Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday & Friday: The Second Coming

Well today is my final day with Glass and honestly, I'm actually relived to be rid of it.  The lack of organization of pictures, texts, and videos on the device make it difficult to find anything.  The amount of Glassware is limited and half of them don't install/work properly.  The nose pieces on Glass get uncomfortable fairly quickly to the point I couldn't wear them for more than 30 minutes.  It was easier to just check my phone if I got a notification than to try to put Glass back on.  The voice recognition wasn't very accurate.

All in all, the concept behind Google Glass, essentially to wear your phone on your head, is interesting but I don't feel that Glass has implemented the idea well enough for me to really ever want one for myself.  Perhaps once Glass is out of testing and is commercially available, these issues will be addressed.  But for now, I'm content on just checking my phone normally.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

What do you call a game consoles wedding day? WedNESday!

Game time!  I found some Glassware that included a couple of simple games that used various parts of Glass’s hardware.  The games were: Tennis, Shape splitter, Balance, Clay shooter, and Matcher.  You can play Tennis by tilting your head side to side to aim and tapping to hit the ball back.  Shape splitter would toss varying shapes into the air and you used your hands to slash them while avoiding the bombs that would occasionally appear.  Balance would drop a couple blocks on your head and you would attempt to virtually balance them for a time period before a new round with more blocks would begin.  Clay shooter used the verbal commands “pull” and “bang” which while fun, was a bit disruptive to those around me.  Matcher asked you to match pairs of octagonal cards by moving your head and tapping the device to flip a card.  These simple games might help professors or students to relax a little between classes though some games more so than, or potentially louder than, others.

No Pain, No Gain. It's Tuesday!

It’s that time again!  After messing with Glass this morning, I noticed that I had a few pictures taken randomly as well as a video.  The other testers had told me about this so I had disabled the wink feature of Glass but that didn’t stop these.  Originally, one of my thoughts was it might be caused by some security feature built into Glass.  After I looked in to some settings however, I noticed that the head wake up angle was still on.  I disabled it and the pictures seemed to stop.  Since the video is upside down, I figured that wake up angle was triggered while it was resting on a table.  When I went to adjust its position on the table to insure it didn’t fall off, I must have caused Glass to record the video.  While these pictures and videos themselves are minor annoyances, if they keep occurring, they can quickly fill up the storage on Glass.  With no file management, it can be a bit of a pain to wade through all the notifications to delete the pictures unless you are constantly managing them.  Of course then, it’s still a pain.

Monday is Word day

And so it begins.  Finally, I get to play with the precious. Thanks to spring break, my turn got delayed but now the fun begins.  After getting it setup and synced to my phone, I decided to delve into Glassware.  For those unfamiliar, Glassware are applications specifically designed to be used with Google Glass.

The first app I downloaded was an app called Word Lens which is designed to translate text in real time. After a couple attempts, I realized that the translation didn’t work to well.  When it would translate, any movement, no matter how slight, would cause the text overlay to completely disappear.  Once Glass is properly released, further development of this app and apps like it will minimize these issues.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Friday: Strengths and Limitations of Google Glass

During my trial of Google Glass, I have slowly been developing a list of the areas that Glass excels in and the areas where it falls short. Of course, some of the limitations I will mentation will probably be overcome when Glass in mass produced. However, until this happens, I believe they are still worth mentioning.

  • 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 (Incomming): 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 Unintrusive: 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.
This was my last blog post. I am going to factory reset Glass now and pass it on to Ethan. It's been a fun adventure exploring this technology. I can now see how Glass could eventually be a technology for the masses after some more development.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thursday: Easter Egg Hunting

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term "Easter egg," an Easter egg is an undocumented feature imbedded in software, included as a joke or a bonus. Google regularly inserts Easter eggs into its products, so today I set out to find the Easter egg in Glass.

If you are familiar with how google usually hides its Easter eggs, it isn't too hard to find. In the case of Glass the Easter egg can be found by going to Settings -> Device info -> View licenses -> Tap the touchpad 9 times -> Tap Meet Team

This Easter egg is by far one of the most impressive ones that I've come across. What is it? It is 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.

Here is a video I found that demonstrates how to find the Easter egg and what it does:

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wednesday: Friend Filtering

It's midterm week at Schreiner and tensions are high, and time is scarce. Everyone is scattering to figure out what they need to know for the exams. What this means is that while I am trying to cram last minute information into my head at 11 at night, showers of texts are flowing to my phone from my peers who need help or have figured out something useful that they are willing to share. This makes studying near impossible when my phone is buzzing every minute. Of course, I could ignore it, but then I would be missing out if I received a useful text.

A text message in Glass
Google Glass has once again saved the day. How so? Everytime I received a text, Glass would present a picture of the person on the left side of the screen and their text message on the right. When I received a text while studying, all I had to do was focus on Glass' screen for half a second. If the person who sent me a text was in a class I was still preparing for, I would take a moment to read the text to determine if it was useful to me. If the person was in a class that I was prepared for, I would go back to studying and respond later. It's incredible how much this simple feature increased my productivity.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday: Reassurance and the Wink Notes

Today was the second day I got to truly test the functionality of Glass. When I arrived at work this morning, I was surprised to see that our phone system was down. Since I work in Schreiner’s Enterprise Technology Services department, this is partially my problem. I worked with the rest of my team to get the phones back online as soon possible. However, because we had all hands on deck trying to get things working again, nobody was in a truly in a position the reassure the rest of the campus that we were working towards a fix. Luckily, I was able to put many minds at ease using Glass. As I worked, I got streams of text messages asking what was going on. Because I was wearing Glass, I was able to reassure everyone who text me that we were working on a fix. All without slowing the repair process down.

