#Glass4good is now #Wearables4good!

Greetings all! Jen here. I’ve got some news…

#RelaySocial

Alicia, Bun and Jen during the #RelaySocial Lap at Relay For Life of Hunter’s Creek 2013

Short answer: Is this the end of the cause? NO. Not at all. In fact, thanks to some great people out there… we’re GROWING!

Long (no, really, LONG) answer: For the past year I have been exploring the Central Florida community (and beyond!) through Google Glass, as one of the world’s first Glass Explorers. It’s been A BLAST. I have met many cool, curious people and taken tons of random reaction shots in that time. Some are GREAT, some are only slightly embarassing.

In a year and four months’  time I have never had a single ‘negative‘ experience with the device, like the ones the media likes to report. No Sarah Slocum ‘bar brawls,’ no Daily Show run-ins; although I was told to stow the device when visiting The Colbert Report in April.

The only even remotely ‘negative’ (if you can even call it that?) experience I’ve encountered was with another Explorer, a self-proclaimedsociopath.” Which further proves a theory I’ve had since day one of my involvement with Project Glass; Perception of Glass will have every bit to do with the personality of the device wearer over the device itself. True, “reasonable expectation of privacy” went out the window with the original iPhone, possibly even earlier. However, to be factually blunt, a jerk will always be a jerk.

I have had a few ‘indifferent‘ experiences, in that, some may have feared what they did not know, but they were inquisitive enough to find out more without casting a harsh stone in my direction. Taking the time to explain how the device worked, and going one step further to explain what actions (voice, touchpad and button commands) to look for when a device is ‘on’ surely quelled even the most suspicious party… and even got them a little more curious.

Unintentional #GlassSelfie?

Blogger tour of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (wearer: Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com)

These impromptu demonstrations would happen no matter where I went and (other than being en route to the restroom) I was, and still am, happy to show people how Glass works. [And no, I do not work for Google. I wish I made a Google-size salary though.]

Because of my already active community status, these daily demonstrations quickly opened the door to guest speaking opportunities and group demonstrations via lunch and learns, conventions, staff meetings, public presentations, non-profit events and more. It’s been like a live and in-person Twitter stream at times! Hundreds, thousands of conversations overlapping and open.

I’ve been interviewed quite a bit about Glass; my thoughts about Glass, my experience with the device and so on. Our 48 Hour Film Project team even used the device in our city-winning short film last year, TechSquad! I’ve even been recognized for my efforts with #Glass4good via TechRepublic, Carpathia’s Tech Hero/Heroine program and was a finalist in this year’s Shorty Awards.

48 Hour Film Project Orlando 2013

My question was: Why do people even care about my experience with Glass? I’m not a developer or programmer. I produce television and short films. I’m a creative, not a coder! Answer? Perception of the wearer. Well, that’s the only answer I can quantify at this point anyway. I’m a nice person. (Or try to be most of the time.) Being a Glass Explorer opened doors, provoked conversation AND action in others and kept me going during some of the lowest parts of my life; unemployment, my mom’s second cancer diagnosis and more.

I must note the interesting social experiment I’ve unofficially conducted since getting the (prescription) Bold Frame accessory in May. When in public, I would get interesting looks wearing Glass as most people are used to seeing them in the media. Having an orange (ahem, ‘tangerine‘) device on my face got people curious for sure, and quickly replaced the archetypal name tag.

When I started wearing the frame accessory, this view did a surprising 180. People still recognized something, but it’s almost like the Google Glass became secondary. Most people I encountered didn’t realize Glass had an option for prescription wearers. While it was still a topic of conversation 7-8 times out of every 10 interactions, it seemed to come across as less intrusive… less creeper looking. Honestly, I totally feel like Clark Kent when I wear them now. Just add fedora! (Nevermind that Clark’s are a little closer to the Curve Frames.)

TechSquad at Otronicon (Orlando Science Center)

All told, my Glass Explorer experience has indeed been a FUN and socially educational one! So does this mean I’m hanging up my Google Glass? NOT at all. I’m not done covering events or using my #Glass4good causes. I still love my Glass and wear them often. I’m simply opening up the field to other devices (wearable and not) and applications! More good reporting and sharing… and we’re hoping more often.

This blog and journey would cease to exist without the 35 people who were so kind to me last April and helped make #Glass4good even possible. I owe it to them – not to mention the local and global community – to continue and grow.

To new friends, followers and readers, I thank you for following this blog. Our work here is NOT done. Stay tuned….

#glass4good: Meet Barry, Townsend, Cam and Rob

In life, you’ll meet characters. Tons of ’em. Yesterday I met four guys, legends if you will, who do some pretty amazing things for a living… and you know them too! First, we set the scene. Marker, camera speed… ACTION!

