Google Glass: Too Early. Maybe Ever?

Monday, January 27th, 2014 by kylebickoff

Google Glass. Google Glass… I find myself torn (not literally) at every attempt to use GG. Of course, I look ridiculous wearing them, I can’t really use them without putting in contact lenses (which approaches the feeling of putting sandpaper on your eyes in a place of such low humidity as we have in Colorado, my rooted Android version of ICS won’t sync with the phone (I suspect I shouldn’t expect that Google might permit this), and I must create a Google+ account to sync my Glass to my phone—which is necessary to do anything remotely productive with it… This part scares me. The information conglomerate known as Google might lie more at the source of it, which again, I knew coming into to this. My nightmares are not set on the sidewalks of Her, with identical masses talking to their technology devices, navigating them through the world, falling in love. Rather, my nightmares are of a world in which we cannot interact with our technologies without first syncing to the cloud, agreeing to ransom off our personal information and all recorded metadata, and all the while looking pretty ridiculous. Our devices should not lock themselves down until they receive this information. We should have control over our devices, not the reverse. In typical Google fashion, there is no micro-SD expansion for memory on the pair either…

I think the specs in the device are solid—at least as dated IT OMAP 4430 SoC processors go—but this can be easily remedied. I think the tile-based interface on Android 4.04 (ICS) for Glass is user friendly and intuitive. I think flash heavy pages remain almost unnavigable on glass, and for this and other reasons, a significant amount of the web remains highly burdensome to navigate. Thus, the user must for now download various apps that have been developed thus far for Glass—there are some boring ones such as facebook, or some pretty cool one’s functioning as “The WolframAlpha of Glass,” or a live “bitcoin ticker app.” But HTML5, allowing support for better access to content from a variety of contents and browsers, remains decent on Glass and represents a space for improvement in the future. As more sites begin to adopt HTML5 and platform compatibility grows (and disparity grows from the still quickly growing mobile market), the web access across a multiplicity of devices will continue to improve. Glass, of course, is part of this. What I will reiterate is that Glass’s web navigation is decent, but built for a web of the future. The system is still a bit buggy, froze multiple times on me, and had the short battery life interrupt me other times. I see potential for Glass. At the same time, I hope the future of wearable technology and these new devices will not follow this black-boxing that both Google and Apple are wont to employ. Moreover, I hope that conscious consumers (and literally highly conspicuous consumers) might similarly note this and voice their concern vocally or through their spending power. In Glass I see potential—I am not afraid of seeing text and letters fly through my vision constantly, in fact, I’m maybe a little bit excited for the right tech company to do it.

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4 comments on “Google Glass: Too Early. Maybe Ever?

  1. willminor2 says:

    I don’t know how you felt about it, but I thought ‘Her’ was actually a really sympathetic take on technology gone out of control. I found this to be refreshing after the oppressive doom and gloom of 24/7, not to mention countless overblown techno-dystopias I’ve read or seen over the years (*cough* James Cameron *cough*). It was post-humanism that showed the limits of just how ‘post’ we can be. Even if Crary’s hyper ventitaling proves to be justified, ‘Her’ envisions a world where we’ll never lose our ability to sleep, love, or feel a non-commodified connection with another being.

  2. Lori Emerson says:

    nice review of GG Kyle – I completely agree with you that it’s alarming how imbedded GG is with Google Plus and cloud computing…the very apparatus that makes possible surveillance. I wonder, though, about your observation about GG’s intuitive and user-friendly interface – what exactly does this mean and to what extent does intuitive and user-friendly work perfectly with cloud computing? Just some things to think about.

  3. […] itself ever more forcefully” he analyses human interactions suggesting ecologies. As new tools, google glass [1], the IMAX, informational datasets, and so on, become more and more part of the digital […]

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