Google Glass Says Goodbye

Just under 2 months ago I wrote a post about how I was stopping using Google Glass from my daily life and putting it up on the shelf. Today Google has said that it’s putting the Explorers which helped show the world Glass on the shelf with the end of their Explorer Program.

2015/01/img_0074.jpgI’ve been reassured a by a few Glass employees that the warranty will still be applicable for the duration originally listed, and they subtly stated that issues such as #Foilgate will most likely be repaired in the future even out of warranty.

I’ve moved far away from Google though … I am now back on an iPhone (6 plus). I gave up the iPhone in favor of an Android phone when I got Google Glass because it tethered for free on Android, SMS was fully functional and two way on Android, and it just worked better if you had an Android phone. The One Plus One was by far the best Android phone I’ve ever had btw.

So now that I’m back on the Apple side of things, using Glass would entail a blue tethering bar on my phone all the time and not being able to send texts which eliminates a lot of the functionality I originally used Glass for.

I even gave up my Moto 360 (Android Wear) device and went back to a Pebble. It’s funny how the Pebble which was the original mainstream smart watch is now the dumbest in the bunch. There is no color screen, you can’t talk to it, nor touch it’s screen. I miss a lot of that functionality, but am anxious to get it all back and more with the Apple Watch.

For Glass though it is sad to see them giving up on the people who spend thousandS on the device, travel to buy the device, accessories, etc. They have stated that the hardware will continue to function and that the apps will still work, just no new development on this current hardware or apps. Also Nest’s creator Tony Fadell is overseeing Google Glass now as well as his Nest CEO responsibilities.

Google has stated that Glass is graduating from the Google X labs and into a real division of the company. So then why does it feel like they’ve given up. I guess closing the Explorer program is a clean way for them to separate from old form-factor and start fresh. It also leaves us hoping that they would let us exchange our Explorer Edition for a Consumer Edition out in the cold. It looks like we won’t be getting a free shiny upgrade. All of the feedback, phone calls, messages, talking about the product made us glorified beta testers who had to pay for the privilege to be. We are now left all alone with nothing but a 2 year old piece of hardware which still can’t even make it a whole day without a charge or 3 along the way.

Sales of the Explorer Edition end soon, and maybe that will drive up the price on sites like eBay and Swappa, but knowing that the hardware is end of life who would pay a premium for something that is nostalgia now?

My Glass still sits in the box. Unopened. Unused.

It’s nice to know that the looks I get from strangers now are because of how I look as opposed to the $1500 computer on my face.

It’s funny how far things have come in how I feel about the product, but if you search the more recent articles on Glass it seems as if I’m not the only one who has felt fatigue.

Will I buy the Consumer Edition of Google Glass? Let’s just say they really need to wow me on features, use cases, inter-OS-operability, and most of all battery life before I can even commit to a semi-firm yes to that question.

I’ve even begun to change my opinion on venues which don’t allow Glass. For example Purr Cocktail Lounge banned Glass one year ago this week and I haven’t been back since. However it was my favorite place to go for drinks. With more venues like The Lobby closing on Capitol Hill, and my use down to zero of Glass, I’d honestly like to go back … even though they don’t support or allow a product which I once was passionate about. I haven’t yet, but I’m open to the idea of it. Lost Lake however, fuck Dave Meinert who is an asshole for asshole sake and nothing more than a media and money hungry disgusting man.

I guess today’s announcement today about the Google Glass Explorer Program helps renew some hope for the product. However, there is a lot of work to be done, and maybe just maybe Google is amping up it’s efforts and really working to address these. I wish the team all the best and continue to talk about Glass on nearly a daily basis with those around me, I just hope that it can truly become the moonshot that they once promised us and that the social stigma against wearables of this type are won-over by widespread adoption.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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

Turning Your Lights on with Google Glass

HA779_AV2 (1)Last Christmas I asked my parents for one thing, the Philips Hue lighting system to which they replied, “$200 for 3 bulbs?!?! We’ll give you a gift card to Apple instead.” Fortunately the Apple store was the exclusive retailer for this new lighting system. 8 months later and we now have 7 bulbs, a LightStrips, and Bloom light all which tie into our Philips Hue system. Oh we also have an iPod touch mounted to the wall running the iOS app 24/7 for easy access to the various light recipes. Needless to say we love the system and the ability to control our lights from anyway, and even have our own light recipe which turns on automatically when we come home, when it rains, and at sundown. Cool stuff!

Enter Google Glass. Now there isn’t an official app for Philips Hue yet for Glass, but both systems can speak to IFTTT, a service where one event triggers another on different services. In this case, a text message to IFTTT triggers the Philips Hue lights to turn on/off or start a new light recipe.

To set this all up on IFTTT activate the SMS channel and the Philips Hue channel. This would also work with the Belkin WeMo channel as well if you have those light switches. Now add IFTTT as a contact on MyGlass with the sms number provided from IFTTT. Now simply say, “Ok Glass… Send a message to IFTTT… ” and then based on which IFTTT recipe you activated say the action. Here are a few great examples of texts to say to Glass and what actions occur (note you must say the word hashtag which Glass will resolve to #) : – “… #HueOn” or specifically say, “hashtag hueon” to turn the lights  you chooseor all lights on. – “…#off” to turn off all lights. – “…#movie” to dim all lights to 20% for movie time. – “…#hue <color>” where the color is whatever color you want all the lights to change to. – “…#DanceParty” (my personal favorite) to start a color loop with all the lights.

There are a lot more recipes which exist and even more that you can create for yourself. So have fun… We might not have flying cars or self lacing shoes, but you can start a dance party at home with your heads up display!

*As a note this guide relies on SMS which Google Glass currently only supports through MyGlass Android app. You could follow all the same instructions with an email channel on IFTTT for use with an iOS device or Glass on Wifi instead of SMS & Android.