Google Urges Google Glass Users To Stop Being Weird, Ordinary Human Beings

from the I'm-a-creep dept

Google initially loved the fact that the strange appearance of the not-really-available-at-market Google Glass gets weird looks when people walk down the street wearing it. But as the novelty has worn off in recent months, the company has apparently grown concerned that the product's target market of young nerds with oodles of disposable income might not be quite the sexy brand ambassadors they had hoped. As such, the company recently released a list of dos and don'ts for participants in the Google Glass Explorer program. Among them -- don't stop and think, or stare dreamily at the ceiling while using Google Glass:
"(Don't) Glass-out. Glass was built for short bursts of information and interactions that allow you to quickly get back to doing the other things you love. If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you're probably looking pretty weird to the people around you. So don't read War and Peace on Glass. Things like that are better done on bigger screens."
Yeah, don't read books, weirdo! Google also would like it if Glass users would stop being odd in any way immediately, as being "creepy and rude" -- or just an ordinary run-of-the-mill hostile jackass -- won't get people excited about that unavailable product attached to your face:
"(Don't) Be creepy or rude (aka, a "Glasshole"). Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don't get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren't allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you're asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers."
Initially there might have been interesting marketing opportunities created by the confusion of seeing someone with a $1,500 plastic computer on their face, but as the novelty wears off, the product stops selling itself, and Glass wearers have been left relying on their charisma (or lack thereof) in their role as inadvertent sales agents. Google obviously wants to limit the amount of bans on Glass by establishments, but perhaps you're asking just a tad much of your customers -- and of yourself as a company -- if you actually believe you have the power to manage the normal personal peculiarities of your seemingly-endless beta participants.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 3:23am

    Honestly, I still can't see the cost-benefit of Glass. If the idea is to be used once in a while for quick glance info wouldn't it be better to strip most of the computer part and let the cell phone do the job while connected to the Glass via bluetooth? And I'm not even addressing the eyesight issues.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 5:35am

    They have a bit of a problem with glass. Least hostile to wearing it are those who already wear glasses. They need prescription lenses. So once they shell out for those, they want to wear it the whole time. But if they have the framnes on the whole time (and the camera cannot be removed without leaving a lethal sharp bit that may stick in your face), they may be pulled over by traffic cops / thrown out of the cinema / given weird looks in a locker room.
    There should be a very visible LED when it's filming that EVERYONE can see, and the camera should snap off the frames. And as the prev posted said, why not run the thing from a nearby smartphone ? Perhaps Bluetooth is not yet up to full bidirectional real time video...

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 5:45am

    Re:

    The red LED would be helpful but surely it will be easy to bypass.
    I suggest a lens cover for the camera, a covered lens is obviously not recording anything.

    This concludes my armchair engineering for the day.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 5:56am

    Re:

    There's rarely a cost-benefit when devices are still at this stage. They're trying to find the best use cases for the device so they can reverse engineer their pricing and marketing demo from that.

     

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  5.  
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    Karl Bode (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 5:59am

    Re:

    I'm entirely on board when this is all available via either contacts, indistinguishably normal glasses frames, or a ten-second entirely pain-free implant process. Until then, no thanks. I want my cyborg aspirations to be my own business.

     

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  6.  
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    Vidiot (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 6:07am

    Snappy/snippy

    "Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don't get snappy."

    I'd say they can't help but be snappy in their uber-nerd eyewear... snappy dressers everywhere are jealous. But they should lay off the snippy responses.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Why google glass will never work

    I've always thought Google Glass was a horrible idea that will never work, and here's some reasons why.

    1) What if you already wear glasses (like me)? You look and feel really stupid having 2 pairs of glasses on at once. And even if google has a way to make google glass double as your normal pair of glasses, it's expensive to craft the right lens, you need an eye doctor to get you the correct measurements.

    2) Don't sit/stand too close to the TV or it'll hurt your vision. How many times have you been told this as a kid? I'm very skeptical that it's safe having a computer monitor less then an inch away from your eyes, and I can't possibly be the only one. I don't want to damage my eye sight even farther.

    3) Glasses don't really fit when you first put them on. They need adjusted properly, otherwise they'll hurt your nose or the side of your head for being too tight, or fall off for being too loose. It's not always a simple task to adjust them just right either.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 6:34am

    Re: Why google glass will never work

    1) I don't really know Google's plans for prescription glasses but I'm sure they have one. They'd be fools if they didn't find a way around that particular problem and it's one of price and money so ultimately it's easily solved.

