Google Glass: Cool or Overrated?

“How does it feel to drive with Google Glass?”, a popular YouTube video posted by a traffic app company.

“Is it safe for your eyes?,” a consumer blogger wonders.

“Get a hands-on tour of Google Glass, with a discussion about applications, uses and features!,” says a marketing company that is organizing a kick-off event in UK in three weeks for those who want to experience it.

In a few months, Google has definitely managed to get tons of publicity by limiting Glass to some selected users: tech reporters, actors and opinion makers, who are posting their pictures and videos, being the brand’s best PR. So even if Glass costs more than $1,500, only 8,000 people around the world have been able to wear it and there is no date of release yet, expectations are high.

Still, is it a sci-fi experience or an overrated moment?

“Actually, I was really underwhelmed. It was like having to use an iPhone but only through Siri,” Alex Hern, tech reporter for The Guardian, explained to The Corner after posting his picture with Glass on Twitter.

Wearable tecnology is a whole new market. Google Glass, Samsung Galaxy Gear and the rumored Apple iWatch are fighting hard, but they are not the only players, according to CIO magazine. And they have a long way to go: a smartphone battery doesn’t even last 24 hours on a single charge. Glasses and smart watches even have less battery space and they attempt to do basically the same things.

Also, there is a privacy issue that will prevent Google Glass to be released in Europe in the short term, according to several news reports published following an off-the-record meeting between Google and European lawmakers on Sept. 16.

In an open letter, representatives from Israel, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU raised questions about Project Glass’ privacy policy. Their major concerns were Glass’ potential to surreptitiously take pictures or videos and the possibility of simple facial recognition. This is something that Google has rejected developing, but the technology is there and that’s something European privacy authorities have rejected when companies like Facebook implemented it.

About the Author

Ana Fuentes
Columnist for El País and a contributor to SER (Sociedad Española de Radiodifusión), was the first editor-in-chief of The Corner. Currently based in Madrid, she has been a correspondent in New York, Beijing and Paris for several international media outlets such as Prisa Radio, Radio Netherlands or CNN en español. Ana holds a degree in Journalism from the Complutense University in Madrid and the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master's in Journalism from Spanish newspaper El País.

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