Dustin Curtis on Google Glass

[An interesting and thoughtful set of observations] about Google Glass from Dustin Curtis. The overall impression is one that confirms my guess that it will never be a mainstream product. Especially:

If you don’t say “ok glass” within a very short amount of time–way too short, I think–it turns back off. This led me to be constantly nodding my head up and down while saying “ok glass” over and over with my eyes pointing up and to the right. Someone watching commented that it looked like I was having a seizure.


All fashion issues aside–and there are many, of course, because the device looks kind of ridiculous to the uninitiated–it is extremely unnerving to be conversing with someone who has a camera and microphone on their face, pointed directly at you, with the ability to record. In the presence of someone wearing Glass, you can never have privacy. I had anticipated a feeling of uneasiness, but after experiencing it, I am surprised by how much it bothered me on a visceral level.

If Apple does indeed intend to build a watch as its first foray into “wearables”, it’s a much more natural formfactor. You don’t feel stupid wearing it, as you would a computer that has to be strapped ot your face, and integrating a quality color display is much more straightforward. The most important question by far is what can the software do? Is it a standalone device, or must it be tethered to a smartphone, like Glass? If the former, can it completely replace a smartphone? If the latter, what’s the value proposition for someone who already has a smartphone and doesn’t feel like pulling it out of his pocket a significant burden?