The 4 tenets of Glassware
Wearing Glass produces an experience unlike any other piece of consumer electronics out there. The context and input to the device are unlike anything we've experienced before.
Glass being a new platform I thought it worth it to take a minute to discuss what I think are the 4 tenets of Glassware.
The primary UI on Glass is the Timeline which consists of cards stacked one after another in reverse chronological order layed out horizontally to the right of the homescreen. The very nature of the Timeline suggest a Right Now device.
New timeline cards push old cards further down the stack and unless the user pins a card (which means it stays near the beginning of the timeline) it becomes more kludgy to access cards the older that they get. I would suggest that if you find yourself wildly swiping backward on the timeline to access a card from a week ago that you're missing the Right Now nature of Glass.
The screen on Glass isn't great for watching long periods of video or reading lots of text. There are other screens for that. The nature of Glass is that you get in and out effortlessly. It's there all the time--simply look up to the right.
The voice input and text to speech output make it the kind of device you quickly ask for stuff and then expect to disappear.
GPS on smart phones have long offered rich location data on users. The difference with Glass is that it's front and center. Glass phones home it's location every 10 minutes and most times when you opt in to a piece of Glassware you're acknowledging that the app can also access your location and that's ok because it's expected.
Glass is such a networked and geo-aware device that any social qualms about being 'tracked' won't hold water on this platform. By using Glass you opt into a world where your device is broadcasting your location at all times.
Of course there is a touchpad on Glass but the obvious new input mechanism is voice. It's everywhere in the system and yes it works really well. And the exciting part is that having your app recieve voice input is only an api call away.
And it's not only that voice is a prominent new input avenue it's also that it's trivially easy to have Glass read your text output as speech-to-text.
I foresee localization being extremely powerful on Glass as Google Translate is amazing.
If there is one part of Glass that I've found to be a social agitator it's the forward facing eye level camera. Let's be honest--people are uncomfortable having a camera pointed in their face. The vast majority of people haven't experienced the Glass UI and so they are justified wondering if you're recording them when you're looking in their direction.
IMO this is the biggest problem that Glass faces. Like it or not a world in which people are wearing Glass is a world in which random people are sticking cameras in your face even more than they already do with smart phones.
That being said with regards to application development sight is as big of a deal as touch. Sure we can take pictures with our smartphone and upload them to services. But the hands free and voice driven nature of Glass open up the door for new types of photos.
I'll be the first to admit that Glass photos have bad lighting and don't meet a professional photographer's muster. But that's missing the point--we're moving into a world of sousveilance
The viewpoint on glass is the viewpoint of the observer. It's not about being pretty or perfect. It's about being eyes on the ground.
Ron Conway's 7 tech Megatrends
A couple of years ago Techcrunch leaked a document from legendary Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway which mentioned 7 tech megatrends. Basically Ron and his team had been tracking entrepreneurs, investments, wins, and losses for many years and they had identified 7 trends that were off the charts on many levels. Those trends were:
- Real Time
- Location Based Services
- The Urban Entrepreneur
- Flash Sales
- Behavior & Transactions
I don't think it's a stretch to say that Glass could potentially hit every one of those categories.
At the nexus
Glass is a device that that sits at the nexus of tech megatrends. It enables a whole new breed of applications which inhabit the center of a user's experience.
This is an entirely new platform which offers entirely new posibilities--and I intend to treat it that way.
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