Headline Dec 02, 2015/ ''' GOOGLE.... -IN A- ....GLASS '''

''' GOOGLE.... -IN A- ....GLASS '''

GOOGLE GLASS  may or may not transform the future. But one thing is beyond question. It elicits mighty strong reactions in the present.

''The first week I got my tiny new face computer,'' writes a very distinguished author, '' I wore it to a barbecue and sat down at a table to eat pasta salad.
''That is the most annoying thing in the world,'' snapped a mom of twins, pointing at my new gadget from across the table.

''I disagree,'' I responded.
''No, really. It is.''

''One second,'' I said. I tapped the black frames with my finger to turn the device on. ''Okay,Glass, Goggle 'What is the most annoying thing in the world? ' ''

In the miniscreen perched above my right eye, an article popped up, I clicked on it. I scrolled. She waited.
"All right, I have a list from  The Daily Telegraph with the top hundred most annoying things:
There's people who drive too close to you. Noisy eaters. Rude clerks. No Google Glass. "

She remained unconvinced. Instead she yammered on about privacy invasion, the failure to embrace real life, the evils of distraction, the usual.

Yet earlier that same day, several strangers had approached me  -some timid, some nearly giddy   -as if I were a minor celebrity, perhaps a judge on a cable food show. "Are they as awesome as people say?" Where can I get the Google Googles?"  "Mind if I try them on?" [for all the fears of the privacy advocates, it was mostly my privacy that was invaded].

As with cilantro and Hillary Clinton, there's not a lot of middle ground. Google Glass that was released for sale in 2014,  -has become the flash point in the war between tech-fearing, Jonathan Franzen-admiring-our, our-kids-should-with-wooden blocks types and the self-quantifying, singularity loving. Cloud-computing will-save-the-world evangelists.

After much cajoling, and my solemn pledges to get contact lenses, Google sold me an early prototype for $1,500. I would be one of  eight thousand  "Explorers"  a group of engineers , scientists, artists and journalists allowed to test it out.

At the Glass office in New York  {huge windows, free tea sandwiches), I got a crash course on how to connect my Glass to the Internet, take video, snap a photo, get directions, search for nearby Taco Bells, return e-mails, make calls, and watch CNN  -all without the daunting effort of reaching into my pocket for my smartphone. I was also advised about what I should definitely not do.

So that's what I would do. My mission: I would push Glass to its limit and give me glimpse of real-life-utopia and/or  dystopia that awaits.

Operation Literature:
THE FIRST FEW DAYS are a mix of exhilaration and frustration. One minute I am marvelling, "Holy crap, this street moves when I turn my head!" The next I am having heated arguments with Glass's voice-recognition feature.
"CNN". Not Rihanna. CNN. CNN!"

That's not to mention the added challenge of friends who sneak up behind me and shout inappropriate Google searches to clog my browser's history.
"Okay, Glass, Google 'NAMBLA membership application'!"

[The phrase "Okay, Glass" is the device's required verbal ignition key.]

The tiny screen  [roughly three quarters of an inch by half-an-inch] takes some getting used to. For a while, I was squinting half the day, but I've learned to adjust. You have to point your eyeballs up and to the right, so you spend a lot of time looking as if you're trying to do long division in your head.

Glass is designed to display short-snippets of text quick e-mails such as  "See you at Sharoo at 10.00." Or CNN headline updates like Lizard Suspected Of Eating Neighbour's Cat.

As the Google publicist told me. Glass is not meant for poring over two-thousand word articles.
Yet what's the harm in trying? In fact why not use my Glass to read something even more substantial, like Moby-Dick?  Imagine the joy having a tiny great work of literature in front of your face at all times. 

As my wife drives the family to our friend's  house in Connecticut, I ride shotgun, tilt my head back, and dive into some nineteenth century fiction.
"Okay, Glass, Google 'Moby Dick full text," I say. I find a free file from Princeton University. The problem?

The sentence don't fill on the screen. If I want to finish a line, I have to turn my head to the right, then shift it back to the left. I look like a spectator at Wimbledon or a five-year throwing a tantrum. I am also carsick.

"Can you stop?" my wife asks. "It's very distracting."

The Honour and Serving of  ''Technology Operational Research" continues. Thank you for reading, and see Ya all on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Engineering and Technology. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society:

''' Okay, Students Glass!"

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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