This blog post was written by Suzanne Morrison, Communications Coordinator at TechAlliance.
By now, many Londoners have heard the buzz around Voices.com CEO David Ciccarelli and his new specs. David is Canada’s first Google Glass Explorer and he has been proudly sporting his hi-tech eyewear all over town.
David is one of 8,000 people who were selected by Google to test the device through Google’s Glass Explorer contest. David’s golden-ticket tweet promised Google he would “do something incredibly entrepreneurial” if he had Google Glass.
So what does “incredibly entrepreneurial” mean?
Well for starters it includes inviting over 200 people into your office to personally give each and every one of them a one-on-one demo. While you’re at it you might bring in a professional photographer to give community members a personal photo take-away to mark the occasion. Recording hours of audio interviews capturing participant’s first experiences and impression of Glass might not be a bad idea either.
What was the end result for this Londoner? In one word – amazement. The child-like look of wonderment on my face in the photo above probably does a better job of summing up my experience than this blog will. The phrase “a photo is worth a thousand words” seems to come to mind right now.
After eagerly and patiently waiting my turn, I stepped up to David and he handed me the one-and-only Google Glass device in Canada. We stood and talked for a few moments as he walked me through some of the device’s features.
The frames are not intrusive and feel similar to a regular pair of glasses, minus the lenses. The arm band on the right side of your face is a bit bulkier, but does house all of the tech behind the specs.
The display provides a single screen in the upper peripheral of your vision that was mostly easy to focus on and unobtrusive.
The data on the device is displayed to you in a timeline. You can swipe forwards and back along the arm of the glasses to slide your way through photos, videos, weather and travel information.
Swiping through your timeline is not particularly intuitive, and does take some getting used to. You swipe forward from the back of your head to move backwards in time, and slide your finger back towards your ear to go forward in your timeline. David explained the motion as recalling a memory from the past and pulling it forward to the front of your mind. To go forward in the timeline you are reaching out to the future to pull in information to make new memories with. The functionality does sink in and gets easier to navigate after a few short moments.
Sliding through David’s timeline on the device, we went back through a few snapshots of his kids and a video he took while on a bike ride.
David then introduced me to the device’s voice activation, which was the one feature I was most impressed with.
Anyone who has tried to navigate voice activated features on an Xbox Kinect for example has probably spent more time yelling at the device to “open tray” before giving up, digging for batteries to put back in the remote and wondering why on earth this seemed like such a great selling feature when you bought the thing. Needless to say, I have pretty low expectations for voice activated technology.
Google Glass set a new standard for me. The device activates with the phrase “Ok Glass” and responds smoothly and quickly to your requests.
After adding a few snapshots of David to his own timeline using the voice activated camera, I shook his hand, thanked him for the demonstration, and walked back to the sound booth in the Voices.com office to contribute to the podcast.
Overall my first experience with Google Glass was an amazing one. Not entirely because of the device itself, but because of the community building experience that David’s open house offered. I look forward to seeing what other “incredibly entrepreneurial” plans David has for his new specs in the coming months.