Google’s #GlassExplorers Program Concludes January 19th

I read the news today, oh boy…

Glass Explorers Go Forth
So… what does this mean? Is Google “abandoning” their Glass device? Is Google Glass “dead?”
No. Not at all. Better yet, Glass is on to the next phase! Thanks to our feedback and efforts in Exploring, Glass 2.0 is pressing forward to evolve into its next form. According to their most recent post on Google+, “Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk. Well, we still have some work to do, but now we’re ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run.

 

Sayeth the Glass Team, “Since we first met, interest in wearables has exploded and today it’s one of the most exciting areas in technology. Glass at Work has been growing and we’re seeing incredible developments with Glass in the workplace. As we look to the road ahead, we realize that we’ve outgrown the lab and so we’re officially “graduating” from Google[x] to be our own team here at Google. We’re thrilled to be moving even more from concept to reality. As part of this transition, we’re closing the Explorer Program so we can focus on what’s coming next. January 19 will be the last day to get the Glass Explorer Edition. In the meantime, we’re continuing to build for the future, and you’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready. (For now, no peeking.)

 

Can/will you still use Glass as you have the past two years?
Of course! Using my pair of Glass for good will continue for me until they cease to function. After exploring the streets of Florida and beyond, people are still very curious and excitedly fascinated by Google Glass. While at CES this year, I was very shocked to discover just how many of the 170,000 attendees (and vendors!) hadn’t either tried on Glass or even seen Glass ‘in the wild!’ So surprising! Just wait. I have a feeling V002 will be even bigger…
Explorer Program Ends
Matt Swider from TechRadar messaged some of the original Glass Explorers and asked two questions of us regarding present thoughts of the device and future expectations. The full article entitled “Google Glass 2: Here’s what actual Explorers want to see” is a great read. Below are my full answers to both questions;

 

1) What do you think is next for an improved Google Glass?

After seeing Sergey Brin on the floor at CES this year, literally anything is possible! I’ve read some things about a Glass contact lens but I’m not sure that’s the next step for Google… yet.

In my mind, an improved Google Glass device would include a modular prism suitable for the left AND right eye. Possibly a prism above both eyes to allow for a wider field of view.I’d also tweak the voice dictation a little more. The microphone is surprisingly great in most environments, even noisy ones, but there’s always room for improvement. For those times, I’d love to see a basic keyboard option in the MyGlass app – maybe even some sort of air keyboard.

A huge improvement for Glass would be the ability to fold them up. As the device is now, there’s no other way to store it other than putting Glass on your head, carrying around a large microfiber bag with little protection or a larger, reinforced case. This becomes a particular challenge when using the sunglasses accessory or the prescription lenses. Not only is the user trying to protect the integrity of the device but also the safety of the accessory.

In the same vein, weatherproofing Glass is also needed. Where I realize making the device waterproof may not be viable, weatherproofing it would be a welcome middle ground. I live in Florida where it’s mostly warm and quite humid year round. As part of the Glass Explorer program, I’ve had a grand total of six devices and all three of the XE series. Half of those replacements were due to software issues but the other half were hardware related, being mainly the foil on the side of Glass’s prism; either it bubbled or simply flaked off. Without the foil in place, seeing the projection display is very difficult, and in extreme cases, impossible.

2) Look back: What did Google Glass Explorer Edition help you do most?

Being a Google Glass Explorer helped me share a little of my world with the rest of the planet. I’m not a developer. I’m not a celebrity with a large platform. I’m one person, who lives in one town, in one country on planet Earth.What I think Glass helped me do the most was challenge people to think beyond the tech and examine how a device like this could help others in their community, family, social circles and more. Perhaps I inspired someone to get more involved locally through volunteerism or abroad via voluntourism? Maybe something I posted encouraged someone to just pay attention? Regardless of the hows, the whys and whats are the win.

When Google invited me to be a Glass Explorer (via Twitter of all things), I had no idea what to expect. Not being a developer, I was very excited and a little shocked to even be a consideration. And hats off to the Google Glass Guides and Glass Team! They never once made me feel insignificant or lesser because of this. With every phone call, every visit to a basecamp, every email; I have always felt like a valuable member of the original Glass Explorer team. Any time I had equipment issues, a replacement arrived on my doorstep virtually overnight. If this kind of high quality customer experience continues through to the next generation of Glass, any hiccups that may happen will certainly be eclipsed,

My goal with Glass from the beginning was a project I called #Glass4good, now #Wearables4good. Through Glass I would share what I normally do in and around my community (volunteering, working as part of Florida’s film and tv industry, covering events, etc) with the hope of inspiring others to do the same in their communities. Almost two years later I’m still regularly sharing (and hopefully) still inspiring others to get and stay involved, whether it’s #throughglass or otherwise.

TechSquad Credits

Our award-winning short film #TechSquad went international! Click this image to watch it!

 

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7 comments on “Google’s #GlassExplorers Program Concludes January 19th

    • The progress Glass has made over the last two years and the developments in Glassware… it’s pretty amazing stuff! This device has a TON of potential to help people and businesses grow.

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