We purchased a Google glass and allowed a number of leaders to test drive it for several weeks. Here are the responses of those who gave us feedback about their experiences. Clearly, Google is still developing this technology. We’ll see which improvements come in the next round.
- I don’t think Glass itself is going to go mainstream, but it introduces a different aspect of wearable technology. It works well enough that it has proven the concept. It is viable technology. In the near term, I see this being used in things like manufacturing and perhaps medicine and sports.
- I’m not sure if prolonged use will have detrimental impact on one’s eyes. While it does not obstruct your vision, I definitely noticed an impact on my eyes from looking up at the screen and focusing on it.
- One of the applications I thought might be interesting would be a prayer-oriented adaptation of Google’s own FIeld Trip, an AR app that provides info on landmarks around you.
Kirk Wilson (Operation Mobilization)
- We used the glass here in Denver as well as in Belgium with a number of OM’s area IT administrators from around the globe. In general we found it to be ‘fiddly’ in that it takes a while for any user to become even remotely adept at using it.
- Clearly those wearing glasses have the worst situation. They can not use this development unit at all as it sits to far forward for it to detect that it is on a persons head. This means that if you need corrective lenses you will certainly have to buy a custom pair of google glass (ouch!)
- Users found the voice recognition reasonable. Which was surprising even in moderate noise situations. Some with thick accents from South Africa had much more trouble with it.
- Most felt very ‘uncomfortable’ wearing the glass. Its much more obtrusive in person that one would expect. This will certainly limit the overall viability for many. We can certainly see its use in some ‘work’ environments. But not as a mainstream everyday wearable.
- Talking, tilting, swiping, tapping likely would become more ‘normal’ for a user, but to start with it is very obstructive to what you are trying to do. Again this may be just initial learning curve issues.
- From a ministry perspective, I’d love to see an audio bible application, daily devotional type like YouVersion. The audio feedback, reading mode would allow for you to work on something while hearing/seeing as needed the scripture. Other applications we thought of were, ‘virtual tour’ of sites such as the holy lands where you can use the positioning/compass functions for a virtual 3D tour.
Jay Clark (Mission Aviation Fellowship-Learning Technologies)
- One of the biggest obstacles for me was the whole “I wear glasses and rarely use contact lenses,” so I used the Glass far less frequently than I would otherwise have.
- I found it more challenging than I expected to learn how to use the different gestures. I was constantly forgetting which direction to swipe and exiting apps or sections of an app.
- My main goal was to try it out in an offline context. I found that only a few device-tied features ended up working (the compass in particular).
- I tried connecting to a LibraryBox – and it was quite a chore to get to the content… There’s no general web browsing app… Here’s how I eventually did it.
- Install the QR Lens glassware app (need to do this first).
- Using the Glass app on my Android, connect the Glass to my LibraryBox’s SSID.
- Using a computer web browser, go to https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/, setup a QR code for http://192.168.1.1
- “Ok Glass, recognize this”, tap, tap, tap (extra taps for emphasis)
- Then I got connected to the LibraryBox and could navigate (in theory – it took me a while to realize I should move my head around while 2-finger pressing on the touchpad to select links). This is where I was constantly accidentally exiting the app – scrolling up/down is actually a side-to-side motion on the touchpad.
- Here are some famous last words: Aside from a heavily-involved design and development process to make a really awesome ministry app (with lots of focus groups, research, etc), I don’t think Glass will be all that useful in ministry or missions…well, maybe it could be used as a teleprompter for preaching, but then you’d have the pastor looking up and to the left (from the perspective in the pews), which is one sign of lying… not good. 🙂