use to listen to my own tapes.
But if your are interested in becoming a “Glass Explorer” then by all means go here and apply – http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one/?source=learnmore