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If you haven’t yet heard of Google Glass, then let me introduce you. Google Glass is a product aimed at seamlessly integrating many features of your smart phone into a hands-free device similar to a pair of glasses. The frame of the glasses is fitted with a small (the term “small” is relative, see the pictures and decide for yourself) computer and boasts wireless operation via voice commands. The Glass utilizes many Google apps including Google Now, Google Maps, Google+, and Gmail. While demonstrations of Google Glass have been going on since mid-2012, Google recently launched an advertising campaign that is nothing short of massive. However, after researching the Glass and reading countless articles from fans and naysayers alike, it is still unclear if Glass is really as phenomenal as Google claims, or if it is simply a nice extension of your more-than-capable smart phone. Read on and tell us what you think.


Innovative Development

Google announced in February 2013 that a limited number of Glass “developer” models would be released for developers and consumers alike. The only requirements were that you tell Google why you wanted to try Glass in 50 words or less via the hashtag #ifihadglass. Of course, once selected, a small fee of $1,500 was required in order to actually get the Glass. Regardless, there were more than 145,000 mentions of #ifihadglass from February 20-27 2013, ensuring that Google’s limit of 8,000 developer editions of Glass were all distributed for testing and feedback.


Features, or Lack Thereof?

Now, almost three months later, it seems as if almost person who has tried Google Glass is publicly sharing their experience, and the results are mixed, to say the very least. There are many (like Robert Scoble) who claim that the Glass is extraordinary. After all, the Glass allows you to upload your photos and videos straight to Google+. You can check your email with a simple voice command, or find directions to the nearest steakhouse without ever taking your hands off the steering wheel. Many who have tested the Glass have also claimed that the voice function, while not perfect, is without a doubt headed in the right direction, and already far ahead of the voice function on most smart phones. Those who love it absolutely love it. However, a large percentage of those who tested Glass seem to have a much different point of view.


With all of the current features of Glass and promises of those to come, there are still some unanswered questions from the view of average consumers. Perhaps the most prominent concern is the price. Granted, reports suggest that the consumer-based edition of the Glass will not be near as costly as the $1,500 developer edition, but, it is undetermined how low Google is willing to go in terms of price of the final product. A few notable shortcomings are a short batter life (about three and half hours) and the inability to connect to 4g or LTE internet unless your phone supports Bluetooth tethering. Also, you cannot email photos with the Glass, and you can’t wear it with regular glasses or sunglasses.


Final Impression

Google Glass, while an extraordinary feat of engineering and development, may fall short of many average consumers’ expectations. Depending how well Google responds to the demands of those who have tested and criticized the Glass, changes in the consumer-based model could make or break this product. While it seems to lack that one aspect that sets it apart from all other smart devices, the Google Glass is, nonetheless, a very interesting and innovative product.

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