google glass – Stay N Alive

Some Google Glass Explorers Getting "Mysterious Package" as Early As Tomorrow

In the Google Glass community one Google Glass Explorer posted a rather interesting note today:

“I just got a notification from UPS that I have a package sent by Google X to be delivered on Weds. Anyone get something similar? I didn’t see any posts about it. It looks very similar to the original random package for the GRID paperweights.

I already got my Glass about a month ago from pickup at LA so I’m pretty sure it’s not that. IO Explorer but didn’t go to Foundry.”

This note was followed by confirmation by several other Glass Explorers saying they got the same. It appears that some Google Glass Explorers (I have not gotten a notification)  are getting notifications from UPS saying that they are getting a package from Google X, the group at Google that originally started Google Glass.

I have wondered what types of “surprises” Google might have in store for those that forked over so much money for the devices. Could Explorers get free versions of the new Glass product? Could they be getting another plaque similar to the piece of Glass with their number on it which they got at Google I/O? Could Glass Explorers be first in the running for new Google products?

Google has been known to ship products for trial to select groups of people. I got a Logitech Revue with Google TV on it this way. Google has also shipped out Chromebooks to developers to try out in the past. I’m curious if Google could be doing the same with Glass Explorers.

It will be interesting to watch and see what the Explorers end up getting. I’ll either post here, or on my Twitter feed at when these Glass Explorers find out! If you’re part of the community you can go follow the conversation here.

UPDATE: Abraham Williams on Google+ is saying his is scheduled for delivery tomorrow, and it’s about the weight of a Nexus 4. A white edition?

UPDATE #2: I just got my notification from UPS – see a screenshot over on Google+:

#ifihadglass I Would Make Sure I Could Pay for it First

With the gradual notification of the 8,000 or so #ifihadglass applicants for Google Glass recently, I thought I’d come out and say it – make sure you can cover your costs before you book a plane ticket, fly to Mountainview (or New York City), and pay your $1500 to get Google Glass. The truth is, alone, Google Glass just isn’t worth the $1500. If you’re not a developer, or your company isn’t paying for them, or if you’re not building a business out of them, they’re just not worth it.

It appears I’m not alone. Joanna Stern of ABC News agrees with me – be sure to check out her review – her experience reflects mine almost exactly. Even Robert Scoble has said the same. The thing is both of those Glass users have gotten their money’s worth out of Google Glass so it makes sense for them to keep it. I’m building a business out of mine – you’ll notice I’m building apps for Glass now (if you’re a news org, contact me – I’d love to license you my software). I’m writing about it. I’ll likely end up consulting others on Google Glass. If none of that were the case, I’d likely end up returning my Glass, or trying to sell it on Ebay (no one says you can’t sell the Glass box and give Glass away for free 😉 ).

I see stories of people, right here in Utah, really excited to get their #ifihadglass purchase. What I don’t think these people realize is that they’re going to have to not only pay the $1500 to get Glass, but also pay to travel out to one of the pickup locations to get it. Google is not shipping Glass to these “winners” like they did the Google I/O attendees like myself. And for a $300 ticket on top of the $1500 plus over $100 in tax you end up paying for them trust me, most of them won’t get their money’s worth out of the device.

If you are a developer and want to build apps for Glass, this is a great purchase – only Glass owners can develop for Glass and this gives you a head start at being one of the first out the door with apps for Glass. If you’re an entrepreneur with an idea that would make your business $2,000 richer by having Glass, go for it. If you have a business plan for the device – it’s totally worth it.

But if you just want to be “one of the first”, or just try it out, or get a chance to visit Google campus, trust me – you’ll be disappointed and mad at Google for making you spend all that money. Glass will likely sell for under $600 I predict – wait for that. Or come find me and I’ll let you try mine out.

For anyone but those with a business plan, Glass just isn’t ready for public consumption, and that’s a good thing. This means by the time you get it, you’ll truly have a tool that gives you a better view of this world. Glass is an amazing technology, but I’m afraid in its current state and price, the public will see through it.

In the Internet of Things, the Server in Your Pocket Fills the Room

I’m going to go on record – the name “server” is going extinct. From servers that filled up entire rooms and buildings to just add simple numbers, we have evolved into a world where I can store a server in the closet of my office to do things like stream TV to the Xboxes in each room of my house. And with the Cloud, I don’t even have to do that. My Nest, my Fitbit, my Sonos, and other devices all use the Cloud to access the internet and sync with each other. But now with Google Glass and wearable computing I’m finding we’re moving to a new type of Server — the server in your pocket called your phone.

For the last several years if you wanted your portable devices to connect to the internet they needed to each have their own SIM card and Cellphone contract. With the many devices in our lives, that prices adds up more and more as I add a Kindle and/or a Nexus 7 for my 6 kids, an iPad for me and my wife, smartphones, and things like Chromebook and other similar devices that use cell connections to get internet. There’s a better way to do it and I think Google Glass is headed there – it’s through the server in your pocket.