    2) Ah the good old days of CRT televisions. The whole don't sit too close to the television thing came about because the televisions of the time used electron streams to draw the pictures they displayed. This had the side effect of releasing ionizing radiation into the room, not enough to cause real damage even after a very long time of exposure but enough to make sitting right in front of it less healthy than sitting further back. Modern LCD and plasma displays don't have this problem. Additionally staring at an unmoving point for very long periods is not healthy but that's not what the glasses are, they keep the display in your vision even as you look around.

    3)That's akin to saying a new car is difficult to get used to so no one will buy new cars. The market doesn't work like that. Even if it's not a simple task to adjust them it'll take a massive design flaw before that changes it's marketability at all.

    All that said I'm not that excited about them, I'm curious how they'll do, but otherwise...meh

     

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  9.  
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    ahow628 (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 6:49am

    I don't see the problem...

    I don't see the problem with Google telling people not to "glass out." I guess I'm not really sure why someone would read a book on Google Glass anyway.

    And in general, telling people not to be creeps is fine by me in any case.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 6:54am

    Re: Why google glass will never work

    I've worn glasses all my life why in the fuck do I want another pair of glasses. Besides the fact I am farsighted I cannot stand the thought of having to use one eye to navigate through some multi-layered website, when my S4 can do all this and better w/o straining my vision.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:04am

    What a bullshit techdirt journalism. Google glass is nothing more then marketing ploy at the moment.

    Simply try to buy one, There are none for sale. Technology exists, but is experimental yet and will be for a long time.

     

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  12.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:04am

    Smart Glasses are inevitable

    There may not really be a cost benefit at this stage. Or maybe the benefit is high only for a very few.

    But you know, that was like in the early days of Books. Telephones. Electric lights. Automobiles. Radio. Pocket calculators. Digital Watches. Personal computers. Cell phones. Bluetooth earpieces. Smart phones. Tablet computers.

    Each of these things started expensive. Limited benefits, especially for the cost. Benefits enough for those with money. Gradually affordable to everyone. Then common place. Then cheap and ubiquitous. Remember, at one point, toothbrushes, ball point pens, combs, and cigarette lighters were expensive items. There was only one toothbrush per household. Now these items are common and even disposable. Even basic pocket calculators that were very expensive are now fifty cents in blister packs in a bin during fall 'back to school days'. Same with transistor radios. I guarantee you that smart phones, and tablet computers will get to this point. It is inevitable.

    I think that smart glasses and smart watches are just not at the stage yet. But they will get there. Believe it. Or not. But it is inevitable. The benefits are enough that eventually the oddballs will be people who DO NOT have these everyday commonplace items.

    Like a Luddite with no: toothbrush, comb, pen, radio, mobile phone or PC.

    aside: but some would argue that tech would not exist without Big Content, but that is a different mental illness for another time.

     

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  13.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re:

    Let me try a quick armchair engineering.

    If I wanted to film you I could conceal a camera in the button of my shirt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    DannyB (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:10am

    Re:

    Yep. Just like the novelty of these new fangled televisiony thingies. It's just like the radio, but with a picture of the guy reading the news along with the audio you already had on the radio.

     

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  15.  
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    Mr. Oizo, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:19am

    Google only thinks about its own image.

    My 2 cents for today. Nice article otherwise.

     

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  16. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    RyanNerd (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    Where is our favorite troll?

    I mean Techdirt finally posts an article about Google doing it wrong and no OTTB troll?!?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:48am

    Re:

    "wouldn't it be better to strip most of the computer part and let the cell phone do the job while connected to the Glass via bluetooth?"

    It's pretty much like this already. Many of the most useful things for glass require this already. Glass can't do SMS or GPS, for instance, and you need to connect it to a different device via Bluetooth to get that functionality.

    My prediction is that in the end, we'll see competing devices like Glass that are just another Bluetooth device with minimal smarts of their own. Those are what I'm waiting for.

     

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  18.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:50am

    Re: Smart Glasses are inevitable

    Yes, I remember the very first digital watches. Crappy red 7 segment LEDs, not always on, and they cost over $1,000.

     

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  19.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    "There should be a very visible LED when it's filming that EVERYONE can see"

    There is.

     

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  20.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:55am

    Re: Why google glass will never work

    "What if you already wear glasses (like me)? You look and feel really stupid having 2 pairs of glasses on at once."

    No need. You can already get Glass on frames that can accommodate normal prescription lenses. The electronics are removable, too, so you can even switch to different frames if the mood fits you.

    "Don't sit/stand too close to the TV or it'll hurt your vision. How many times have you been told this as a kid"

    Lots of times, but it is and always has been bullshit.

