Can you feel the frenzy building over Google Glass, the smartglasses that Google announced last year? Earlier this week, the company invited non-developers to pitch why they should get a pair. Today, over at The Verge, is news they’ll be for sale later this year for less than $1,500, along with an in-depth look at the spectacles in action.
I’m on low-bandwidth today, so I can’t watch The Verge video of the glasses in action. But you should, as well as read Joshua Topolsky’s account of beta testing the glasses.
I had an opportunity to try a pair on last fall, for a far shorter time, and not in the real world but rather in a conference room. But one of the big takeaways from that was that it cleared up a common misconception people have when they read about Glass, that they somehow are distracting or blocking your vision.
Instead, think of a pair of Google Glass glasses as like having a rear-view mirror for your eyes, something you tap into when you want additional information but which doesn’t distract from your driving.
I can’t remember at this point whether someone at Google suggested this metaphor to me or not, but it’s a useful one.
When I first learned to drive, I thought I’d ignore the rear-view mirror. It seemed so weird. But I — like most drivers — quickly learned that it allowed me to easily tap into what was going on all around my vehicle, without taking away from the main focus, what was happening out in front.
Google Glass is like that. The little window with information isn’t directly in front of your eyes. For me, it was off to the upper right-side of my vision. If I wanted to view something there, it was available with a quick glance. But it wasn’t blocking my main vision.
So, no Blade Runner or Total Recall-style situation where ads or other things jump out and get in your way.
As for using it, as I said, my experience was brief and not real-world based. But it was pretty cool to speak to them to get things like directions or take a picture. Like any tech fanatic (including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg), I certainly can’t wait until they’re available.