Monday, April 28, 2014

Google Glass through the eyes of Undergraduate Students: A Review

A faculty member tries on Google Glass for the first time.

A couple weeks after getting Google Glass (as part of the Explorer Program) I decided to loan it to a group of undergraduate students who work in the Instructional Technology department at my institution.  While I enjoyed my first wearable technology experience, it became pretty clear that the younger generation (and the more socially active/connected) could get more out of Google Glass than I could.  While I work professionally in technology, I am not actively texting friends and spending a great deal of time on social platforms via my mobile phone like these students are.

The four students were very excited to get their hands on Glass and explore a few outcomes that line up with our institution's- through the eyes of Google Glass.  The only thing that the students were required to do was to journal their experiences and report out at a student Achievement Showcase that is held every April on our campus.  You can find the student's blog entries here.

The Google Glass undergraduate team (the four in dark and gray suits) before their presentation April 22nd

Google Glass' Strengths and Weaknesses from an Undergraduate Student Perspective

The students came up with a list of strengths and weaknesses of the Google Glass unit.


  • Quick and Discreet Picturing Taking: Glass has a button on the top that can be pressed to take a picture at anytime. The same can be done by winking.
  • Communication (Incoming): Text messages and emails display directly on the Glass screen as soon as they are received.
  • Easy Time Check: The clock home screen on Glass can be seen by raising your head or tapping the side of Glass once.
  • Navigation: Glass can display turn-by-turn navigation without being too distracting.
  • Being Unobtrusive: Before I got to test Glass, I figured that this big screen would always be interrupting my field of vision when I wasn't using it. It turned out that I would forget I was wearing Glass because it was out of sight and out of mind.
  • Phone integration: the android phone integration appears to be seamless most of the time.
  • Call Quality: I don't know if it is just because of the size of my head, but I find it hard to hear anyone when making a call through Glass. I believe this is because there is a small gap between my head and the speaker built into the frame of Glass.
  • Voice Command: Glass become nearly useless when I'm in an area where I cannot issue voice command (class and the library).
  • Communication (Outgoing): I find it difficult to respond to text messages through voice command. Although it is a neat feature, it can be tedious.
  • Battery Life: Glass has a battery life of approximately 5 hours of normal use.
  • Mic Sensitivity: Glass will accept voice command given by people across the room from me.
  • Bulkyness: Obviously, Glass is still bulky. I'm sure Google will cut this size down on Glass over time, but for now it just isn't very cool looking.
read more from this post

Google Glass Easter Egg

The students even managed to find a Google Glass Easter Egg, which was, "a 360 degree panoramic picture of the Google Glass team. The entire team is circled around you. If you want to look at the people to your left, you turn to your left. If you want to look at the people behind you, you turn around. You can also look at the ceiling or at the floor. This gives you an idea about the possibilities that can come from Glass and some ideas of features that we can expect in the future." read more from this post

What's Next for Wearable Technology?

The students did a great job exploring Google Glass, far better than I could have done due to their sheer enthusiasm for trying out one of the first prototypes of wearable technology.

As we move forward to version 2 Google Glass or smart watches, the students will all remember the first time they put Google Glass on, much like I recall using the Internet for the first time at a library when I was their age.

*Information contained within these pages do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Schreiner University.     

No comments:

Post a Comment