    "Glasses don't really fit when you first put them on."

    Exactly like any other pair of glasses.

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 7:57am

    Re:

    "Technology exists, but is experimental yet and will be for a long time."

    Depends on what you mean by "a long time", I suppose. But I'm not sure why you consider the fact that this is still under development as a criticism. Google isn't saying this is a product currently on the market. It's under development.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Why google glass will never work

    You can get prescription lenses for your Google glasses.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Why google glass will never work

    You can get perfectly good prescription glasses for under 20$ online (simple prescriptions) and under 100$ for more complex. Some people have dozens of pairs, Google needs to make these real cheap. But even if cheap they still look horrible (the google thing). Do people really wear smart watches? Really? I've never seen anyone wearing one and I'm in tech. Deeply uncool.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Why google glass will never work

    Just remember to buy another pair of regular glasses so you can watch movies and not be interrogated by the DHS.

     

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  25.  
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    GreatGreenGeek, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:46am

    Re: Possible Professional Use

    As an energy-efficiency professional, I'm in and out of buildings all day long, investigating energy use & energy-using systems. The learning curve for a lot of these techs is high - even though most of the engineers on staff are licensed professional engineers, deep expertise in a wide array of technologies isn't always feasible.

    Have a portable technical reference is very useful for identifying energy saving opportunities. If that tech reference is only a few ounces and a few words away, that makes a lot of sense. Pulling up a schematic diagram of an air handler or a chilled water plant as you trace out piping makes understanding what you're looking at a easier. If you record notes, take photos, and short videos as you go, you're that much closer to a well-documented findings report you can hand to a building owner, operator, or contractor.

    Of course, that requires a tech-savvy workforce, which I have to say is a rarity in MEP engineers. Sure, we know computers & amp meters, but when it gets to leveraging the most out of consumer electronics, we are - as a whole - laggards.

     

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  26.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Why google glass will never work

    Nah, I'd rather just not set foot in the theater.

     

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  27.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Possible Professional Use

    yeah, but...
    both semi-smart phones and tablets do these things already, (and - i would claim- better)...
    i can see where the hands-free aspect could have some use for -say- a mechanic who actually has wrench in hand and is looking up the nut in question gets torqued at X ft-lbs, whatever...
    i mean, i have no doubt that google goggles (really, that *should* have been the name) in some form will evolve to be useful, if not ubiquitous...
    but, smart phones are ubiquitous NOW, but i bet 90-99% of the users are using them for angry birds, etc, and NOT field manuals of machinery, interface to systems, etc...
    it is WAY overkill for most of the users doing stupid stuff...
    (NOT that there is anything wrong with stupid stuff, but it isn't task/work related that contributes to REAL efficiencies in the workings of the world...)

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 10:26am

    Wearing google glass is the equivalent of wearing a large "I'm a complete douchebag" sandwich board.

     

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  29.  
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    gorehound (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 10:33am

    If you stick your google glass in my face then you will see my response and you will not like it one bit.

    glassholes...............Google Glass Voyeurism !
    Stay away from me and from my friends.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 11:33am

    Re: Why google glass will never work

    All of your complaints range from the problem of any new unrefined technology all the way out too anachronisms about the hazards of sitting close to TVs.

    Did you bother to think before you posted in the least?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 12:35pm

    Re:

    Why do you assume that everyone using Google Glass is recording stuff? The main thing that interests me about the concept is that I'd be able to do a lot of what I use a smartphone for without having to hold something. If I had a set of the glasses, 99.99% of the time I wouldn't be recording a thing. Would you still be a dick to me?

    Perhaps you should reserve your ire for people who are actually doing things that you dislike, rather than just because they own a particular type of hardware.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    The same thing used to be said about digital watches and cellphones.

     

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  33.  
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    slacker, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 12:39pm

    well they should try to make the product more discrete, hide the fact that it's google glass!

    And market better! Like to me the best thing for it would be when you get pulled over. I'd love to have an account of the jerk off corrupt cop! They should give them all away just for that reason! Help try to curb the abuse they dish out daily!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Uh no.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Kronomex, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 2:13pm

    I have to put up with Google on my computer that certainly doesn't mean I'm going to waste a large amount of money, apparently around $1,500 in Australia, to wear bloody Google as well.

     

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  36.  
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    Sheogorath (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 2:55pm

    To be fair to Google...

    I think it's more likely they created that list of rules because of stuff like this YouTube vid.

     

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  37.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 3:03pm

    Re:

    You don't have to put up with Google on your computer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    rycho (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 4:43pm

    In another time...

