As kids, sunglasses – paired with a vivid imagination – gave us with limitless possibilities.
For one, it made us look cool, providing instant confidence. We felt invincible and executed every task with style and ease. Having the best shades on the block meant the absolute world.
Fast forward, two decades later: A new type of eyewear proves that it can serve all of the mentioned functionalities, but with a futuristic twist far beyond your imagination. While these don’t protect our eyes from the sun, it puts itself in the race with smartphones, tablets and other nifty devices.
Welcome Google Glass.
Google Glass (also referred to as Glass) is a state-of-the-art wearable device that puts the digital world right before your eyes. The opportunities are vast.
Imagine looking outside your window and immediately getting the local temperature and weather conditions. Along with video chatting, picture-taking and catching up on the news, you can even say a command to translate a word in a foreign language. Some digital technology experts predict that the Glass may someday replace the smartphone.
Goo-goo for Google-y eyes
While every new tech toy takes a minute to get used to, Google Glass can open a whole new world, all without leaving our own.
Instead of holding up your phone and video chatting, imagine the luxury of having a face-to-face conversation, completely hands-free. Calling a friend is as simple as saying his or her name.
It can also help with getting from point A to point B. If you’re driving don’t want to fuss with looking at your phone or electronic mapping device, Geek.com’s writer Russell Holly said in his review Glass is most effective with its turn-by-turn navigation.
“The directions float there as I need them, with the bone conduction speaker whispering the next set of directions to me,” he wrote. “It’s exactly what I need and I never have to look away from the road.”
Picture-happy users can also take photos on command or simply in a wink of an eye. These photos can be shared in seconds. Adventure seekers can also take one-of-a-kind videos on rollercoasters, skydiving excursions and any other heart-thumping, adrenaline-filled activity. And like pictures, you can also upload and share instantly.
Additionally, you can look up recipes while cooking without scrambling over to the book or electronic device. These are just a few of the head-turning features.
While there are dozens of reasons why the new release is praiseworthy, Google Glass is sure to face its share of challenges and skepticism.
A potentially bad eye-dea?
Despite the multiple functionalities Glass is capable of, this latest-and-greatest tool already has mixed reviews.
David Meyer, a technical journalist and senior writer GigaOM writes in a recent article that the capability of Google Glass can easily be swapped with a smart watch — something that has the functionality of a tablet, but easier to access than a phone.
He notes while one of the biggest-selling points for Glass is “its ability to make it easier to see essential, bite-sized information: text messages, tweets [and] incoming caller identity,” it carries a lot of the same functions of that of a smart watch. And let’s face it: Not everyone wants to attract attention with odd-looking specs.
Speaking of wearing glasses, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a recent concert that these won’t have a broad appeal.
“Nothing that’s going to convince a kid that’s never worn glasses or a band or a watch or whatever to wear one,” he said. “I wear glasses because I have to.”
Another downside is that Glass is known to go through its battery life quickly. However, this can be said about any electronic device used frequently throughout the day.
Your view is all that matters
While the concept is unique and futuristic, Google Glass may not be for everyone. But you’ve got to hand it to Google for being innovative and bringing something out of a sci-fi movie to real life. Add these to your holiday wish list: If you want a pair of these puppies, it’s $1,500 a pop.
Google Glass is still in its research stage, but should be released the next few months. Applications to purchase a pair are currently closed, but you can stay up-to-date with the latest information here.