I’m still waiting for my own pair of Google Glass. I managed to borrow a pair for a few minutes and here are my first impressions.
- The Screen — The screen was smaller than I expected. Hold your right arm out with two fingers together pointing left. The screen is about two fingers high and from the tip of an index finger to the middle knuckle wide. I plan to prototype UI wireframe a with small sticky notes.
- Overall Experience — it was less intrusive and awkward than I expected. It was a little hard to get the screen in the right place, but once I did it was very clear. The bone conducting speaker made the audio from Glass very clear even in a crowded room. I could see myself using this without feeling like a guy with a bluetooth headset.
- Apps – I got to play with the Navigation, NY Times and picture taking apps. The navigation app was pretty cool and I think this will be killer. Photos and video are difficult to see what you are getting because the resolution on the display (640×320) isn’t high enough to show detail. You won’t be using Glass as an eReader yet.
- User interface — the user interface is driven by voice commands and flipping forward and back touching the side of the device. The apps are based on a card / menu driven system, sort of like a hypertext PowerPoint. Voice recognition was fairly good, but the menu driven nature of things and limited display space will challenge designers.
- Battery life — the Glass users I talked to suggested that battery life is a weakness of the current product generation. Continuous usage seems to be 1-3 hours before the device needs recharging. However the device isn’t on all the time, so this should be find for more casual users.
It is rumored that Glass will not be widely available to consumers until next year. I anticipate that Google will refine the device before shipping. I hope that they are able improve the screen and battery life before GA.
Bottom line: I will buy this as soon as I can. Even as a first generation technology it is very compelling.