    If Glass had been created back in, say, the 50's it would've been lauded as a great contribution and benefit to society, putting aside the lack of technical ability that existed at the time for the hypothetical to work.

    It's interesting to observe how in today's environment of abusive government activities, widespread mass surveillance, and heightened safety/privacy concerns, products like this are viewed with a very different perspective, and by different I don't mean rose-coloured.

     

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  39.  
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    Rekrul, Feb 20th, 2014 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    They have a bit of a problem with glass. Least hostile to wearing it are those who already wear glasses. They need prescription lenses. So once they shell out for those, they want to wear it the whole time. But if they have the framnes on the whole time (and the camera cannot be removed without leaving a lethal sharp bit that may stick in your face), they may be pulled over by traffic cops / thrown out of the cinema / given weird looks in a locker room.

    "You want me to remove my Google Glass? Sure no problem, however you should be aware that they're my only glasses with prescription lenses in them and I'm blind as a bat without them. Could you please send someone over to read the menu to me? Oops, sorry I didn't mean to knock over the dessert cart! Oh, sorry, excuse me! Pardon me! Sorry miss, I'm sure the restaurant will be happy to provide you with a replacement bowl of soup and take care of your dry cleaning bill."

     

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  40.  
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    R.H. (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:02pm

    Re: I don't see the problem...

    I do a lot of reading on my phone while on the go. I'd love to be able to read without actually holding my phone up. It's not a necessity but it would be useful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:44pm

    Re:

    So I gather you hide from every CCTV anywhere you go then? or destroy them perhaps?

     

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  42.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Feb 20th, 2014 @ 9:48pm

    Re:

    Google isn't the first manufacturer of Augmented reality glasses and certainly wont be the last so that 1500 will certainly drop down in price and I'd expect when it hits fully Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will all have it for less than 1500.

    Also you do realise that Google is not required on your computer (unless you have a chromebook) you have the ability to NOT use any Google products and can even.. Shock horror use alternatives.

     

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  43.  
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    Woadan (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 12:19am

    (sigh)

    Clearly many of you do not even know how the device operates.

    If you are taking a picture or capturing video, it will be obvious either through hand gestures (taps and swipes to the right side of the device) or voice commands. You could have it set up to take a picture by way of an exaggerated wink, bu you still need a tap to get it started.

    I have found that it's easier for me to tilt my head back and say "OK, Glass, get me directions to [insert address]" and let it give e tur-by-turn directions via the device and not my phone. (With earbuds in my ear, I don't have to worry about noise from the road, vehicle or music interfering.) The map only shows up just before an intersection or turn, so it isn't overtly intrusive.

    While I am driving, with just a tap, I can have it read a message or news story to me. Admittedly, the stunted voice of the computer is a bit jarring. But my ears are on the story, and my eyes on the road and traffic.

    Maybe the problem with Glass is that people just don't know enough about how it works. If true, then perhaps the good folks at Google should spend more time educating us about what it is, and is not, than admonishing Geeks to not be Geeks.

    (shrug)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:17am

    Re: Re:

    That. Let the gross processing be done by the smartphone, this will save tons of batteries specially for the watches. People got me wrong on my comment. I do see usefulness to something you can keep to yourself. It's just the implementation that seems wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Ninja (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:21am

    Re: Re: Possible Professional Use

    I don't deny it is useful. It's just that it's being done wrong. Glass should be an extension of your device (tablet, phone, maybe even notebooks) as the iwatch things. Maybe they can improve the screen with time (seems very impractical to keep looking up to see the tiny screen, I'd have bad headaches probably). It's as John said above, in the ende they will become extensions.

     

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  46.  
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    btrussell (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 2:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Possible Professional Use

    "...users are using them for angry birds..."

    I think most are using them to get flappy bird, ultimately.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Pragmatic, Feb 21st, 2014 @ 3:04am

    Re: Where is our favorite troll?

    @RyanNerd, I thought at first that they were all (have you noticed the absence of the others?) were trying to "prove" they had been censored by virtue of their posts not showing up even as greyed-out lines indicating they had been hidden, but their narcissism wouldn't permit their e-voices to go unheard for so long, so... what gives? Have they finally given up?

    That said, I have to say the quality of discourse has risen in their absence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
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    ahow628 (profile), Feb 21st, 2014 @ 7:59am

    Re: Re: I don't see the problem...

    I read on my phone as well, but I just can't imagine zoning out and reading on my Google Glass. But then again, I haven't tried it so maybe I would enjoy it. In any case, I would try not to be a creep.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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