Google Glass (or, Glass, as it’s commonly called) is one of the most talked about pieces of technology in the world today, and it hasn’t even been released for sale as of yet. No official sale date has been set, but most rumors have the device going on sale in late 2013 or early 2014. It’s a unique piece of technology that looks to create a new category for technology: Wearable Computers. Glass is worn in a manner not unlike a normal pair of glasses. However, Glass does not (by default) feature lenses; it features a small screen just above eye level and a touchpad along one side. The device has the potential to open up entirely new ways of interacting with the world via technology.
While the devices are not yet for sale, Google has started making Glass available to those that were accepted into their Glass Explorers program. A few months ago, Google announced the Explorers program and invited people to apply to participate by tweeting how they would use Glass. Here’s my application:
While having access Glass – especially EARLY access – definitely thrills the tech-geek part of my personality, what really excited me was the opportunity to collaboratively explore the implications and applications Glass (and the inevitable similar devices that will follow) will have on how people learn, and how people are able to be supported in their daily work.
To my surprise and delight, a few weeks later I received a response from Google informing me I had been accepted into the Glass Explorers program. A few weeks ago I was asked to set up an appointment to pick up my device, and last week I was able to pick it up.
Over the coming weeks and months, I invite you to join me in exploring this new technology and how it may be used to enhance learning and performance. I underline the words “Join Me” because I invite you not in a passive “Read my posts” manner, but as an active “Let’s explore this tech together” invitation. The more people that get involved, the more value we can provide to our community as a whole.
A Few Assumptions
I start this experience with a few assumptions that I think are important to share with anyone looking to come along for the journey.
- I don’t expect the tech to be perfect. While Google hasn’t publicly called the Glass Explorer program a Beta Test, it in many ways functions as one. I expect the tech to be buggy at times, and to be updated and enhanced regularly based on user feedback.
- While looking at how the functionality of the device is important, what’s more important is to consider the possibilities presented by the technology. Glass as hardware is simply a gateway; it’s the software (called Glassware) that is developed that will define and expand the possibilities of the device.
- While opinions will inevitably be shared, this isn’t about reviewing Google Glass. The value I hope this series provides is in the exploration of possibilities.
Expectations of this Blog Series
Throughout this blog series, we’ll be exploring different aspects of Google Glass. Early on we’ll spend some time exploring the tech itself, and what Glass does. We’ll share what it’s like to wear a device like Glass. We’ll experiment with different ways Glass might be used to enhance education, learning, and performance. And like any good journey, we’ll go where the wind takes us, discovering things that never could occur to us at this early stage.
How You Can Get Involved
I’d really like this to be a collaborative journey, and I invite you to join me. There are a number of ways to get involved; here are a few suggestions:
- Ask questions and share your thoughts via comments on the blog posts
- Connect with me via the device
- Suggest learning and performance-related tests for us to perform
- If we have the opportunity to meet in person, check out the device and share your feedback
- Join me for Google Hangouts
These are just a few suggestions. As we start exploring together, I’m sure I and others will have more ideas. Please feel free to connect with me at any point to make suggestions and share your ideas.
I’ve already got a few posts planned, including first impressions of the device and it’s functionality, sharing how Google “trains” Explorers on using Glass, and sharing initial thoughts after bringing glass on a trip to Philadelphia.
I look forward to exploring this exciting technology with you.