Goodbye Google Glass

Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 10.39.15 PMIt 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.

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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.

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.

android-wear-moto-360-close-up-1200-80Now 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.

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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.

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The Daily Show with Nick Starr

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[Update: Here’s the video and Behind The Scenes Photos] Okay that title might sound a bit presumptuous, but you have to say something to shock people into clicking on the link on Facebook or Twitter to read this… I mean blogs aren’t what they used to be. No one reads these long paragraphs anymore.

As some of you might’ve noticed, my partner Brian and I went to San Francisco back in May for a day. Flew in on a Wednesday night, were put up in a hotel, and flown back the next evening. My ticket was paid for by Viacom, the parent company of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Brian was able to go because a friend helped us out with a buddy ticket.

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Why was TDS flying me out to SF? Well turns out my public incidents with Google Glass caught their attention and the day that Google Glass was publicly available they started thinking about a segment gathering people who have had public incidents with Google Glass.

I spoke with them every day or so via email and phone till eventually  they said here’s your plane ticket and hotel. See you in 2 days.

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I wasn’t sure who else was going to be there or even who was going to interview us. Turns out they gathered a great cast of Glass Explorers.

 

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We all met, some or most of us for the first time in a hotel conference room where there were large lights, cameras, and a panel of 6 chairs. Some makeup and mic checks and we were ready to go. They sat me front row center and in walked Jason Jones from TDS. He sat in front of us and asked us questions for 3 1/2 hours. We all answered honestly and seriously, but this is The Daily Show. They are bound to turn it around and make us look funny, but we all knew that going into it. Everyone had a different reason for being there. Some to get their story out, some to help educate, and some because how many times in your life is The Daily Show going to seek you out? As in most of the interactions I have with others about Google Glass, I wanted to help educate what the device can and can’t do and explain the limitations and future for the device. Trying to show others why it is so amazing and how it will fit into their lives.

Well I can’t say if a few of these moments will make it in, but at one point Jason and I did a speed test to see who could Google him first. Him with his iPhone and me with Google Glass. At this point, I totally spaced his name and said, “Ok Glass, Google John.” He claims that he narrowly beat me, but also that, “He actually Googled the right person.” I also offered my Google Glass to him to try on and use, which he did and the producer seemed to really like that idea, BUT there was no cell signal nor WiFi where we were so he couldn’t actually do anything online with it.

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At one point he was stating that they are ugly as fuck and unfashionable. I tried to rebut by saying that they have been in Vogue and on various runways. He says, “yeah but you all still look like unfashionable douchey fucks.” I replied that, “Fashion is subjective” and he looks over at the camera and does an eye roll. I actually hope that part makes it, especially since I wear the same thing every single day it is a bit odd for me to be talking about fashion.

All in all it was a great trip and experience. We crammed in as many visits with SF friends as we could and tonight the episode airs. Set your DVRs, check Hulu.com tomorrow or The Daily Show’s website. No matter how the editing comes out, I had a great once in a lifetime experience and wouldn’t had changed a thing.

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I say all of this BEFORE I’ve actually seen the episode TONIGHT. I might have have a different opinion once it airs.

So Glass Walks Into An Apple Store…

Google Glass directions to Apple Store

I saw that my local Seattle Apple store had the new Philips Hue LightStrips but only 2 so I rushed over there and walked in with a purpose. Straight to the back of the store, grabbed the box and decided against self checkout with their Apple Store app and that I’d check out with a blue shirt’d employee because I was wearing Glass and the LightStrips just came in today…maybe they’d ask me about one or both of them…..WELLLLLL……

I overhear an older blue shirt employee say to another, “We just had our first customer with Google Glass come in… How do we handle this?

I am within earshot so I step over and jokingly say, “What ever shall we do…..?” and prop my hands under my chin in childlike wonderment.

I ask if he’ll check me out and he says no until I take off Google Glass. He says, “No not until you take off Google Glass.

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The older employee says that he has no way of knowing if I’m recording him or not and I assure him by activating the screen then turning it off that you can tell if the device is on or not. He tells me that this functionality can be hacked and that Apple has a policy against recording their employees. I had my iPhone in my hand and turn it over and say, “Well I could be holding this down here casually but have it recording and you’d never know.” He says, “Well Glass is more obvious.” (Worst comeback / excuse but unfortunately it isn’t the first time I’ve heard this)

Well the demo of me showing him it was off was enough, for now, for him to finish the transaction. He did talk to me about it a bit and even knew that if you cut off part of the LightStrips LED strip that this part would no longer be functional. He asked if I knew how to use the Apple Store self checkout feature and I told him I did but every time I try to I get a messaging saying there was an error and to see a specialist. He insists to see this error and I show him, but doesn’t offer any help in fixing this for me for future trips. He rings me up, asks for my zipcode and tells me my receipt is emailed.

Finally he asks if I want a bag. I decline and rush back to my Car2Go which is sitting there charging me 38 cents per minute for this whole ordeal.

Strange because I’ve been to a different Seattle area Apple Store a number of times without issue and even had employees ask to and try on Glass.