On my vacation to Italy, the glasses spent most of the time in the hotel room safe. While I did take them out from time to time to snap photos, my iPhone proved to be a better mobile photography companion – the photos were better and connecting to a hotel WiFi network was easier. You cannot connect the glasses to a network that requires you login via a website portal.
Those hardware issues might be forgivable though if there were more compelling things I could do with Glass in general. Of course, this is just the start of the platform and the whole point of them being given to a select group of people now is so that they can help come up with innovative ways to use them. Heck, Google calls them the Explorer edition.
That said, as you wear them now, there simply isn't much you can do with them. Sure, there are those aforementioned things, but none of them truly take advantage of the fact that there is a screen and camera above my eye – they modify the smartphone app experience, they don't yet offer something unique.
I want to do the things that Google showed in the original demo video. I want to be able to look at the subway station and know if there is a 2 or 10 minute wait for the next train so I can decide I should take a cab instead. I want to look at the pasta I am about to inhale and know more about the ingredients or caloric information. There are privacy concerns regarding object and facial recognition, to be sure, but object recognition or interaction may be the game-changing feature.
To Return or Not Return?
When I picked up Glass, Google said I should ease into the experience. I didn't. I wore Glass non-stop during my first week with them. Now, they sit in my bag more than they sit on my nose.
With that you'd think I decided to return the glasses last week when I went back to Chelsea Market. For $1,500 why would you hold on to something that you don't use consistently? Believe me, I thought long and hard about it.
But I ultimately decided to keep them.
I've made an investment in the future. Like any future technology, it is a risk, but when I do look through the transparent screen I consistently think of interesting and exciting ways overlaying digital information in the physical world could enhance my life. Whether app makers build those tools or Google improves the other shortcomings remains to be seen. I just can't see into the future with them… yet.