Of the many things I do in a given day, I work for a blog called Central Florida Top 5 where I help provide multimedia and social media coverage of events and more. This weekend we were invited to stay at Nickelodeon Suites Resort to experience their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Retro Weekend, part of their #SummerOfShell celebration. We are incredibly privileged to be invited to attend great events like this, and do so several times a week. This weekend, admittedly, our Editor Ken Storey and I were only slightly excited. (Are you KIDDING?! We giggled like preschoolers and totally reverted back to our much younger selves!) Our experience was SO much fun, even as an adult, I didn’t want to leave the hotel! You’ll get to read more about our wonderful experience very soon on Central Florida Top 5 and hear about it even sooner on Orlando Tourism Report‘s latest podcast! Cut, print, moving on to…

I had the privilege of speaking with some especially rad dudes; Barry Gordon, Townsend Coleman, Cam Clarke and Rob Paulsen the voices behind the original animated cast of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon (among many other characters). During a press Q&A, someone asked “Are there any lesser known perks to being one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?” This started a discussion that really resonated with me regarding giving back. It’s a curious thing how a single smell or sound can take one back to a happy memory. When the guys started doing the Turtle voices, I was immediately transported back to random memories from my childhood; dancing in my living room to the TMNT theme song, reading tons for Pizza Hut’s Book-It program just so I could get a certificate and our class could get a free pizza party, tracking down Turtles kids meal toys with my mom, with purchase VHS tapes of episodes… just a flood of moments I thought I had forgotten! All this from four voices who happened to be standing right in front of me! My 10 year old self (and now my 30 something year old self) were both doing internal backflips!!

If all these memories came alive for me, imagine what they can do for an ill child. The flipside to that coin is equally as fulfilling, if not more so. Townsend Coleman (voice of Michaelangelo) says, “As the show has grown, we’ve gotten to find out how much it’s meant to people when they were growing up, and the lessons that they would take away from many of the stories of the Ninja Turtles. We had no idea when we were recording the show. It’s amazing and humbling to see.” Rob Paulsen (Raphael in the original cartoon and Donatello in the latest) agrees, “It’s an incredible honor to be able to, not only to work on something that achieves iconic status, but all of us have had the really good fortune of spending time with families and children. Whether it’s in person or on the phone in some pretty diabolical circumstances in which they open their hearts to you and they sort of allow you in to share what can be a very difficult circumstance. The Turtles, through us, end up making those kids smile and the parents often more than the kids.” Barry and Cam share a couple of really beautiful stories below…

It was an incredible honor to meet these guys (and the Turtles)! Huge, special cowabunga thanks to Barry, Townsend, Cam and Rob for taking time out to share these moments, also to Beth and the team at Nick Hotel for making it happen! Shout out Michelle and Miki at Cowabunga Corner, just ’cause. That’s a WRAP! (Ninja… ninja.. RAP!)

#Glass4good: Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation and the Birth of #SelflessSelfie

Happy Mothers Day!

Boy was Beth Bailey in for a surprise. Little did she know SHE WON the scooter raffle at this year’s Scooters 4 Hooters and Ellen’s Walk With the Angels after buying 25 tickets in support of Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation!

A friend in the audience decided to call Beth so Robin Maynard, the founder of Libby’s Legacy, could tell her the big news personally. During this phone call, another giving movement was born; the #SelflessSelfie (begins at 2:19). In the moment, Robin brainstormed on stage announcing, “Speaking of selfless selfies, if you donate in the next week… put your money up and take a selfie. And we will put it up on our website and our Facebook page!”

Also announced on stage (at 6:30) was the start of the Mammogram of the Month Club. A commitment of $100 a month will provide a mammogram to a woman (or man!) who cannot afford one. Twins Shelly and Catherine Reynolds (Libby’s Legacy Vice Chair) were the first to sign up, and as Robin put it, they are #TWINNING!

Through programs like The Hope Tree Project, C.S.I. (Cancer Screening Initiative)/Mammogram Access Project, P.A.L.S. (Patient Advocate Liason Service) and LIVE BIG, Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation provides comprehensive breast health care to the underserved Central Florida community through education, mammograms, follow up diagnostics and Hope Coaches on the journey from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. So far, Scooters 4 Hooters and Ellen’s Walk With the Angels 2014 have both raised a bunch with more donations coming in by the minute!

The funds raised help grant wishes for Stage IV breast cancer patients in order to create cherished memories with loved ones through Libby’s Legacy’s LIVE BIG program. Even more extraordinary is, as of December 2013, nearly 4000 Breast Health services have been provided, 62 breast cancers have been diagnosed through these life saving diagnostics and 7 LIVE BIG cruises have been granted RIGHT HERE in Central Florida! These services are made possible through Libby’s Legacy signature fundraising events like these. As Robin says at 7:18, “It REALLY matters. We have to have this annuity type fund because when we don’t get funded, when things are down… we have to have that money coming in.”

To find out more on how you can get involved with Libby’s Legacy Breast Cancer Foundation, by emailing info (at) libbyslegacy(dot)org or visiting the following links:

http://www.libbyslegacy.org
http://www.angelswalk.org
http://www.scooters4hooters.com
http://www.facebook.com/libbyslegacy
https://www.facebook.com/EllensWalkwiththeAngels
https://www.facebook.com/Scooters4Hooters
http://www.twitter.com/libbyslegacy
http://www.twitter.com/ellensangelwalk

*Apologies for the sound dropout around the 7:53 minute mark? It must have been a glitch in Google Glass.