This morning Barcinno had the opportunity to test drive the future as the new Google Glass Explorer made it’s Barcelona debut at the Mobile World Centre in Plaça Catalunya. The highly anticipated Google Glass Project is currently only available to software developers in the United States. While Google is aiming for a December 2013 public launch date, for proprietary reasons, they have yet to share the Glass experience with the rest of the world.
Despite the long wait, Project Glass has hardly been a secret. The first leaks appeared over 2 years ago and since February 2013, when US developers first got their hands on them, Google Glass videos have exploded across the web. It was even promoted through the viral Google contest #IfIHadGlass. But in the case that you have been lost at sea for the last 2 years and Barcinno is the first website you checked since being rescued, here’s how Glass works:
Just as it would be for any tech junkie, the experience of testing out Google Glass was a thrill. The Explorer is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to wear. The main problem is starting a new action after completing a web search or video capture. You’re ready to move on, but Glass is still toggling through your previous command. However, the technology is undeniable. It will take some time for people to adapt (aka: avoid looking like a self-absorbed douche who can’t have a normal conversation), however, as the user experience improves, I believe Google Glass will become an ubiquitous, game-changing technology.
The packaging is similar to what you bring home when you buy a new iPad. A clean, white box with only the word “glass” centered in the middle. For Google, not accustomed to launching B2C products, I suppose it’s best to emulate the best.
The press event was hosted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona at their flagship Mobile World Centre space in Plaça Catalunya. All the familiar faces like TV3 and La Vanguardia were present along with some local students and business people. Andreu Ibánez, from Ponent 2002, was on hand to lead the demonstration of Google Glass Explorer and explain the technologies inside. Ponent 2002 is Google’s Lleida-based tech partner for delivering high quality content to the Glass and Liquid Galaxy projects that rely on local teams to input geographic and technological data for the upcoming products to work effectively.
The experience was not without it’s hiccups, as Glass sometimes got stuck on a certain word or “misheard” the direction it was given. For example, when Andreu said, “Okay Glass, get directions to Sagrada Familia,” Glass produced a Google Search for Family Guy. I guess Peter Griffin and Gaudi are somehow related in the beta version.
Although the presentation was mostly in Catalan, this guiri had his chance to shine when they passed out the toys. Since Google Glass only takes commands in English, the only native speaker in the room was suddenly a hot commodity.
What are your thoughts on Google Glass? Is society ready for a wearable technology revolution or will smartphones prevail and keep Google Glass on the fringe for a few more years?