10 Ways Google Is Getting Glass Ready for Prime Time

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-01-30 Print this article Print

Although Google Glass is still reportedly months (if not more than a year) from its official public launch, Google is working tirelessly to keep Glass in the public eye and to tell potential buyers how it will change their lives. Every move is aimed at building up market anticipation for the wearable computer's arrival. Besides getting the device into the hands of the right "evangelists" who will help convince friends and relatives that they will want to buy Google Glass when it hits the market, the company is trying to build as many desirable features and services as possible into the computer in a pair of glass frames. Just recently, Google announced that its technology will now support prescriptions, making it far more appealing to those who otherwise wouldn't have been able to wear Google Glass due to poor eyesight. This eWEEK slide show focuses on the various ways the search giant is trying to convince the public that Google Glass is practical as well as stylish and even worth its current high cost.

  • 10 Ways Google Is Getting Glass Ready for Prime Time

    By Don Reisinger
    10 Ways Google Is Getting Glass Ready for Prime Time
  • Google Glass Designs Let You Ditch Your Current Frames

    Although Google was expected to bring on prescription glasses support, it wasn't clear from the beginning how that would happen. Now we know. Google decided that rather than redesign Glass to sit atop any pair of glasses, it would offer four frame designs and allow Glass Explorers to pick whichever one they'd prefer. All four options are somewhat stylish, so folks should be able to find at least one pair they'd like. But there is no accounting for taste.
    Google Glass Designs Let You Ditch Your Current Frames
  • Google Glass' High Cost Lends Air of Exclusivity

    Those looking to get in on the Google Glass craze should expect to shell out a serious amount of cash. Google Glass itself costs $1,500 to become an Explorer. If customers then need prescriptions, they'll need to pick a frame at $225 each. Add in sunglasses, and that'll push the price up $150. Google Glass is no bargain and that will probably just add to its aura of exclusivity.
    Google Glass' High Cost Lends Air of Exclusivity
  • Driving Is a Concern

    Now that more people have tried out Google Glass, some legal issues are emerging. States such as California and others have laws on the books that ban drivers from using a wearable computer like Glass as a potential distraction. But so far, these laws haven't been tested in court. One driver has been charged with driving while wearing Google Glass, but a judge dismissed the charge on the grounds that there was no evidence the person was actually using the device while driving. Google believes that, over time, people will see it as a complement to driving rather than a distraction. Until then, expect to hear about more arrests and litigation involving Google Glass.
    Driving Is a Concern
  • Yes, Shades Are Available

    As mentioned, Google isn't skimping when it comes to delivering accessories for Glass. The company is offering sunglasses attachments for Glass for those who need them and the search giant claims that it doesn't harm the experience of using the eyewear. Let's hope not—Google Glass is designed to be used outside with the sun beaming down.
    Yes, Shades Are Available
  • Voice Commands Are the Essential Features

    The secret to using Google Glass might be more in voice recognition than eye activity. Sure, the device can capture an image when a person blinks his or her eye, but voice commands allow folks to send messages to others, record video and look up facts. The voice is central to Glass' value to customers.
    Voice Commands Are the Essential Features
  • Google Maps Integration Is a Given

    It wouldn't be a mobile device from Google without support for the company's Maps application. With Glass, users can find directions, see turn-by-turn directions on their lens, and have access to points of interest. Google Maps is the leader in getting around town, and it's a nice addition to Glass.
    Google Maps Integration Is a Given
  • It Provides Access to Other Google Cloud Services

    Google's many other, not-so-flashy, services have found their way to Glass. For example, if a person is traveling overseas, he or she can ask Glass how to translate a phrase. Through the device's attached earbuds, they'll get the answer. Glass also includes support for streaming, search, and the search giant's travel-data technology.
    It Provides Access to Other Google Cloud Services
  • Simplicity Is Important for Google Glass' Success

    In order for Google Glass to be successful, the technology needs to be simple to use and intuitive. That's perhaps why Google has gone out of its way to make the entire Google Glass experience hands-free. While that has worked quite well to this point, it begs the question of exactly what Google will do in the coming years to ensure user interaction with the technology improves without requiring hands to get in the way.
    Simplicity Is Important for Google Glass' Success
  • Google Now Plays a Central Role

    Google Now, a location-aware service that provides relevant information around a given area, will arguably be one of the most important services the search company will offer in the coming years. It's beautifully implemented in Google Glass and could be the secret feature that helps Glass break out into the mainstream. After all, shouldn't a mobile device be fully mobile-aware?
    Google Now Plays a Central Role
  • It's a Social Device

    One of the most important things to understand about Google Glass is that its fate will ultimately rely upon its ability to help people be social. Will the technology show off first-person videos that convince others to buy it? Will messages transmitted from the eyewear entice people to learn more? Will the fact that it's on a person's face at a party make it look normal instead of odd? Will party hosts even let Google Glass wearers through their doors? Social acceptance—not individuals—will ultimately determine Google Glass' fate.
    It's a Social Device
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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