Glass decided to take an approach that doesn’t use a cell connection or SIM card to get internet access. Instead, it uses either the bluetooth or WiFi tethering of your phone to get to the internet. It’s not perfect, nor is it ideal, and in fact I see it as one of the biggest complaints amongst users of the device. However, I think that’s a cultural issue that is going to change.

As I head out places now with Google Glass, there’s a process I go through. I check the battery on my phone and my Glass, make sure I have a backup battery, and then I turn on the Wireless Hotspot on my Samsung Galaxy S3 because it doesn’t support Bluetooth tethering. It’s not ideal, but you can see how just a few tweaks to the phone and a recognition that the phone is now the center of all devices around it will fix these issues. I can really see where Google is going with this.

I think you’ll see companies like Google and Apple improve your phone as not just another device on your home network, but the device that powers all of the “things” around you. You’ll see bluetooth profiles emerge where multiple devices can all connect to your phone at once and use the connection. You’ll see automatic awareness of the devices your phone is familiar with, without any user intervention. You’ll see better battery life and I bet you’ll rarely even take your phone out of your pocket, unless you need to truly draw or type something you just can’t speak out loud.

I’ve touched lightly on this subject before with the release of the iPad and integration of Airplay between Apple devices back in 2010 – we’re moving into a world where you’ll have many types of monitors that will automatically sync with your phone. One could be Google Glass. One could be the monitor on your desk. Another could be an iPad or tablet device. Others could be the windows on your car. Or how about Billboards on the side of the road? Or what about syncing with your brain waves and sending you signals with no monitor at all? Believe it or not, we’re almost there. Your phone will be your personal “server” and everything around you will automatically become aware of the presence of your phone.

To do this, Google needs to start improving the Android experience to do this – I expect they’re headed that direction. Apple does too. In the meantime, start practicing getting the word “server” out of your vocabulary – you are the server now.

The future is here.

Glass Explorer Shares 3D Printable Adapter for Your Prescription Glasses

I’ve got to admit – I love my Google Glass. A little awkward and geeky looking, yes, but for a geek like me that’s part of the appeal. There’s one thing I don’t like about them though, and that’s that I can’t wear them with my glasses, and I hate wearing contacts. It appears one Google Glass Explorer has fixed that though, and being the geek that you are, you can fix the problem as well, using a torx screw driver and a 3D printer (of course you probably have one of those as well – it’s cheaper than your Google Glass after all).

Thingiverse (the Makerbot community for sharing 3D plans you can download and print yourself) user “DDRBoxman” (Colin Edwards – Follow him on Google+ here) uploaded plans and pictures of a 3D attachment you can attach to your prescription glasses and have the Glass prism and computer there with you, no contact lenses required. The hack requires a simple torx screw driver to remove the main computer and prism from the metal that straps around your head from Google Glass, and then you attach it to the plastic clip, which attaches to your glasses.

There’s no doubt with the simplicity of this hack that we’ll see similar options from Google in the future. But this goes to show you the possibilities that are available when you can print bits to atoms and build whatever you want. I guarantee there will be a secondary market for accessories and attachments like this for Google Glass in the future. I bet Glasses manufacturers get in on the act as well at some point.

The big question now becomes when can I just print my own Google Glass altogether?

If you have a 3D printer, go ahead and print your own prescription Glass “Glass” attachment over on Thingiverse! (Note, Thingiverse seems to be down as I write this – you can find another post in the Glass Community, but you’ll have to wait for Thingiverse to come up to download)

Want Facial Recognition With Google Glass? Use Google+

In case you haven’t been reading Facebook or Google+ lately, I got my Google Glass Explorer Edition this past week. You can expect me to share much more of my experiences here as I learn about it. One of the most frequently asked feature requests I see surrounding Google Glass is that it would be awesome if it had some sort of facial recognition included. We’re seeing apps like MedRef that make facial recognition (sort of) available for medical professionals, but the question still remains, will we get to have it built in? Well the answer is it’s actually already there – if you turn it on in Google+.

In your Google+ account settings there’s an option to notify you if someone “Shares a photo or video with me that I might be in.” Enable that and even set it to send you an SMS when it happens. When someone takes a picture of you via Google Glass and shares it to Google+, it should notify you. Approve that, and now they know who you are.

Of course, it’s a bit of a hack, and the person you’re taking a picture of must be using Google+ and have this enabled to work, but it is a way to know who you are taking pictures of. So if you get Google Glass (when it’s available to the masses), and you’re taking pictures of people via the device, be sure to share it to Google+. Maybe if you’re lucky they’ll get notified that their picture was taken, approve it, and now you’ll have a tagged picture with their name on it.

It’s definitely not ideal, but this at least does suggest that it wouldn’t be very difficult to make facial recognition a more integrated part of Google Glass. Let’s hope by the time most of you use it you’ll get this functionality by default. In the meantime make sure you’ve got a Google+ account!