What at first glance seems to resemble Cyclops’ laser eyepiece is actually Google’s newest product – a wearable device comprised of a thin metal strip spanning the arc of the glasses, with a set of pad arms and nose pads resting on the ridge of one’s nose. The main body of Glass housing the brains, battery and counterweight sits behind the ear. It’s sleek, light, and its first version comes in five colours: gray, orange, white, black and light blue. Or according to the modern unwritten rules of marketing, what Google creatively terms Shale, Tangerine, Charcoal, Cotton and Sky.
But seriously, what distinguishes this remarkable device from any other technology on the market is the fact that it is well and truly one of a kind. It is activated by touch screen sensors positioned on the rim or by voice command – a simple remark of “ok glass” will produce a floating spectral screen that enables you to snap a photo, record a video, get answers and updates instantly and more – all from a “you are there” viewpoint. The device gets data through built-in Wi-Fi, or it can tether via Bluetooth to an iPhone or Android, and receives signal through 3G or 4G data when out and about. It is revolutionary not only in its unique design, functions and specs, but most importantly, in its empowering ability to allow the owner to feel better equipped without being completely distracted by a hand-held contraption. Imagine walking through the city with the perspective of Iron Man or the Terminator, only you can get it out of the way when you don’t need it.
The philosophy is radically simple. To prevent technology from being a distraction to modern man, Glass breaks this barrier by bringing technology closer to your senses, allowing you to connect with people in a fast and efficient way, but still preserving the value of face-to-face interaction and those personal life moments that current technology steers our attention away from. It certainly seems paradoxical to remedy the problems caused by technology with technology. But whether this is a sardonic reflection on modernity or an exciting leap of humanity, the bold and challenging concept of glass doubtlessly has potential.
Unfortunately, it’s not officially available on the market till 2014, but under special conditions (being a US citizen, submitting an application stating your creative ideas for how you’d use glass and giving a $1500 plus tax deposit), you can enter a special contest that may grant you the chance of winning Google glass by the end of 2013. It makes sense – it’s still early days, and Google is trying to gauge public reaction and obtain feedback to better the product. But that is perhaps what is best about glass. It’s an intimate device tailored for each consumer, and carries endless and transformative possibilities for portable technology. As for now, it’s a waiting game of keening eyes anticipating Google’s further moves towards publicity and product development.