A few people have asked me how it’s going with Glass. Â So here’s a Â report (and there is a story about barcodes – hang on, it’s at the end). Â The pictures are all #throughglass.
I did get the turn by turn directions working and used them on a route I knew in a low traffic time. Â Less distracting than using the iPhone Google Maps and looking down all of the time, Â but I think there may need to a be a mode you can drop Glass into that says “Turn by turn directions and camera only – no other interruptions” to avoid the temptation to look up at Glass very often while driving. Â I don’t really want texts or email shoved in my face while I’m driving. So better than a phone, but still with a distraction factor. Â The safest map to use in the car is the built in one in the dash, except that it’s wholly out of date after 6 years and updates cost more than a new phone. Â So I’m not doing them. Â Shouldn’t our cars be as configurable as our phones? But that’s a side-issue….
I FINALLY figured out the send problem (Glass kept saying it had sent things but they never arrived anywhere). Â I tried reconfiguring EVERYTHING for HOURS and was about to throw Glass through the window. Â I even broke down and sent a note to Google support which didn’t get answered. Â So I went back in last night and dutifully searched the Glass support and finally found a thread that was useful. Â Apparently when Glass sets up a contact, it defaults to send everything to a Hangout. Â WTF? Â I didn’t even know you could send things to a hangout. Â I’ve only used hangouts a few times (Skype is far more pervasive – it crosses OS ecosystems). Â I still have no idea how you get something that was sent to a hangout if you aren’t IN a hangout. Maybe this is the result of being in my fifties and trying new things. Â I was reading my friend Stepto’s book, “A Microsoft Life,” Â and he talked about a condition he called the “Redmond Reality Distortion Field” where developers live in an artificially techno world and think everyone else does, too. Â I suspect Google developers use hangouts like the rest of us use phones or email. Â This also reminds me of my first iPod, where it took me hours to figure out how to change the volume. Â Maybe I’m just slow.
1. Â For the things Glass is good at (Taking pictures, turn by turn directions, fast replies to simple emails, simple Google searches) it’s awesome.
2. Â I remain convinced the big deal is being hands-free. Â The possible and useful applications are mind-boggling.
3. There actually aren’t many places in today’s society to wear Glass in company. Â It’s more of a separator than a uniter. Â Meetings and meals become about Glass, which is just silly. Â That may change over time – it’s early and most people I know are seeing Glass for the first time when they see me wearing it.
4. Â I still can’t wink with my right eye.
5. Nancy Kress was right. Â We need to be able to name our Glass. Â Walking around repeating the mantra “Ok Glass” gets pretty stupid sounding after a while. Â I Â really want to say, “OK Thor,” or “OK Minerva” or even, “OK Dad.”
6. Â There is a warning about Lasik that I found buried in the support menus. Â I have no idea how seriously to take the warning. Â Hasn’t 50% of the population or so had Lasik by now? I have – like a decade a go. Â All it says is that the flap on the cornea never heals so Glass is more dangerous for wearers who have had Lasik. How much more dangerous? Â Do I have to worry about the dogs pulling me over while walking, about tripping, about daily stuff? Â Or just about getting a face full of airbag? Â If I wear the clear shades, does that provide adequate protection? Â No real information seems to be easily available on the web.
And now on to the barcode story….I was driving into work, contemplating whether or not to keep Glass. Â It’s cool tech and I like having it, but it utility is pretty low for me other than ego-boost of having it. Â There’s some utility, and a lot of fun, but is it more useful than the new computer I would buy with the money if I turn my Glass in? Â Remember I work the equivalent of two and a half jobs or so, and thus adding a thing that takes time to troubleshoot and play with is not irrelevant, and spending $1500 to leave something in a drawer is just plain stupid. Â And the Lasik warning is a little scary. Â Glass is NOT worth losing my vision over. Don’t take this as me not liking Glass – I like it a lot. Â But there are reasons for me to question it. Â So I go in to get my morning latte at LLadro, and they have a questions of the day up. Â “What was the first use of the barcode?”
I have no idea. Â I guess inventory, although I’m sure I’m wrong. Â But it’s worth a free cup of coffee. Â The barrista says, “No. Â It was railroad cars. Â And you know? Â People hated them. Â The guy who invented bar codes said they would be all over everything, and no one believed him. I guess that’s how it is with new technology.”
I suspect that’s how it will be with Glass.
Note that I checked the Barrista’s story, and I found that trains did in fact sport the first bar-code like identifiers.