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5/7/2013
01:09 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas

Comedians and pundits are making a mockery of Google Glass. Here are 11 ways Google could get the last laugh.

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Google's 10 Best Gags, Pranks And Easter Eggs
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Google Glass shows signs of being the next Apple Newton, a product that was ahead of its time and undone by relentless ridicule. But the fate of Glass in the market is not as clear as its name suggests.

In a post published on LinkedIn in March, blogger and entrepreneur Andrew Chen compared Glass to Newton. He characterized it as a visionary product that could succeed after several iterations, in the way the iPhone and iPad can be seen as improvements on the Newton.

What Chen didn't foresee is the breadth of public wariness and skepticism about Glass. Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live skewered Glass mercilessly in its Weekend Update sketch, expressing in parody what early mixed reviews of the device are saying in prose.

And dissing Glass isn't merely a pastime for late-night comedians. On Tuesday, the New York Times explored the nascent resistance to Glass. The Wall Street Journal has weighed in with an etiquette guide, which seems to be predicated on the notion that wearing Glass makes one forget civil behavior. Then there's the widely cited White Men Wearing Glass website, The Onion's take on Glass, and a Joy of Tech comic.

[ What's Google Glass really like? Read Google Glass: First Impressions. ]

There's even been critique of Glass for what it doesn't do, but presumably could: billboard ad blocking.

Google, as a major company, has no shortage of detractors, and bold bets invite punishments for hubris. When you build a Glass house, expect some stones.

Part of the issue is that the Internet lends itself to ridicule. Everyone's a critic. It's difficult to create anything new and it's simple to tear something down. Witness how Microsoft can be pilloried for a product it hasn't even attempted, its own version of Glass. But easy derision isn't easy to deal with.

Ridicule kills products, at least that's public perception. Here's what Computerworld writer David Haskin wrote about the demise of Apple's Newton in 2007: "So why did Newton flop? One reason was the ridicule heaped on it by talk show comedians and comic strips (most notably 'Doonesbury'), which focused on the supposed inaccuracy of the handwriting recognition. Also, Newton was expensive -- about $700 for the first model and as much as $1,000 for later, more advanced models. In addition, Newton was arguably ahead of its time."

Of course there was more to it than that, but disdain sways public opinion. Suddenly, the term "Glasshole" is rising in Google Trends. It spiked last year in a different context. Now it succinctly captures the way many see Glass wearers.

Google declined to comment. But the company has won big bets before. YouTube was once dismissed as a bad investment. Google+ was written off as a ghost town. Android for years was seen as something less than iOS. There have been failures, too, like Wave and the Nexus Q. But it's too early to tell how Glass will turn out.

If Glass does follow the trajectory of the Newton, that might not be as bad as it seems. Wearable computing is not a fad and Glass is an experiment; if Glass Explorer Edition never takes off, Google will do better the second time around. But first, Google will have to find a way to wipe the smears off Glass.

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Knowone
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Knowone,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/21/2013 | 4:03:23 PM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
If they can use eye tracking tech along with Internet and game access, that would be a huge advancement. people when they blink normally do so with both eyes, so combine single blinking eye action like that of right or left clicking on a mouse. also use eye recognition, so the glasses may know its owner.

When the glasses recognize being in a vehicle upon the one who is driving it, it shuts down most all visuals..

Like in a chat room, use the options of who your connected with, who can join, along with a privacy tab which allows full public or not.

Other future adaption's . personal health programs, which recognize any unhealthy signs in retina perspiration breathing and possibly other samplings as well.. or that of detecting others which would be useful for the medical emergency.people.

And so on.

