After the release of the much anticipated-but very underwhelming- Google Glass, Google has at last announced the termination of the Explorer Program.
As an entrepreneur and lover of all things tech, it was only right that I try out the latest and greatest (ha!) wearable technology to surface. With much excitement I delved into the new wearable experience, determined to utilize it in every aspect of my career and personal life. I jumped on the Google+ band wagon and urged clients to do the same. Then… my excitement quickly turned into disappointment and my innovative wearable tech gadget soon returned to the box it came in. After over a year of letting the dust pile up, Google terminated the program and here I am, left with a pair of not-so-fashionable “glasses.”
Google, how could you do this to me?
Back in November of 2013 I was lucky enough (or so I thought) to receive an invite to participate in the beta of Glass. So lucky, in fact, that I had the privilege of paying $1,500 for a pair to “test” out in the glass Explorers Program.
I was intrigued by all the press surrounding the product, to say the least. And seeing as I’ve built a company on the ability to get businesses online, I felt obligated to stay on the cusp of technology. I won’t deny that my interest was slightly selfish also. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to take advantage of the latest technology around? I certainly did.
They arrived promptly, packaged in an ultra-sleek box -similar to Apple’s iconic designs. It was simple to use, but wearing it took a bit of getting used to, and the Bluetooth sync was slightly challenging. The biggest hurtle? No iOS App. So, off I went to my local service provider to set up another line.
Although set-up was fast, the gestures and commands also took some getting used to. I went through the process on Google and installed a few Apps including Twitter, Facebook and the news. I did this all so I could read from this digital screen, in one eye of course.
Prior to leaving on holiday, I held a meeting with my team at Trademark. I was ready. I gave an inspiring speech about being at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. I promised everyone a week with Google Glass to inspire excitement about testing a new technology. I concluded the 20-min monologue with a simple statement, “We need to utilize this technology, harness it and go further.” I said. “We need to invest time and money to investigate creative solutions for our clients and our industry.”
I took off on holiday and drove to Cabo San lucas. An ambitious drive from Detroit, Michigan, but I didn’t care because I had my Glass to keep me company. From my home in Detroit all the way to Los Cabos, I wore them. The testing I did was 100 percent authentic, I wore them as they were meant to be worn- in everyday life. I took pictures, videos and even attempted to read/check emails and share things on Facebook. I even spoke aloud a tweet. All seemed to be kosher, aside from the auto posting to G+, which seemed to have some bugs. But even that didn’t bother me much.
My biggest frustration was battery life. It seemed to max out at about 1/2 hour. Tops. Another aggravation was the bluetooth signal, which seemed utterly unreliable. Response time was slow, at best.
These two things pretty much killed Glass for me. After giving it my all, I just could not see the real benefit an average person would have from Google Glass. I mean, if you were a journalist at Fashion Week in NYC and wanted to snap photos and post fast, then it might be useful. This is assuming the limited battery life is greater than a measly 30 mins.
The Price. How much more useful is Glass than your phone? Is it twice as useful? It better be, because thats what is cost at $1,500.
This product was just not ready for the mainstream and I think they did a huge dis-justice by offering it to “beta” testers for a mere $1,500. They killed the product.
Returning My Glass
So, naturally, when you are dissatisfied with a product, it only makes sense to want to return it. Unfortunately, I missed the 30 day window to do so. I turned to eBay to resell my GLASS and it seemed my experience echoed around the country. There were hundreds of them for sale already. At that point, I chalked it up as a learning experience and put it behind me.
R.I.P Google Glass and thanks for the $1,500 commemorative keepsake (Air sealed in a time capsule) for my kids to laugh at in 20 years. They’ll probably be flying to work by then.