Google Glass Review: The Bad, The Ugly, and A Little Good

I finally got my hands on a pair of Google Glass a few weeks back, I thought I would share all the ups and downs in this Google Glass review. This hyped up and flashy product really only has two big underlying questions surrounding it. Is it worth it? And are they practical? Let’s take a look.

Google Glass Hardware:

The Glass product is designed around a small, clear box, which acts as the display and is located in the user’s right eye. You can interact with Glass by speaking to it or by swiping the touch-sensitive frame on your right temple. Google Glass also features a 720p camera that is embedded in the front of the device, allowing the wearer to take pictures and even stream live video.

Overall the build quality is not bad, but not great. The plastic finish does seem durable, but the frames do seem very fragile, and I lived in constant fear they might break if I accidentally dropped them. These fragile and not-so-attractive frames proved to be cumbersome throughout the day, at least for me. 

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Google Glass Interface and Experience:

I primarily used the device for a week for completing basic smartphone functions. Glass allowed me to check weather forecasts, take pictures and videos, perform basic searches and get directions. Overall the experience was shaky due to the lackluster user interface, something I expect to get better as Google Glass evolves. The menu on the device was difficult to control at times between using my voice and touching the sensor. To use Glass flawlessly, you really need to master a collection of one and two-finger gestures, none of which are very intuitive to me.

(This demo video from Google attempts to show “how it feels” to use Glass)

Google Glass: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good – Google Glass gives us a peek at the future of the wearable tech industry. The concept behind Glass is truly innovative and it is probably the biggest breakthrough tech products since the iPhone was released in 2007. The device brings us a look at how we could eventually communicate and discover information in the future. The fact that it can replace some of the basic functions of my smartphone while resting on my face is gives hands-free a complete new feeling.

The Bad – This new tech toy has a rather clunky design and user interface, and can be yours for only $1500. What a deal (note the sarcasm). The difficult user interface is still the worst part about these as it makes it really hard to review anything but your most recent activities. Beside the UI concerns, the other gripe I have with Glass is that it literally makes you tune out the world around you. The fact that the Glass is so upfront and personal, your mind blocks out everything expect for that tiny screen in the corner of your eye. I would not even try to attempt to drive or even exercise while wearing these things and my wife wasn’t too happy I ignored her for the day.

The Ugly – Not only do you feel like a cyborg from Universal Solider, these things are really not that comfortable to wear for an extended amount of time. Until we start seeing some designer or better (normal) looking frames, Google Glass is still more of a sci-fi contraption than a tech-packed fashion accessory. Although these represent a great look at the future, I still think we are a few years away from a truly finished (and affordable) product.

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(image courtesy of IMDB)