Showing posts from April, 2013

Robert's two-week review of Google Glass: it all depends on the price

My two-week review of Google Glass: it all depends on the price

This week I gave five speeches while wearing it.
I passed through airports four times (two more in a couple of hours).
I let hundreds of people try my Google Glass.
I have barely taken it off since getting it other than to sleep.

Here's my review after having Google Glass for two weeks:

1. I will never live a day of my life from now on without it (or a competitor). It's that significant.
2. The success of this totally depends on price. Each audience I asked at the end of my presentations "who would buy this?" As the price got down to $200 literally every hand went up. At $500 a few hands went up. This was consistent, whether talking with students, or more mainstream, older audiences.
3. Nearly everyone had an emotional outburst of "wow" or "amazing" or "that's crazy" or "stunning."
4. At NextWeb 50 people surrounded me and wouldn't let me leave until they had a chance at trying them. I haven't seen that kind of product angst at a conference for a while. This happened to me all week long, it is just crazy.
5. Most of the privacy concerns I had before coming to Germany just didn't show up. I was shocked by how few negative reactions I got (only one, where an audience member said he wouldn't talk to me with them on). Funny, someone asked me to try them in a bathroom (I had them aimed up at that time and refused).
6. There is a total generational gap that I found. The older people said they would use them, probably, but were far more skeptical, or, at minimum, less passionate about the fact that these are the future, than the 13-21-year-olds I met.

So, let's cover the price, first of all. I bet that +Larry Page is considering two price points: something around $500, which would be very profitable. Or $200, which is about what the bill of materials costs. When you tear apart the glasses, like someone else did (I posted that to my Flipboard "Glasshole" magazine) you see a bunch of parts that aren't expensive. This has been designed for mass production. In other words, millions of units. The only way Google will get there is to price them under $300.

I wouldn't be shocked if Larry went very aggressive and priced them at $200. Why would Google do this?

Easy: I'm now extremely addicted to Google services. My photos and videos automatically upload to Google+. Adding other services will soon be possible (I just got a Twitter photo app that is being developed by a third party) but turning on automatic uploads to other services will kill my batteries on both my phone and my glasses (which doesn't have much battery life anyway). So, I'm going to be resistant to adding Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Evernote, and Tumblr to my glasses. Especially when Google+ works darn well and is the default.

Also, Google is forbidding advertising in apps. This is a HUGE shift for Google's business model. I believe Larry Page is moving Google from an advertising-based company to a commerce based company.

The first thing I tried that it failed on was "find me a Sushi restaurant." I'm sure that will get fixed soon and, Google could collect a micropayment anytime I complete a transaction like reserving a seat at a restaurant, or getting a book delivered to my house, or, telling something like Bloomingdales "get me these jeans."

There is literally billions of dollars to be made with this new commerce-based system, rather than force us to sit and look at ads, the way Facebook and tons of other services do.

When you wear these glasses for two weeks you get the affordance is totally different and that having these on opens you up to a new commerce world. Why?

1. They are much more social than looking at a cell phone. Why? I don't need to look away from you to use Google, or get directions, or do other things.
2. The voice works and works with nearly every one and in every situation. It's the first product that literally everyone could use it with voice. It's actually quite amazing, even though I know that the magic is that it expects to hear only a small number of things. "OK Glass, Take a Picture" works. "OK Glass, Take a Photo" doesn't. The Glass is forcing your voice commands to be a certain set of commands and no others will be considered. This makes accuracy crazy high, even if you have an accent.

I continue to be amazed with the camera. It totally changes photography and video. Why? I can capture moments. I counted how many seconds it takes to get my smartphone out of my pocket, open it up, find the camera app, wait for it to load, and then take a photo. Six to 12 seconds. With Google Glass? Less than one second. Every time. And I can use it without having hands free, like if I'm carrying groceries in from the car and my kids are doing something cute.

I've been telling people that this reminds me of the Apple II, which I unboxed with my dad back in 1977. It was expensive. It didn't do much. But I knew my life had changed in a big way and would just get better and better. Already this week I've gotten a new RSS app, the New York Times App, and a Twitter app. With many more on the way.

This is the most interesting new product since the iPhone and I don't say that lightly.