One of my wink notes.
Later in the day I had to make some software changes to an entire computer lab in ten minutes. Normally, this would not have been a big issue, but the lab was full of students, so I have to jump randomly from unoccupied computer to unoccupied computer to make the changes. The problem with doing the software changes in this way is that I would normally have a lot of trouble remembering which computers I had completed the changes on and which still needed them. Because I had Glass, I was easily able to keep track of the computers I had completed the changes on by using the wink for picture function. After I finished a computer I would wink at it, and go on to the next on. If a came across a computer that I wasn’t sure had been configured, I would simply flip through the pictures I took to see if it was there. Another day saved by Glass!

Monday: Quirkiness Aside

It’s my turn! I got Glass passed to me last Friday in the middle of Schreiner’s Game Night. Because of my workload over the weekend (Thanks to midterms), I didn’t have much of an opportunity to see what Glass had to offer. However, I did the same basic setup and personal calibration that Matt did; synchronized Glass with my phone, adjusted the screen for my face, set the wake up head tilt option to 12 degrees, and enabled “Wink for picture.”

One of many accidental yawn photos.
Today is the first day I get to truly test Glass as I leave the weekend sanctuary of my bed and interact with the real world. On my drive to Schreiner, I noticed a few quirky things that Glass does. First, because I set the tilt wake to 12 degrees on Glass, and because I have to drive through the hill country, Glass would wake up as I went up a hill and then sleep as I went back down. Although this is not necessarily an issue, I assume that it burned some of Glass’ limited battery. The second thing I noticed is that Glass has trouble distinguishing between when I yawn and when I wink. Because I have Glass configured to take a picture when I wink, as I yawned throughout my drive, I got several pictures of the road in front of me.

However, I forgave all of Glass’ quirkiness today while I was in class. Normally I am a good student and my phone is put away in my pocket throughout all my classes. Today was one of those days. Luckily, Glass didn’t feel the same as I did. During my class today, a friend of mine (Business major) told me to quickly sell some stock he knew I had, and purchase some that he suggested. Glass projected this text before my eyes and the professor was never the wiser. I pulled out my laptop and did as my friend suggested. After class I checked to see what the market price was for the stocks I just traded. Thanks to Glass, I traded at the perfect moment. An opportunity I would have missed out on if I had waited until the end of class to check my phone.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day 7- Goodbye

Sadly, the week has come to a close and it is time to pass Glass on to Cody. I hesitate to give it up. Glass is defiantly a personal device. Over the past week I optimized the settings to my personal preferences. Glass became very comfortable to wear. I wore it with every outfit, every day. It became an extension of my phone. I hardly ever took my phone out of my pocket. Everything I normally do with my phone I did with Glass. Cody will now begin giving his experiences here on the SUGlass blog.
Glass now faces the doom of factory reset as Cody resets the device to his personally settings.

R.I.P. Glass I will miss you. 

Day 6

Today I did make a discovery with the help of one of our other testers, Ethan. While he was wearing glass I pulled my phone out to look at Facebook and saw a button called start screencast under the drop down menu on my phone, under ongoing, under connected to Glass. Out of curiosity I pressed the start screen cast button. I struck gold!!!  It was a live feed of what Ethan was actually seeing. Weather he was looking at menus, my messages, or whatever.  I could also interact with Glass via my phone. The commands were the same. I had control of Glass from my phone while Ethan had control from the device.  Of course two people navigating the same device is not efficient. But it allowed us to see what each other was doing. It might be useful to control Glass from your phone on occasion.  When Cody came into the office, Ethan and I showed him the function. As a group, we then tested the recording function. Ethan (still wearing Glass) started a video. He tapped to make Glass record longer than 10 seconds, and then walked out into the library. Cody and I were able to see on my phone what he was seeing and recording. There is also a video call function which I did not test. I am sure though, that anyone you video call would be able to see whatever Glass is seeing when you make the call. 

Day 3 and 4

Glass and I have been getting to know each other more and more. I am becoming more efficient with the device. I used Glass GPS to navigate to San Antonio. Selected “Get direction to…” I spoke the full address and off I went. I was on my way to a birthday bowling party. Glass got me to San Antonio, safe and sound.  The party was a lot of fun. The next experience was driving back in the dark using Google Glass. The screen was easy to see and did not interrupt my vision as much as I expected it too. I also tested texting while driving. I know we should not text and drive. I normally do not. Using Glass though, made its super easy. When you receive a message you tap or move your head up to your set degree. Glass opens the message for you. Then you can quickly read it or have it read aloud to you. To respond, you tell Glass you want to reply and you verbally send your message. I was able to do all of this without looking away from the road although I changed my focus to the Glass while driving, so the road was more obscure. This is much better than looking away, but it is a distraction. I was able to see vehicles breaking in front of me and had no trouble with using the hands free Google Glass while driving. It was hard to hear Glass in the car when you had music on. Most of my drive I did not play music because I forgot the ear piece.

 Phone calls in the car were hard to hear also without the earpiece while playing music.  I found that without the earpiece and with no music playing I could hear when my sister called me. But later, I spoke with a friend through Glass and he was hard to hear. He was softer spoken than my sister. All of the sound testing was done with Glass always at 100% volume and without the earpiece.