#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….