Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is Glass Natural?

I've been thinking recently about the functionality of Glass in the sense of fashion. Fashion is all around us, if you choose to accept that statement. If you don't agree you can go back to watching TV in your sweatpants and finish off that tub of Ben & Jerry's in the fridge. If you think about it, glasses are a completely natural part of style. We have different styles that best suit your looks and can complement outfits accordingly. I know when I picked out my glasses frames I chose a pair that best resembled the glasses that the 10th Doctor from Doctor Who wears... Yes I just admitted that on the internet, I know. But my main point here is Glass a natural part of our lives? Glasses are completely normal for people with impaired or bad vision. I personally only use glasses when reading so wearing Glass every day, at first, was weird to me. Google recently released glasses frames that attach to Glass to allow people who need prescription glasses to use Glass for the very first time.

Glasses are completely natural. What's not natural is having a camera pointed at you or a screen floating in mid air. Not saying that it isn't cool, because it is, it's really cool. It's just not something that we have had our entire lives. It's new and it takes time to get used to. As someone who wears glass without glasses, I find glass to look strange. You do indeed look like something out of Star Trek. Glass as glasses could be different. They could make you look more normal. But personally Glass has become less appealing lately...

And it's all due to one thing.

Android Wear

On March 18th 2014, Google and Android released their all new Operating System for wearables dubbed Android Wear. With it, a slue of new horizons for wearable technology... meaning? Meaning the dawn of the modern smartwatch.

Why do I say modern smartwatch? It's modern because smartwatches have been tried before Google. Sony and Pebble both had smartwatches before Samsung marketed their Galaxy Gear like crazy. The trick was that Sony and Pebble didn't market their smartwatches to the masses. Sony had their first go at the watch with it's Liveview and then proceeded to it's Sony Smartwatch and Smartwatch 2. They ran versions of Android and I admit, I bought the first Sony Smartwatch. That was back in 2012. That's when nobody had ever heard of a smartwatch. I was the only person in my entire school to have one, mainly because Sony didn't advertise for it (or because I was a huge geek). I was on the edge of the latest technological trend... or so I thought, because back then I thought smartwatches would be all over the place within the next year. I was wrong. Once again, Brian was setting a hipster trend with the smartwatch. The Pebble smartwatch was to be the first one to work with an iPhone which was a game changer because nothing works nicely with an iPhone. Funded as a Kickstarter Project, the Pebble was to be an affordable watch that would do basic notifications, music control and fitness tracking. But it was not until early 2014 did Pebble really blossom with the addition of an Appstore. Then Samsung got into the smartwatch game with the Galaxy Gear but that was just a mess because it only worked with ONE phone at launch. Then only supported Samsung phones. Typical Samsung.

So... The modern smartwatch is?

The Moto 360.

Google has designed the operating system as we knew they would. We all knew it would be based around Google Now and would provide Google's famous search engine as the backbone. They teamed up with a bunch of OEMs to design their own smartwatches and Motorola took home the gold, silver, bronze, and even the medal for participation. (The "you tried" medal goes to the LG G Watch).

This is a blog about Glass, why are we talking about watches?
Because I wish Google Glass was a watch.
There. I said it.

As nice as Google Glass is, I think a watch is so much more natural. We have had watches for hundreds of years. They are a part of our lives. They are contextual in that they are so a part of human life that we don't even notice them. Glass is obvious and you see it. It covers up our vision and distracts us to no end. Watches are things we use to check time... and now to check relevant information in the quickest of glances. Am I fanboy-ing a bit?

I'm excited. More than anything. I believe this is the real future. Or at least for now, I think smartwatches are all we can handle for 2014. If Glass made a public release in 2014, I wouldn't buy it. (Yes, I know I already own it.) A watch is much more appealing than Glass, it's fact. I do love Glass, to no end I do, I want to see Glass become huge, but for the average consumer, a watch is more natural.

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