In today’s blog, Jack Wetson, a member of our Technical Support team offers his views and predictions via a Q&A session, after trialling Google Glass for one week.
Q: What was your first impression of Google Glass on the first wear?
A: At first, disappointed. I’d hyped myself up into expecting a ‘Terminator-like’ experience with a crystal clear fully immersive overlay screen. What I was presented with was a device that felt clunky with an ‘off-view’ viewfinder which took some getting used to.
Q: Did your initial impression change – and if so how?
A: Absolutely! When you accept the fact this is just the first release of Google Glass, you really start to appreciate the ingenuity that has lead the device to where it is today, as well as the incredible potential that the device has for the future.
Q: How easy was the set up process/integration with Android devices etc.? Is it compatible with Apple devices?
A: Google Glass can work partially without being tethered (via Bluetooth) to a device. However its functions are limited, for example something as simple as connecting to a Wi-Fi point has to be done via a tethered device, but once it’s done it is remembered for future use. On both Android and iOS it’s a simple as downloading the MyGlass app and following the instructions. Once paired with a device, some of the functions of Google Glass become seamless; taking a photo with Google Glass becomes almost immediately available on the paired device.
Q: What were your thoughts on the available apps?
A: Unfortunately a bit limited, but the key thing to remember is that this is more of a developer release designed to give the tech to innovative companies who will help drive the product forward and, vitally, to inspire and promote creativity. Some fantastic projects have already started as a result of this release.
A: At present Google Glass is ideal for enthusiasts. More importantly, businesses that can see the potential in this device can start programming more complicated apps for the device, helping to drive development in a product which has huge potential!
Q: What apps do you think could/should be developed to make Google Glass more useful? What would you like to see?
A: It’s very difficult to say at the moment, with the hardware somewhat lacking (such as the quality of the screen display) I personally think there should be a greater focus from Google on the hardware side. On a personal level, more social interaction would be good.
Q: How do you think this could be incorporated into business use?
A: Some businesses have already done so. Virgin airlines are currently trialling the devices; Upper Class passengers step out of their chauffeured limousine at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 and are greeted by name, whilst Virgin Atlantic staff wearing the technology will start the check-in process. At the same time, staff will be able to update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information. During the four week pilot scheme, the benefits to consumers and the business will be evaluated ahead of a potential wider roll-out in the future.
Q: Is it value for money?
A: This really depends on how you look at it. If you were to buy Google Glass expecting it to be a fully-fledged, streamlined, immersive, wearable technology, with the device starting at £1000 you may feel you’ve paid significantly over the odds. However, in terms of being able to get your hands on an early technology with massive scope for the future, then yes, it is definitely value for money!
Q: In your opinion, what does the next year/future hold for Google Glass?
A: Better hardware and better software is the future for Google Glass. Later versions are already looking at being trialled for America and due to hit the UK some time later. I think a ‘consumer-friendly’ version of Google Glass is still a long way off. Some of the technology needed for this, although much of it may be invented, is nowhere near small enough to fit within Google Glass. Businesses driving both software and hardware to the device will be critical for its future. Competition is already on the horizon; Apple has had patents in place since 2012 for a similar device. With Google Glass now out in both the US and the UK, it will be interesting to see what Apple does next.
Have you tried Google Glass yet? If so, what did you think?
Catherine Howe is a Marketing Executive at Total Ltd – a business to business service provider, delivering genuine solutions across all core telecommunication services, based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Total Ltd is a business that brings together and unifies all the component parts. For up to the minute business telecommunications news, please view the Total Ltd blog.