Business Insider: Nobody Likes Google Glass

May 4, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

Whenever there’s something as new and as untested as Google Glass, there’s always going to be challenges when it comes to gaining popularity. Of course, Glass is a very specific case, there’s quite literally nothing like it out there on the market right now, there are others in development but, Glass has now been let out into the public (albeit, a very small section of the public). Business Insider certainly doesn’t seem convinced and they’ve put together a round-up of sorts detailing the problems and issues when it comes to Glass. According to them, nobody really likes Glass.

Disclaimer: I have never tried Glass (they’re quite rare here in the UK) and I don’t have a spare $1,500 lying around. 

So, what are some of the key points that Business Insider raise? Well, one of the major things is that Glass seems to be plagued with bugs and issues. For instance:

  • The battery life is terrible. Engadget estimated battery life is at five hours. Our own Kevin Smith says the battery life is actually closer to three hours. For a gadget that’s supposed to be on your face all day, providing push notifications and alerts, this is not good. ABC says it’s 3.5 hours.
  • It’s disorienting, and gives you a headache. Our own Alyson Shontell said of Glass, “It’s disorienting. You’re unable to focus on people or things around you … Glass is headache-inducing too; you’re more or less cross-eyed when focusing on something so close to your face.” Hedge fund manager Eric Jackson also tweeted that he heard the same thing: “VC told me this week — who’d tried it and knows many people who have — Google Glass actually is not very good at the moment, gives big headaches.”

Again, while I have never used Glass, I can imagine it might be uncomfortable and weird to use at first, I’d like to think that I would adapt to Glass but, now I am not so sure. Usability is obviously going to be a big thing when it comes to a product like Glass and now it seems that Glass is a little less user-friendly than we first thought.

  • The screen is hard to see in bright light. Here’s Engadget: “seeing the display in bright sunlight can be a problem.”
  • The voice controls for Glass are buggy. There are two ways to control Glass. One is a touch panel on the side of Glass, the other is through voice. You say, “OK Glass,” then give it a command. Our own Megan Rose Dickey said that when she tested the voice commands there were problems: “While wearing Glass, my colleague Alyson Shontell was nearby having a conversation with someone else in the room. Without anyone saying, ‘Ok, Glass…,’ Glass picked up on what Alyson said, and then proceeded to do a Google search for ‘running.'”
  • You still need a smartphone to use Glass outdoors. Google Glass doesn’t have a built-in cellular data connection. So, you have to have to pair it with a smartphone that has a data connection when you leave your home. This will add to your data plan costs and drain your smartphone’s battery.

I’m not sure I follow with the whole using Glass outdoors complaint. After all, what we don’t want is yet another contract plan to our names, surely?

Business Insider themselves then go on to poke at the price tag:

(By the way, why is it so expensive? It’s not using top of the line processing, according to leaked specs. It’s about as powerful as the original Kindle, which cost $159 right now. Is miniaturization and a metal headband a $1,341 cost?)

The people that won the right to pay $1,500 for Glass are inherently disposed to like Glass, no matter what. Would you tell your friends you blew $1,500 on something that’s totally useless?

The argument concerning the internals of Glass (at least where horsepower is concerned) is somewhat irrelevant. After all, pharmaceutical companies have long been subject to the ire of politicians and press everywhere for high costs. I’m not going to go into anything political here but, the first pill is always the most expensive, which is why it might cost very little to make each individual pill, the prices still remain high – you’re essentially paying off the first pill. Think of the Explorer Edition as the first pill. Google have always said that they wanted to make money off of Glass and I can’t blame them, the research costs for something like this have to be pretty high.

You should definitely give the whole piece a read, especially if you think Glass is the mythical Star Trek device it looks like. Myself? Well, I am just excited to see the project make real progress, yes I think it’s too expensive for my purse strings at least but, this is just the beginning and it’s important that we all remember that. Bugs will be squashed and the price (hopefully) will come down. A product like this needs some testing and I don’t blame Google for releasing this with a few bugs here and there – it needed to be done.

[Source: Business Insider]