I do have an idea, mass communication. consider if you wanted to chat with 100 people at once, that would be vary spammy and hard to focus. where I think I know a way to reduce the spam to where its about like chatting with one person, while still listening and responding to them all. just I am not up to date with modern coding and it would take a lot of assistance and work, but still simplistic in structure and idea..
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/9/2013 | 11:57:17 AM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
Because it is, no matter how it looks. One look, one wink, and your picture is already on the web. Street View is nothing compared to that. I think Glass would have been seen less negative if it didn't have a camera, but then many would bash it for that. It is a product that the world does not need. As long as it remains with developers who explore the technology for other applications I think it is beneficial, but please no consumer version! I'm already massively disturbed by the morons who film my kids on the playground.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2013 | 6:42:02 PM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
"Glass' biggest privacy problem is not that it invades privacy, but rather that it denies the wearer privacy by identifying him or her in such an obvious way." I couldn't disagree more. The article is very biased for Glass and that statement proves it. Did you not see the article about the guy in France who had a wearable computer and was attacked? Making the Glass conspicuous only makes privacy conerns worse. It's bad enough that I don't know if you are taking pics or not, but at least right now I can see you have a camera, in the same way I can see you raise your phone. If I have a hidden camers (aka inconspicuous Glass), you will have privacy advocates in court faster than you can say "Hi Glass".
stevew928
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stevew928,
User Rank: Strategist
5/8/2013 | 5:11:36 PM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
I can see a few specific uses for such a device; niche market. However, I think the mockery is quite deserved, given the hoopla over it. The only way Google will get the last laugh (given the expectations) is if they declare the whole thing a joke.
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2013 | 1:18:17 PM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
Number #10 is a good point. Google Glass has the potential to be very useful (just like smartphones) if it can provide valuable apps that help with certain tasks. With innovation, we probably could really get some useful apps running on Glass that will make it less scary and erase some of the "intrusive" stigmas attached with the device.
Chalicothere
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Chalicothere,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2013 | 9:20:05 AM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
This sounds like a guy who bought the product asking for permission to feel cool
tktim
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tktim,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2013 | 4:04:14 AM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
Jokes are not the problem. The problem is everyone keeps talking only about the price which is not a public price and taking videos, as if that is the only thing Glass does. Is anybody going to talk about the computing part of Google Glass? Just about anything you can do on a pc you can do on Glass or future versions of Glass. What percent of pc use is for actually taking videos (not playing videos)? Taking videos is not the only thing Glass can do and it's not the major thing either. --- Google Glass: Need to know the definition of a word just ask Glass and it will display it in front of you. Want to know the weather for tomorrow ask Glass, again it's on display. Walking down the street need to know how far away a Starbuck is, ask Glass, it displays it as 50ft around the corner out of your sight. In the Mall need to know where the nearest bathroom is ask Glass, it display the route. When will the next bus or train arrive, ask Glass, schedule is displayed. What's the next showing of a movie ask Glass, it displays schedule. Driving a friends car with no gps no problem ask Glass it displays gps route in real time and you don't have to take your eyes off the road. Need to translate some foreign language ask Glass, it display the translation. Need to convert cm to inches ask Glass it displays conversion. Need to know what's on your shopping list ask Glass, it displays the list. Need to make a text note ask Glass it will type the text as you talk. You can ask Glass to display that note back to you at anytime. Need a reminder so you won't be late ask Glass to set an alarm for date and time of event. It's really endless what Glass can do for you while you are out and about.

It's too late to worry about small cameras. You can buy all kinds of eyeglasses today that just take videos or pictures. The cameras are built into the eyeglass frames available today. You can buy ballpoint pen cameras today that just take videos or pictures from your shirt pocket. You can buy today the same type camera the police use in their cars to video anybody and everything in front of you. These car cameras are very popular in Russia. You can buy today cameras for bicycles, for front or rear videos. They have actually been used to arrest a driver who deliberately hit a bicyclist here in the USA. Rear bicycle camera showed the car, it's license plate and the hit and run. A lot of cars have rear mounted cameras which can be made to record or stay on all the time. Business cameras, residential cameras there everywhere. -- Price: Sony has their version of Google Glass that is just for movie theaters. Sony "Glass" only displays closed captions and it is available now for $1700.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/7/2013 | 8:50:53 PM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
Not "inept" but more like a toy, friendlier somehow. A lot of people seem to find Glass threatening.
crumpled
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crumpled,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/7/2013 | 8:27:41 PM
re: Google Glass Gets Smeared: 11 Improvement Ideas
"Had Google played up the geeky social ineptitude of wearing Glass, it could have immunized its product from derision."
The idea that making it look "inept" would shield Google from ridicule is crazy. Especially in a paragraph criticizing how it looks.

Numbers 3,5,7,8,(9) are all probably inevitable even without any hardware change whatsoever. (maybe not 9, if there is no bluetooth radio in the explorer model)

I read that the price would be in the $100 - $200 range, but we'll see.

That only leaves numbers 2,4,6, and 10. I can almost guarantee that they are already working on 2,4 and 6.

I don't think this is a smear campaign, but this article is very misleading to the consumer. I guess the article was effective at getting me to sign up in order to comment, so it has value to information week, but I don't see what value it has to the consumer.
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