A few observations I’ve made after about five days with Glass. Some of these I’ve blogged about in the past couple days, but some of this is new.
Before I get going, some have asked for a good overview of what you can do with Glass. Rather than duplicate good work, this piece by The Verge is the best I’ve read in terms of explaining the experience.
1. Sharing is pretty easy but not fully activated. Facebook only allows photos. Twitter allows photos and video, but I have yet to get a video to post correctly. Google+ is the most robust service and you can share at a pretty granular level to circles. I just activated a Tumblr to host a photo-a-day project and it’s pretty simple.
2. Adding captions to shared content is a bit rough right now. You interrupt a share with a tap and dictate the caption. Problem is that you can’t start a sentence with a capital letter unless it recognizes it as a proper noun. The workaround I was told in the Glass Explorer discussion forums: start everything with “I.” But for journalistic purposes, which is what think about, captions are a big deal so I hope this gets fixed because the 5 W’s of a photograph are important. As of now I have to manually go in on a browser and edit when the service lets me.
3. The camera is good. It punches above its weight class based on basic specs. It struggles in low light and doesn’t handle contrast shifts very quickly in video mode. It’s not on par with my iPhone 4S but it holds its own, particularly outdoors.
4. It’s very easy to retrieve content from the device. Everything backs up automatically to G+, and you can access the files when it’s plugged in as well through a photo-viewing program like iPhoto. On a Mac it does NOT read the device as a drive, not sure about the PC. But if you have an iPhoto-like program, you’re fine.
5. WiFi needs some work. Right now it doesn’t support WPA2 enterprise systems, meaning if your login requires a username (likely at work) then Glass can’t log in to that network. I ran into this here at Lehigh, and the workaround I used is to tether it to my iPhone. But this is a big drawback in my view.
6. Battery life is 3.5 hrs max but probably a lot less of actual use time. I’ve got a USB battery charger and think I may need to carry it with me if I’m planning on using Glass a lot in the field. I’ve read a few folks saying similar things on the forums.
7. This is NOT a reading device. The doomsayers who think this is going to turn us into a society of zombies who sit in cafes staring at our Glass devices are nuts. Reading is not a great experience on Glass, and I think that’s by design.