Monday, November 18, 2013

Google Debuts New 'Google Glass' to Detroit

Posted By on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Google gave Detroiters a first glance at their new Google Glass product at a preview event held at MOCAD on Saturday and Sunday. Touted as a minimally-invasive alternative to modern cell-phone devices, Google Glass shows promise in completely revolutionizing the way we alienate each other and watch cat videos all day.

Worn as eyewear, Google Glass doesn't actually cover your eyes completely. A screen is viewed by looking through a small clear block over your right eye. The visualizer does not dominate your whole view; from the viewer's perspective it appears as if it is a projection from 8 feet away and is easy to ignore if you need to by swiveling the block. The device is largely hands-free, relying mostly on voice commands and a bone conduction speaker similar to what scuba divers use. Say "ok glass..." to bring up a list of options; Glass can search Google, take a photo or video, or give you directions. You can also ask it questions, too: similar to Apple's Siri, asking "Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?" is interpreted as a request for a weather report. You do have to tap the side panel for some commands, such as waking the device up or scrolling through options.

Google Glass boasts a simplistic interface, but there is a learning curve, even for the tech-savvy Millenials who lined up to try out the device. And discretion – the whole idea behind the product – sort of goes out the window when you have a room full of people wearing Google Glass trying to speak "ok glass..." over each other. I found myself retreating to a corner to avoid the voice interference from my fellow man. Nerds beware: Google Glass can't be worn with existing glasses, so you'll have to get contacts or Lasik. It also doesn't look particularly cool, and currently only comes in fun colors like Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton, and Sky. Shale? Shale. There's no firm release date, but Google says to expect the product to drop at some point in 2014. It should make a great accessory for the guy who wears a Bluetooth earpiece all the time as a status symbol. A member of the public tries out Google Glass.

Anyone in interested in getting their hands on Google Glass before the general public can apply to be a Google Explorer: if selected you can get Glass for $1,500 and offering Google your product feedback.


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