Thursday, June 20, 2013

I survived Google's re-education camp

I took this picture during the indoctrination phase of picking up Google Glass. As you probably know, "Glass" is the hip/trendy new device from Google that is going to change the world, except that you can't have one. They've restricted purchases so far to developers and influential bloggers.

Google wasn't just going to ship the devices to us bloggers and figure things out for ourselves. Instead, they wanted us to come to their offices in order to explain to us how wonderful and exciting this new technology is, so make sure that we accurately communicate this to our readers. To get our device, not only did we have to pay the $1500, but show up at their offices in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Since I had a bunch of people to meet in NYC, I went there to get my Glass.

Indoctrination started immediately as I walked in the door. Google's NYC offices are in Chelsea, the heart of the city's art scene. The room (as you see above) was really cool. All the employees I saw were young, in their early to mid 20s, good looking, and trendy (...and all wearing Glass). In comparison, the bloggers picking up their Glass were fuddy-duddies, often in suits, between 30 and 60 years old.

I arrived a bit early and was prepared to wait in their waiting room, but my "Glasses Guide" picked me up and escorted me to the large room you see in the picture above. She knew not only my name, but also that I blog about cybersec stuff, so she'd done some research. She led me to the table in the big room that you see in the picture.

Let me describe what you see in the room. In the foreground is the table where we unbox my new Glass and go through the training steps. In the background you see other bloggers likewise being indoctrinated. In the far back of the room you see the windows overlooking Manhattan, which is a really cool view. The guides take us up there when showing us how to take pictures and video with the device.

On the table in the foreground, going from left to right:
  • The corner of my computer bag (Buzz Rickson flight bag -- William Gibson edition)
  • My normal glasses
  • A glass of refreshment (no, I didn't drink the koolaid)
  • The top of the box Glass comes in, which is excessively large
  • Their Pixel laptop, which I had to log into with my GMail account. Normally, I would never type my password into somebody else's computer, so I complained about this, pointing out that I'd be divulging to Google my GMail password. My guide laughed and agreed that would indeed be a bad thing, and then I typed it in. [The humor here is that it's Google, who already had my password of course].
  • If you zoom into the picture, you can see on the Pixel laptop a list of apps I can enable for Glass. Right now, there are fewer than 10, consisting of the usual suspects (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
  • My iPhone. Glass tethers to the phone via BlueTooth, and does everything through the phone. One needs to have 'tethering' enabled, of course, which I do.
  • The rest of the box Glass comes in.

My guide is waving her finger showing me the touch controls. The side of Glass is a touch controller, recognizing swipes (forward, backward, upward, downward, and two-finger downward) and taps (short and long). This is the most common action shot of Glass users as they play with the device -- staring in front waving a finger.

Glass also has voice command, allowing you to do many things in hands free mode. While driving down the street, you can make phone calls, take video, and do other Glass things without taking either hand from the wheel.

You might've seen stuff appear on my Google+ or Twitter timelines. That was just me trying out Glass, nothing important. Maybe in the future I'll use Glass for better content, like live tweeting from the DefCon conference.

The entire process took slightly over an hour. I left thoroughly indoctrinated. Well, maybe. My review of the actual Glass device will be in the next post.


stiennon said...

Great exposure to the process, thanks. So, would you really take a Bluetooth enabled device into DefCon? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Actually, google didn't have your password. Hopefully. Just a hash. NOW they have your password.

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