Shattered Glass: Google's computerised eyewear panned by some users
- 05 May, 2013 19:30
Some Google Glass users are less than thrilled with the computerised eyeglasses that supposedly will replace the smartphone one day.
It will be too bad if the early criticism ends up killing Glass, which has had high expectations since Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, showed the gizmo off last summer during the Google i/o developer's conference. He arguably pulled off the best demo ever with skydivers jumping out of a Zeppelin sporting the headset that streamed video of their descent onto the roof of Moscone Center in San Francisco.
The search and advertising giant issued a call for "explorers" willing to pay US$1,500 to try out Glass. People who won the contest included actors, entertainers and more than 50 Twitter users with more than 100,000 followers.
But there are naysayers.
Even though Google Glass isn't officially for sale yet, some businesses are preemptively banning the wearable computers . Some strip club owners have said that patrons will be required to check Google Glass at the door, movie theater reps are concerned that the device will be used to record and sell bootlegged films, and a Seattle bar has banned patrons from wearing the headset .
And now some early reviews are coming in from respected publications.
According to Business Insider, Glass has a ridiculously short battery life, elicits a headache, is difficult to read in bright light, doesn't allow for settings tweaks and is buggy when it comes to voice controls.
Wired makes the point that the wearable computer sits in the same space as the Segway, Bluetooth headset and pocket protector -- all great ideas that are too nerdy to actually be used en masse. Tumblr centred on "Women With Glass" or its antecedent "White Men Wearing Google Glass."
And FastCompany's Mark Wilson opined that "these glasses aren't yet doing anything our phones can't. So why do they need to be glasses?"
Even some scientists take issue with Glass.
Steve Mann, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Toronto who has spent the past 35 years developing and wearing computerised eyewear, recently said that if proper precautions aren't taken, the technology has the potential to affect how your brain processes sight .
He said that over an extended period of time, Glass can cause eyestrain and using it as a viewfinder for live video could "very well mess up the wearer's neural circuitry". That's because you'd be looking at two unaligned versions of a moving image right in front of you.