There’s about four blog entries that need to be written about my trip out here – two about Glass and two about other random things that happened during the trip that are the sort of thing i would blog about. I thought i’d get one of these out of the way while everything is still buzzing around my brain and before things get stupid crazy at work and with my second west coast trip.
So the response i’ve given most often to answer the inevitable “what do you think about Glass?” question, is “it’s interesting.” Google Glass is interesting.
My appointment for Glass was for 11:00, but Jenni had a yoga class that she wanted to go to one block away that she needed to register for at 10:15. I arrived at the appointment at about 10:30 to see if it was an issue for me to get there early. There were people outside the office milling about, one had Glass on her head, but the others didn’t. I walked up to them and got assigned to a guy named Pat who was wearing a very non-descript gray shirt (that everyone else i think was wearing also) who introduced himself and took me to the Glass area after giving me a guest pass. Before he got me through the paces of picking out my Glass and set up, he walked me over to a very quaint food/drink set up – small plates of snacks, as well as tea, water, soda, and beer options. The whole thing was strangely ceremonial but in a common way. Nothing negative, but it had a tinge of “not quite rightness” to it that i couldn’t quite place. It wasn’t terribly important, so i let it pass.
All of the Glass units were set up in a display – five different possible colors. I had picked out a color online, but i had the opportunity to change my mind, which i did – online i picked up one that was more grey, but when i put that on my head, i didn’t like how that color went with my hair color at all. The other options were white, light blue, black, and orange (the official brand names of those colors are different, like “sky” and “charcoal”, but i forget the names of the other two). I didn’t like the orange or the grey, i liked the other three well enough, but i decided that the black looked the most subtle – as subtle as a cyborg-looking tech thing on my face could possibly be. After picking that out, he sat me down at a table and we started going through the unopening and the set up of Glass. The unboxing was interesting too, another one of those ceremonial things. He passed the box to me but otherwise didn’t touch it which made me realize that i forgot that there are people that make a big deal out of an initial unboxing of a product.
So i unboxed it. I was very into the branding and the overall packaging. it fits my minimalist sort of aesthetic, something i’m fine with despite the fact that that’s pretty trendy. The box contained Glass, the charging cable which is a nice high quality flat-cord style USB to miniUSB cable, a small documentation pamphlet that was a duplicate of the FAQ that i read online, and an extra set of nose pads. Towards the end of the appointment, he also went over the accessories bag which contained a sunglasses attachment (that looked pretty good when i put it on), a clear “i’m pretending i’m wearing glasses” attachment (that looked really ugly when i put that on), and a strange microfiber carrying bag that contained a hardshell case on the bottom that you stick Glass in for extra protection.
He ran me through the basic Glass functionality, and i asked some very detail-oriented function questions. I think he was impressed with the level of detail of the questions that i was asking, but i could be fooling myself. Doing the set up i also talked about how i think i’m going to potentially use it – in the context of the marching band, and in the context of other potential creative musical/visual installation performance pieces of some sort way down the line. because of some of the ideas i had, he pointed me to the developers site figuring i could have an interest in making my own apps and/or thingys using the Glass API (which i am, but i do not have time for until mid-to-late 2014 at the earliest). I noticed that he was very precise and careful about the kind of vocabulary he used when talking about Glass – consistent language when it came to the color definitions, consistent language when it came to the user experience wording, and talking about “use cases” for Glass, a term i haven’t heard ever since i left my corporate job. I asked him flat out about it and confirmed that everyone who was a part of the Glass team was trained in how they were supposed to talk about it, making sure that they used a consistent language.
There were a few questions that he couldn’t answer because he was basically the equivalent of a first-level support person – kind of like what i was at Symantec. Some of the questions i asked him were things like, “how does the video do with white balance and brightness change if you move in and out of different lighting conditions?”, “once this gets released to the public, what does having the explorer version of this product do for me if anything?”
Overall the appointment took an hour and a half. It was pretty low frills, but very casual and friendly. I got connected with the Glass Explorers community page which i haven’t gone and explored fully yet, but will probably spend regular time looking through to see how people are using it. I gathered all of my stuff, he took me out of the building, and i waited for Jenni to get out of her yoga class.