“Don’t be a Glasshole” said David Kelly, a Training, Learning, and Performance Consultant, at the Learning Technologies show in London, early this year. And you know what? I wannabe just that!
Needless to say, I got the opportunity to try on the Google Glass … umm, only for a minute and half, I admit, but what a minute and half it was! So exhilarating was the experience that it’s taken me a “month and half” to actually get down to penning my memorable “minute and half”!
Wearable technology is the future we all are waiting for, and with Google Glass, one gets the feel of actually carrying (umm … wearing) a computer on your head! So, I wasn’t expecting the experience to be anything less than exhilarating. Surprisingly, while I look upon Google Glass as “the” technology of the future, David says it is only the first, albeit impressive, step in this arena. He envisages wearable technology to take on a much smaller form, perhaps that of a cuff link on the sleeve of your shirt. Wow!
David Kelly is one of the Glass Explorers – individuals exploring the Glass before its public release, and in his session at the Learning Technologies conference, he touched upon the following key points:
- What is Google Glass?
- What is the Glass experience like for the user?
- How do people react to Glass?
- What doors does Glass open for learning and performance?
- How are people already using Glass for learning today?
You can get more details on his session at http://bit.ly/1hMsWTO
As regards my own “minute and half” experience with the Glass, my first thought as soon as I wore it was “There’s no glass to look through!” Instead, the Glass brought up a display just above my normal vision. The display does not interfere with one’s normal vision, and David even narrated to us his driving experience with the Glass on, my own view is that it might take us some time getting used to switching between the two visions. Other than that, it feels like wearing any standard pair of spectacles in terms of size and weight. The right side arm is thicker and contains the touch pad and the device itself. The Glass is able to recognize voice and so you can either directly command the device by speaking to it or just tap on the right arm to control it.
The screen that was active when I wore the Glass showed some current events such as weather and with only a tap on the right arm, I could move to another screen that brought up Google maps. Although, I didn’t try this myself but I learned later that a task such as capturing a picture could be accomplished simply by a blink of an eye. How I wish I had more time to explore the Glass!
The Glass, as of now, serves only those functions that can be easily performed by a cell phone, and David’s slide showed the following laundry list:
- Google Search
- Making Calls
- Video Calls
- Posting Updates
- Recording Videos
- Taking Still Pictures
- Sending Text Messages
- Taking Notes
Why would anyone want to buy the Glass then? It’s the experience you get without interrupting the present moment that makes it different, is what David had to say. According to David, the body part that Google Glass impacts most is not your eyes, but your hands … because it frees your hands and that itself opens up a myriad of opportunities for learning and performance support applications including immersive training, performance support, real-time feedback, augmented reality, and high-risk training.
With issues related to privacy and ethics to combat, the Google Glass has a tough path ahead before it can be fully accepted by society. But once accepted, wearable technology would surely have many practical applications in all fields including education!
So, let’s just wait and watch!