It was March 27, 2013 that I got an @ mention on Twitter from, at the time, @ProjectGlass that I was chosen as one of the select eight thousand people out of hundreds of thousands who applied to become a Glass Explorer. This meant I got to pay $1,500 + $135 tax and pay for a flight to LA (or SF or NYC) to be able to pick up my own Google Glass. It felt like Christmas and a birthday wrapped together. I was EXCITED!
A few months later I got the DM from Google that I could finally pay for my Glass and book my appointment to pick it up. See at this stage the only way to get Google Glass if you won an invite with their #IfIHadGlass campaign was to visit one of their basecamps and pick it up. That same day flight cost me $328.80. So I was already in for $1964.80 and I hadn’t even gotten to touch the device yet.
June 19th I fly to LAX, take a Lyft to the basecamp, get a hands on tutorial on how to use Glass by a Glass Guide, meet up with a friend in LA for drinks, and fly back that night. I couldn’t stop using it. The battery wasn’t as good as it is now, and I would burn through it using it all the time. I love the thing.
You’d never see me without it… well except for at work. Day 1 Hour 2 wearing it to work and my boss pulled me in for a meeting that someone complained I was live streaming everything from the company to the internet. I wasn’t.
- I eventually lost my job as direct support for my devotion to wanting to use Glass to aide in my workflow.
- I began seeing a psychologist weekly and the primary discussion was around Google Glass.
- I went to a cafe several times and on the 7th trip was asked to leave or take them off.
- I was asked by the owner of a bar where I had spent $4,148.64 in the previous 12 months to take off my Glass or not return.
- I’ve been punched while minding my own business and wearing Glass.
- I’ve been asked to remove them or leave from another food establishment.
- I was pushed down a flight of stairs by a security guard for wearing them at a club which I had worn them to previously without issue.
- I was disallowed readmission in a Vancouver, BC club if I was wearing them only to later see a show there where there were several high end DSLR cameras taking pictures the entire time.
- I’ve been in the news several times for these and other incidents and fortunately had a reporter who dug into the truth behind all of the stories and was able to present the real me to the public.
- I was on a Daily Show segment where they mocked Google Glass and in part the wearers, or Explorers.
But none of that has impacted my still wearing it daily, and while I wear it daily I almost never use it anymore.
I bought the prescription frames ($246.38), the stereo earbuds ($93.08), and even a custom skin ($10.98) for it during Pride in SF. I’ve invested $2,315.24 into a device I almost never even use anymore.
Now why don’t I use it? Well enter Android Wear. A smartwatch which you can talk to, get Google Now answers to, use to send and receive texts and emails, set alarms, get my heart rate, count my steps, give me turn by turn directions, and extend the functionality with hundreds of other apps. Hell I can even order a Lyft right from my wrist without ever touching my phone, and rate the driver afterwards. This smartwatch does a large majority of what Google Glass can do, however with my Moto 360 I get compliments on it on a near daily basis and no social stigma from those around me. I can’t say the same for Glass.
I’ve also had to return my Glass unit 5 times for what I call #Foilgate. There is a foil like mirror at the end of the prism which gets delaminated and crinkled. Often this happens in sudden environmental climate changes, like stepping outside a warm office building to the muggy drizzly cold Seattle. I’m just got mine back from Google after shipping them for replacement 3 weeks ago. However, my warranty is expiring in December. Will they cover future delamination issues, or will I be stuck with a $2315.24 brick? I’m actually scared to even take it out of the box and as such it is sitting in a closet “New in box.”
I did say that I almost never use it. It is super handy when you want a picture quickly. Say a poster of an event you might want to remember or you are hit by a car and need to be sure you get their license plate (which happened 2 weeks ag0), or you spot something in the store and want to text it to your partner asking if we should buy it. These are all times where I *could* reach in my pocket, wake my phone, unlock it, open the camera app, and take a picture, but I rarely do. It’s just so much simpler with Glass. *Wink* Done.
So my putting up Google Glass for now isn’t about the awkward social situations I’ve found myself in, its more because I just don’t use it enough to risk it breaking, delaminating, or worse before a commercial version is out and we can possibly switch to that or sell our current model for some money off the retail version.
I’ve been a part of the Glass conversation, environment, ecosphere since I knew about it. I run the largest Facebook group on Google Glass. I am often referred to as “Glasshole” or “glass” or “glass guy” when people think they are trying to be coy and refer to me without naming me directly. I feel like me giving up on something I’ve been SO passionate and vigilant about being able to use is in some part echos the sentiments of many of my fellow Glass Explorers. We just don’t use this thing anymore. I wish there were more (useful) apps. I wish a lot of things for the product, but it could end up like many Google beta programs and ride the wave into the sunet.
Goodbye Google Glass … at least for now.