Saturday, June 15, 2013

Finally, Glass!

So the day has finally arrived. After much contemplations and thinking, I finally decided to go ahead and pick up Google Glass today. I arrived at the Google HQ in Mountain View about 15 minutes before my appointment at 3 PM. Finding the place was quite easy. I have been to the campus for quite a few times, even dined at their cafetaria for several occasions, so I know my way around the campus. 

Thanks to +Libby Chang and +Keith Achorn , I even know where the Glass building is :)

I was greeted by a Glass Guide, who will be my Glass informant for the day. I feel bad for this, but I totally forgot her name. She was really friendly and was able to get me up to speed with operating Glass in no time. 

Before any of that, the first thing she offered me to do was to select the color of my Glass. I already picked Charcoal (Black) during my registration, but I could still try all of them in case I changed my mind. Just for fun, I tried the Tangerine (Orange).
You can try all the colors before bringing home one.'s actually not too bad..
After I confirmed to her I'm sticking with Charcoal, she brought me a sealed copy of Glass. The first thing I needed to do after unboxing the device is to register it at the MyGlass website. It was a simple process, where I was able to register basic functionalities of Glass. After that, the glass need to be adjusted so it sits well in my head.

The basic idea is not to have the prism obstructing your view while looking straight. You want to only be able to look at the screen while looking up. Not sure why, but it took my Glass Guide a while to finally able to adjust the Glass so it fits well in my head. We even had to replace the nose buds to make it comfortable.

My Glass Guide busy adjusting my Glass
Now here comes the coolest part. While playing with Glass, I noticed there's a dead pixel somewhere in the middle screen. Then I noticed another one. I told my Glass Guide about it and she told me unless it's  five pixels of more, she can't do anything. I told her for $1500 I want to make sure my Glass is in a perfect condition. I could tell she felt really bad, but then emphasized how this is still a prototype product, and these kind of things are expected. 

I played with the device for a bit more, and in the mean time, she decided to escalate my situation with her manager. Her manager then checked my Glass and noticed the same dead pixels. To my surprise, he told me it probably would be better if I just get another pair of Glass. So there were two things that impressed me regarding this. They were lenient about their dead pixels policy, and allowed me to get another pair. The second is that the they weren't trying to hide the fact that what we're getting is a prototype product.

So after asking her to get me white-listed for the Mirror API, and what the secret packages I/O Explorer  received this past week (it's just a small gift of appreciation, she said), I'm off to my campus tour!

Too bad I couldn't bring the badge home

Ok, here's the thing. If you're scheduled to pick up Glass in the near future and have never been to the Google campus before, then you're in for a treat. I was joined by Carlos and Jessica for the tour. They actually lived in LA, and despite the fact that they had the option to pick up Glass in LA, they decided to visit the HQ and Mountain View for the experience. You can totally see their excitement during the whole trip.  I've been on the campus a few times before, so while it's still cool to see all of the things, it just doesn't feel that special anymore. +Albert Lee you made the right decision to skip being my guest for today. You're in for a treat my friend :)

Alright, so the next section will be photo heavy. I figure pictures speak louder than words anyways. All of the images were taken with Glass. 

Carlos posing in front of the Android status with the tour guide
Google bikes. Someone found one of these during 'Burning Man'
Only in Google..

Giant Google Earth

Main campus

Another shot of main campus

For context, Google/ Wiki 'Chade-Meng Tan'
It was a quick, but fun tour. After returning my badge, I headed home. I decided to immediately test the GPS on Glass. I was still not used to the interface, so it took me quite a while to finally able to input my  address. The navigation was not bad, but it definitely wasn't refined. The information displayed isn't as descriptive as the Android phone version, but pretty understandable. At the end of my trip, I decided to try the video. All I had to do was to tilt my head up (more on this later), then say 'Ok, Glass, record a video'. Below is the result.

So with that, my adventure is finished for the day. Ok, actually that's not true. There are several interesting things that happened straight after I brought my Glass home, but more on that later :)

P.S. I apologize for any grammatical/ spelling errors in this post. Not much time between the time I finished this post and my flight tomorrow morning.