By Hilary JM Topper, MPA, an EO New York member and president and CEO of HJMT Public Relations, Inc.
More than a year ago, my husband showed me an article in Wired Magazine on Google Glass. The story talked about how Google was developing a portable device that would revolutionize the mobile industry. I read the article and laughed. “Who would want to walk around with something that looked like you were plugged into the Borg?” My husband’s laugh began when he found out I entered a contest on Twitter— #IfIHadGlass.
I originally wrote, “#IfIHadGlass I would wear them to the #diva half marathon in Myrtle Beach.” However, the half marathon came and went, and I wasn’t selected. So I started to write, “I want my #GoogleGlass more than I want my MTV!” (For those of you who weren’t around in the 1980′s, the campaign for MTV was “I Want My MTV!” Even Dire Straits, the band, wrote a song about wanting their MTV.) Well, that worked. Next thing I knew, I was called an “Explorer” and invited to Google’s corporate headquarters for a fitting.
I didn’t know what to expect. When my appointment came, I walked in to Google headquarters in Manhattan’s meat-packing district with three friends. I was afraid that they would turn two of them away, but they didn’t. Everyone was extremely friendly and I felt like a VIP. We waited for two minutes before Beau, our representative, came out to greet us. He took us into a large loft with kiosks. Everyone wore Glass. I felt as if I was on Deep Space Nine. I was waiting for Jordi to come out and take me to another dimension!
Then I snapped back into reality when Beau took me over to the glass counter and asked if I still wanted the “sky blue” color. When I saw it, I realized that it was perhaps a little too bold to wear around. I decided to go with a more subdued color that blended in with my hair. Next, he took us over to our own kiosk. One of the staff members went in the back and got me the pair I selected. Meanwhile another staff member asked us if we wanted champagne, beer, wine and soft drinks, along with assorted finger foods. It was very upscale! He spent a lot of time with me, and I felt like I couldn’t absorb it all; he assured me that if I needed support, there was a special community just for Glass users. “You’ll find a wealth of information in the community, and the more you wear Glass, the more you will love it.” So what does it do?
- Take a photo – You can take a photo of anything, anywhere, but you can’t be too far away because there is no telephoto capability at this point. However, when you do take photos, they come out extremely clear and crisp.
- Take a video – You can take a 10-second video. If you want a longer video, there is a button on the top that enables you to record as long as you like.
- Get directions – Using Google Maps, you can direct Glass to take you anywhere you want to go.
- Send a text message – You can send a message to a friend or client through Glass.
- Make a call – Get incoming and outgoing calls through Glass. The first time a call came in, it felt so strange. Now, I’m used to it and love it.
- Video chat using Google Hangouts – I admit, this is a feature I haven’t tried yet, but I can’t wait to do it…
- Share – You can share information on your social sites, specifically on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. They can also link up with Tumblr.
In addition, Glass knows your location so it can recommend area attractions and restaurants, which is quite useful when you are traveling. It also shows you the local weather forecast. This is a very helpful feature! And you can download CNN, The New York Times and Elle (look book) on Glass. I used them all for a few days and found them quite useful.
I particularly liked CNN because it was a video feed, but I decided to shut these off because I was getting way too many notifications. Google created a private Google Glass community where you get a chance to talk with other explorers and developers. Being a Google Glass explorer is like being an EO member … it’s fun, exciting, challenging and most of all, life-changing!