Thursday, January 15, 2015

I Am a Google Glass Explorer

Today I received an email from the Glass Team about the end of the Explorer Program. It was around this time only a year ago I had purchased Glass. I'm 20. At the time I was 19 when I bought Glass. $1500 for a 19 year old isn't easy to come by. Thankfully, with the help of family and a friend, I was able to buy Google Glass and start the adventure. Little did I know that adventure would bring, but first, let's talk about what I've discovered. I discovered a sense of adventure. I discovered new people. I discovered a new means of communication and brilliant ideas. Glass was a channel where I could be adventurous and fun. It brought an amazing thing to my life. I walked around my college campus with many people staring at me and asking questions. I loved it. All of my friends loved it. So I'm going to share some of the moments it has brought amazing joy to my life.

I met someone who owned Glass once. Besides myself, I've never seen anyone wear Google Glass before. It was a man working at Starbucks and he wore it while working. This was before I owned Glass so I asked about it and we talked. He gave me free coffee, which most of you know, is the only way to my heart. From then on, I decided I needed to have Google Glass.

I skipped the first day of school to be home to sign for Glass. It was very snowy and cold and I stayed home and waited for the FedEx guy to bring it. I met him outside and told him it was Google Glass and he said he had no idea what that was but he said he was happy for me. I waited for everyone in my family to get home and gathered them around the table to open the box. So, I opened it and we spent all day playing with it and thinking of things to do with it.

 I once let a friend of mine use Glass in between class. We both had time to kill and we were sitting around. I told her about the "wink to take a picture" function. About 20 minutes and 30 photos of plants and strangers, Glass overheat and she gave it back. I still have every photo she took and it's a funny moment I'll never forget.

I developed a program to take advantage of Glass' hands-free utility by making a lighting plot available on the heads up display. Now, this didn't work exactly as I wanted it to, but for the most part, it was there. That took hours of learning how to program that I never had the knowledge to do beforehand, but it was a fun experiment that I would have never thought of before Glass.

I love the people that had the balls to ask about Glass. People, I think, are my favorite thing about Glass. The people you meet, the people who stare, and the people who whisper are my favorite things. They're curious folk who are amazed by what technology and innovation have brought to us today. Years to come, Glass is going to get better. As Explorers, our task was to give feedback and explore the possibility of Glass.

So, why'd I stop wearing it?
Time, my friends, got the best of it.

As updates kept pushing on, Glass got worse and worse for me. The software, at one point, would restrict me from even using it at all. Constant resets, constant bugs and constant lag killed it for me. So when a shiny new watch that did it's core functions with little to no issues came along, I was sold. But that doesn't mean I don't love Glass anymore. It has brought me so many moments in my life that I'm so thankful for.

Driving in my 1974 Corvette and recording the feeling of driving with the t-tops off and the summer wind on my face was amazing.
Taking pictures of the sunset as I walked to my car in the winter after my classes were over was comforting.
Meeting strange and brilliant people that shared my passion made me feel at home.

We underestimate the power of things sometimes. Glass was controversial in the sense that people were afraid of their privacy being violated with a camera on our faces. Being able to secretly record you. We were mocked and made fun of and pushed around many times for wearing Glass. But us Explorers stick together. We overcame that and created our own world to mold and shape for the future. Glass is before it's time and that's okay. Down the road we'll look back and know we started the movement into wearables and where they are going.

So even though the Google Glass Explorer Program is ending, I will always be thankful for what it has given me. To everyone who has supported me, talked about me, or given me strange looks in public, this is my story. I look forward to seeing where Google Glass goes next.

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