In March 2014, Jim Good, Humantech’s president, was notified his application was accepted to be a Google Glass “Explorer,” which means he is among the lucky few allowed to test Google’s new developing technology, and send his feedback to its creators via a user experience survey conducted in August. Working with Ken Lupo, director of technology, they conducted a series of tests using Explorer Version XE of Google Glass. Of course, this led to many in our office asking question after question about how it works and what it feels like.
Google Glass is designed to be a wearable head-mounted Augmented Reality (AR) device. It aims to supplement the real world environment with computer-generated inputs. A small viewing screen, which is mounted to the outside of a user’s pair of glasses, projects the equivalent of a 25″ HD TV 8′ in front of the user, and is controlled either by voice commands or through a touchpad. An example of how it feels to use the Explorer Version XE of Google Glass can be found here.
Ergonomic Benefits and Features:
- “OK Glass” offers hands-free voice activation capability
- High user accessibility
- Reduces awkward neck postures incurred when looking down at a smartphone screen or tablet
- No speaker, sound is conducted via BCH “Bone Conducting Headphone”
- May increase distractions when looking at screen (many states are considering making it illegal to drive while wearing Glass)
- Communications (data) must be processed through Google Mail, a potential security issue
- Personal privacy issues as there is no visual cue indicating whether or not the device’s camera is active
- Voice activation capabilities are affected by ambient noise, then commands must be hand-based via touches or taps
- No plans for a left-eye dominant version
- Battery life is very limited
The limitations of battery life, restricted capabilities in higher noise environments, and the need to transfer data via Google Mail would preclude effective client data collection, the original business purpose we anticipated.