Friday, March 14, 2014

Google Glass Frustrations

Google Glass is an amazing device and a great start to a totally new computing platform.  That being said, the device really has a long way to go before it is ready for consumers.

One of my greatest frustrations with Glass is that it does not have its own internet capabilities.  Instead, Glass must run off the data of a personal hotspot (i.e. it must sync to your smartphone and pull the data via bluetooth tethering) or it must be connected to wifi.

Not only must Glass be connected to wifi however, it must be connected to UNPROTECTED wifi.  This means that it can only work with wifi that does not require a passcode, thus the majority of wifi networks are off limits!

I had several issues setting up my iPhone 4S to Glass and the Googlers I spoke to on the phone were simply not versed in iPhone so they were unable to help me.  I had to struggle through it, try many combinations, to finally find the answers by shear coincidence; for the average consumer, struggling to set up the device might mean they return it to the store before even testing it out.

After struggling through setup with my iPhone, I did eventually get it set up only to realize that the MyGlass app for iOS would not rotate the screen, so when projected onto a screen, the entirety of what I was seeing on Glass was flipped on its side.

Thinking I might have been better off with Android all along, I was able to get an Android work phone to test out with Glass.  Little did I realize, however, that the Spring service I would have with Android would put me in "roaming" mode in the room I need to do presentations in, and Glass apparently does not work while roaming.

Battery life is probably the worst of my frustrations, coupled with the fact that after using Glass for an hour with normal use, the device gets very hot.  An hour later, the device will be dead.  So, two hours with Glass and it's useless.  Obviously, that will have to be fixed before Glass hits the shelves.

As a Glass Explorer, I've had to constantly remind myself that I am not a consumer, I am a beta-tester.  This is something that is harder to do than it seems though. I haven't had experience with beta-testing, but I have had plenty of experience as a consumer.  If you're like me, you've bought products for years and determined subconsciously the value of the product.  Was it worth what I spent?  Am I satisfied with the product?  Does it meet or exceed my expectations?  If the answer was "no" to any of those questions, in all likelihood I returned the product.  Being a Glass Explorer on the other hand, I cannot simply return the product; instead, I am tasked with consciously determining where Glass falls short and how it excels and then returning that information to Google in the hopes that it makes the product better and closer to consumer readiness.

Like I said before, Glass is not ready to hit the shelves.  The general public would be extremely unsatisfied with the many glitches and the entire project would be a bust.  
If Google is as smart as I know they are, they will wait.
They will be patient, and then this product really will change the world.  If they do not, their brand will take a hit and this product will be nothing but a toy, and worst, it will be just a fad that no one remembers.

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