First year

This week marks the first year of living with +Google Glass—not one year, but the first. As in there is more to come. 

I still remember seeing the UPS truck downstairs, setting Glass up for the first time and more. The journey since then has been so exciting, surprising and constantly refreshing—we are in uncharted territory and everything is so new.

And, genuinely, for me, Glass continues to bring magic to life. It has positively changed how I interact with technology, whether it is getting directions, searching +Google, sending a message or just taking a photo without missing the moments that matter. This weekend in New York, as with many other situations, I really felt like I got to push technology out of the way most of the time and explore, while also relive the moments exactly as they happened afterwards.

Glass invigorates me with the same energy I felt when arriving in New York for the first time: ever-changing, nonstop innovation and undying optimism and belief in core ideals.

Photo credit: +Deepa S

Of course there are a whole list of improvements Glass can undergo. Of course there are situations where Glass is not suitable and where I don't wear Glass, just like regular glasses or smartphones. But, I think most people forget that this is a highly beta project and still a Google moonshot, just like +Project Loon+Google Fiber, and the +Google Self-Driving Car Project.

Personally, I don't think Glass will ever be a failure for Google however this goes—it will either continue to evolve or be a valuable insight into wearable technology for the future. So, while the haters continue to hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, we, the players, are gonna play, play, play, play, play, as +Taylor Swift eloquently puts it.

The media may write whatever they wish about Google like how +Google+ is going to die, or Glass or even Taylor Swift, but I'd rather spend my energy supporting risk-takers, the future, the ideals they stand for and a better life. All these risk-taking brands and people I support are far more than what the media portrays—just look at Taylor's actual album sales versus what experts projected. Plus, the broad reception I receive from the public about Glass just does not align with how the media usually characterizes it as.

Sharing the magic with various people and seeing their faces light up with joy as they learn about what is true continues to give me goosebumps.

But, most of all though, the past year has seen a whole bunch of passionate, smart people come into my life, online, in real-life or both: the community of Guides and Explorers shaping this whole project, including +Chara Kelley+steph lake+Virginia Poltrack+Jeff Bond+Spencer Kleyweg+Morgan Tuohy+Jeffrey Young+Ana Medina+Christopher Rios+Brian Kelley+Mason Rothman and +Eddie Daniels, just to name a very few.

Here's to what we accomplish together next, +Google Glass and #GlassFamily.

Capturing life's moments exactly as they happened

A couple months ago, I shared a Google+ and Twitter photo of an absolutely gorgeous and perfect DC day. Being able to take strolls on the National Mall, right in the middle of history, is just one of the advantages of being at +The George Washington University. Several weeks later, I learned (through the Center for Student Engagement Twitter) that the photo was chosen as their winner for February, something that came as a surprise to me. 


This week, GW had a Excellence in Student Life ceremony, where the overall #OnlyAtGW photo contest winner was announced as well. People had some really cool moments showing how awesome it is here, including a group selfie with Wolf Blitzer among many others.


I didn't expect much, but here's what happened, as shown through +Google Glass.


When I first shared that photo, I honestly expected nothing more than me sharing a moment that mattered in my life -- a moment of freedom, of relaxation. I am still in awe at what it has become, especially because it all came from two apps from a device the size of my hand. On my Samsung Galaxy S4, I used the camera and Google+'s powerful +Snapseed app and the final product was available in minutes. Of that moment, right at that moment. 

From Glass to Snapseed and everything in between, I'm taken aback by how technology has empowered everyone to be able to capture the moments that matter.

And then there was this tweet, I love it.


What a fun #OnlyAtGW moment last night.

A new digital age.

Yesterday, my friend +Alex Leiphart shared this story: http://goo.gl/Id4mrJ ("AMC movie theater calls FBI to arrest a Google Glass user"). AMC called the FBI, who then snatched Glass off the innocent man's face and interrogated him, all because they believed, without evidence nor proof, that a man was recording an entire movie, simply because he had Google Glass. The FBI even challenged him: "they wanted to know what does +Google ask of me in exchange for Glass, how much is Google paying me, who is my boss and why am I recording the movie." And that's just part of it.

Let's stop the hysteria we constantly create around new technologies.

Let's start a genuine conversation now. Comment with your thoughts below.

I certainly think it is fine for people to think Glass is not that great or all that it says it is -- some of my friends hold, or held, different beliefs and are some of my most valued opinions. In fact, that's awesome that people think differently -- the world only advances because all our thoughts are not uniform. The resulting debate is important and helps society advance. It's equally as important though that those that want to argue against it use legitimate, unexaggerated talking points after having tested what they are arguing against instead of spreading assumptions.

It seems people think Glass is almighty, believing that it knows what its users are thinking and controllable with just their minds. And those people are the ones that only assume Glass only helps users do bad -- to sneakily record movies, to cheat and more -- while never trying it for themselves. Instead, what really happens is that users have to say "Ok Glass" aloud or touch to operate it. Even the light on the screen is visible when on. In many cases, it is more noticeable than a smartphone.

However, this year, +Google Glass is expected to launch widely as well as with compatible prescription lenses. When this happens, I have no doubt a more vigorous debate will start in society about Glass.

With prescription lenses, Glass will be a required item for those who need it, just like the man in the story. But what about in the bathroom? Or when driving (just like I do with the clip-on sunglasses with Glass right now)? Users would not be able to just tilt Glass up on their heads like they currently do, as then they wouldn't be able to see.

Would society trust Glass users enough? Would users be expected to carry a second pair of regular prescription lenses? Would a large enough portion of society educate themselves enough to know that it is very visible when Glass is on and recording?

What do you think? 

A prototype of Google Glass with prescription lenses, courtesy of a Googler (via Phandroid.com).

Right now, the "rest" position for phones is in the pocket, still attached to the body. That's equivalent to placing Glass on top of the head. Or even just off. In both positions, the devices are virtually unusable.

When taking tests where teachers don't require students to put phones in the backpack, do we expect Glass to be in its rest position on the head or will it be treated differently by requiring it to be placed in its case and away from the body? When watching movies, is that expectation the same? What about when driving -- can we use it as a GPS?

That's the job of Explorers -- to live life with Glass, to take the risk of encountering ignorant people but also more generally, to educate a (for the most part) fascinated public on this new and exciting technology that has a potential to change everything we do. But the bigger responsibility at hand, the job that we all carry, Explorers or not, is the one to prevent hysteria and to speak truth to stupid.

Yet, for every stubborn person, there's a hundred more open-minded learners that dare to try Glass before passing judgement. And the smiles and awe that I have personally seen is reward that out-compensates any negativity expressed by those that are so afraid of change.

And for each negative story we hear about Glass, we hear so many more of how it is fundamentally changing the very nature of our world, from providing firefighters with the tools they need more safely and quicker and doctors with the required materials without tying up their hands to the way it helps us to just get back to living life, by bringing us ordinary people all closer together while helping capture the moments that truly matter in our lives.


I'm proud to be a Google Glass Explorer.