This is one the of the devices that has changed my life forever.
It’s been three months since I picked up my pair of Google Glass at the Glass Basecamp in San Francisco. When I was there looking out over the Embarcadero and the San Francisco Bay, I knew my life would be changing as soon as I left. What I didn’t expect was how much my life would change by wearing them.
One thing I do want to make perfectly clear is I love talking about Glass and I don’t mind the attention- I knew it came with the territory, but I completely underestimated the amount of attention it would attract. They are a (clearly visible) lighting rod of attention. It’s practically impossible to hide from the stares of people (and boy do people stare). The people who stare at me probably don’t realize they are doing it, which makes the facial expressions that greet me a little bit more understandable. From utter shock/disgust/rage, to mockery, to bewilderment and joy- I’ve seen them all.
So far, I’ve been lucky – almost all the people who work up the courage to actually talk to me about them like them! People from all walks of life will start talking to me about them. Doesn’t matter where people find me either. From the elevator, to the city street, on Caltrain, to the Starbucks– there are few places where I haven’t been either gawked at or asked about them. Most people who talk to me know what they are and the ones that don’t usually at least have heard about the concept.
Considering a person wearing Glass is something uncommon that people do not encounter regularly, I have to be a little bit more cognizant about my public appearance and behavior. You never know when someone is going to notice you….and you want to make sure you aren’t doing anything too embarrassing when they do! One example of this is the tweet below that I happened to catch from @caltrain_diaries one morning:
— Caltrain Diaries (@caltraindiaries) October 10, 2013
— Jay Fry (@jayfry3) October 10, 2013
This isn’t limited to public transit either. I’ve had over 250 people try on my pair- and roughly 85% ask to take a picture wearing them. That desire is something I’ve never seen with any other wearable, period. The last two conferences I attended- I was the only person with Glass. I’m the only one at my day job with a pair. (Well, that is soon changing…) Also, at our wedding, our guests were itching to try it at the day-after brunch once they saw our Rabbi filing our vows with it!*
This rareness of seeing Glass in the wild does offer some perks. Besides being a fantastic conversation starter (Hi, is that a medical prosthesis?**), it’s also a great chance to be perceived as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). If you like talking to people, it’s a great device to facilitate conversations. However, I’ve heard of Explorers storing them so they don’t attract attention to themselves in certain public spaces. This is something I can relate to and to each their own.
I guess the most telling fact about how used to Glass I am would be summed up in this past weekend. Jules and I attended a wedding of one of her best friends from college (she was in the wedding) and I left Glass off my face for most of the weekend. To be honest, I missed it. In a rare moment for us (these days), we actually brought a camera to the wedding to capture a couple of shots/video that we wanted for ourselves. Not being able to quickly snap a photo or short video wasn’t lost on me and frankly, I missed that ability. I didn’t need to have notifications pushed to me at that moment (my attention was elsewhere). But, for the reasons I’ve stated above, a wedding is NOT a place I want to draw attention to myself (accidently or not).
While this may sound more negative than positive at the moment, I assure you it’s not. I’ve been able to meet/talk/work with people who I might never had the chance to before Glass. Glass has affected my personal and professional life in ways I couldn’t have imaged and I’m incredibly grateful I’ve had the chance to be truly on the cutting edge. This technology has shown me a whole new side of the human race I’ve never gotten to experience before. Even better is seeing first hand how this technology will change people lives/jobs/experiences for the better.
*as a cool aside, we are 98% sure we are the first couple ever to have a officiant wear Glass for a ceremony.
** Not only have I gotten this comment, I’ve gotten it more than once.