Is the Google Glass worth it?

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By Michael Uribe

Are you a lonely nerd looking to make a connection with another human being?  Well Google Glass may be a good start. I purchased my Glass during the second Explorer rollout, when you had to be invited to purchase them for princely sum of $1500 or your first born child. Ever since the first time I put them on and walked out of the Google office in Los Angeles, I have been the most popular, albeit awkward looking, person on the street. Random strangers will come up to me and ask, “Hey is that those Google Glass things? How do they work? What do they do? How much were they?” Some will even ask to try them on. As not to be labeled a “Glasshole,” I always take the time to answer the questions and show them a bit about the future of mobile electronics that I believe Glass will become. One thing is for certain, Glass is a great ice breaker and great way to meet new tech enthusiasts.

Google_glass

Glass may be a great way to meet new people, but is it worth the $1500 price tag?  Well, yes and no. At its current state Glass is still very much a beta product. There are very few apps, a few glitches here and there, and a rather small but passionate developer community. The Google Glass community is very active, as is Google in the community. Google has a special Glass Explorers site that can only be accessed by Google Glass Explorers. Here Explorers can post to discussion boards, request new features, organize events, and get the latest news from Google regarding Glass. While Glass is still very much a beta product, the good news is that Google is rapidly evolving it into something for the mainstream consumer. The internet company continues to release new updates that add functionality and make it more user friendly. On top of that they continue to release accessories for Glass such as the prescription lens attachment, earbuds, and designer sunglasses. With its recent partnerships with Ray-Ban and Oakley, the accessories are only going to continue to improve.

Although Glass is still a beta product, it is by far ready for use by your average tech enthusiast. I have taken Glass with me to many places, from bars, to snowboarding, to a trip to the zoo, and it has always performed at or above my expectations. With the built-in navigation in Glass, you will be hard pressed to get lost. Glass can navigate you whether you are walking, driving, or using the metro; although the latter needs a bit more work to bring it up to par. You’ll never need to fumble for your camera phone, since photos and videos can be taken instantly with little effort. The built-in camera can shoot high def. video at 720p and pictures at 5 MP.  The video and pictures are crisp and clear and can all be taken by a simple voice command or a shutter button near the top. I shot video while snowboarding at a local mountain resort and the video rivaled my friend’s new GoPro Hero3 with the added benefit of not needing a mount. The added bonus was that I could also listen to my music with the added earbuds, respond to text messages, and post my photos and videos to Facebook or Google+ instantly all with my voice, plus there was no need for me to take off my gloves to get to my phone. The voice recognition in Glass is extremely impressive and far beyond anything I have ever used on my phone or computer.  There is no need to talk slowly or like a robot, Glass will understand you with minimal effort.

Google Glass Project

So what does this all boil down to? Should you buy it? Well unfortunately right now you can’t. Google Glass is still not available to purchase by the general public. You can sign up to be an Explorer on the Glass website in hopes of receiving an invite.  However, even if you could purchase it, you shouldn’t, at least not right now. $1500 is a lot to ask for a beta product and unfortunately it just isn’t worth it at the moment.  By the time Glass is released to the general public there will be more apps to take advantage of the capabilities this thing has to offer, and if Google is smart (which they definitely are) it will be significantly cheaper. My suggestion is to just to be patient and wait it out, but if you still need help making a connection with another human being use the old fashioned method.

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