Yeah, we could say the camera isn't good in low light. We could say it doesn't have enough utility. It looks dorky. It freaks some people out (it's new, that will go away once they are in the market).

But I don't care. This has changed my life. I will never live a day without it on.

It is that significant.

Now, Larry, find a way to make it $200 and you'll have a major hit on your hands.

Faked, but pretty impressive

Oculas Rift + Virtuix Omni for the win!

Forget Google Glass of the iWatch, this is what people should be excited about.

At CES there was a lot of buzz around the Oculas Rift however it made people feel a bit sick. Add the Omni and you probably sorted it out.

This does not only need to be used in games, but its application can be applied to a lot of things and could even help people who cannot get out of the house a way to interact...

Can Google Glass make driving safer?

Interesting article from Wired on what types of application can be used on Glass in a car. It actually makes a whole bunch of sense as it is quicker to glance and talk to a heads up display then to poke at a smart phone.

Also what is interesting is that it could potentially tell whether or not you have fallen asleep at the wheel as it could detect if you are looking at the road or not...

I can think where Glass could make driver less safe but if you think a bit more on its applications it could be the opposite.
Sarah Price originally shared this post:
My dad recently witnessed a car accident where the driver of the vehicle in front of him fell asleep and crashed. The driver (a young man) didn't survive.

Even if it's not tomorrow, next week, or next month, I'm so excited for the potential for technology like Glass to make people's lives better. I'm glad people are thinking about these things.

From the article: "And what about the safety? Glass has a built-in accelerometer that allows you to tilt your head up or down to scroll through menus and lists. What if that same accelerometer was used to detect a drowsy driver? [...] With something mounted directly to your head, if you nod-off behind the wheel, Glass could react in milliseconds to sound an alarm through the built-in speaker."
Your Car Is the Killer App for Google Glass | Autopia | »
Everyone wants to know what Google Glass is good for. I've figured it out: It's the killer app for your car.

Explosions at Boston Marathon

Not sure what is going on, UK viewers can see it on BBC News...

Moving Performance

Don't usually rate anything from Britain's got Talent, but this is a piece of art. Moving story, something I have never seen before...


Facebook Home ratings keeps dropping down

Been looking at this for the pass 1 hour, it started out at average review score of 2.7, now it is at 2.3. Doesn't look like it is that great...

Facebook Home is the mobile experience that puts your friends at the heart ...

Don't Use Your Phone Whilst Driving

Paul Snedden originally shared this post:
Don't Use Your Phone Whilst Driving

This is the sad, but timely reminder, of why you shouldn't use your mobile phone whilst driving.

The parents of Alexander Heit released the attached image to tell the story of how their son sadly lost his life trying to complete the above message whilst driving. Alexander drifted into oncoming traffic, tried to swerve and then went off the road, rolling his car.

He died shortly after the accident, on April 3, in the United States.

In consultation with the local police, the man's mother Sharon decided to share the image with the following statement:

"In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you."

As someone who was recently pulled over and charged with using my phone whilst driving, I feel like I need to share this.

I've had a few things in the What's Hot thing here on G+ but I think for the first time that this is something that I have posted that deserves to be there, to raise awareness.

Ah Snake, brings back memories

Imgur (Unofficial) originally shared this post:

Facebook Home looks pretty cool (but how long will it take for there to be ADs on the cover feed)

Personally I won't use it as I am not really a FB user, but I can see a market where it people will love it. But yea I can see full size ads on the cover feed :)
Facebook Home hands-on (video) »
We've taken a closer look at the HTC First hardware, so let's dig into the firmware side -- namely, the Facebook Home user interface featured on the

Nice way to get a kiss

loving #swiftkeytilt

SwiftKey Tilt - the whole-body typing experience

Twitter found a way to make money

Twitter Blog: Annncng: Twttr »
Share and discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world.

Truly a game changer

Forget self driving cars, what about self writing code :)
Life at Google originally shared this post:
Googler Spotlight: Self-writing code engineer

Our engineers work on all kinds of interesting projects, from Gmail to data centers to self-driving cars. We spoke to software engineer Taylor Santo, who developed our latest innovation, self-writing code.