They're unabashedly bulky, asymmetrical, and they look bizarre on any face. Yet, there's also something profoundly exciting about Google Glass, Google's cutting-edge, Android-loving eyewear companion.
Know one thing: as the Explorer Edition is meant entirely for developer use to create new Glass apps and appliances, Glass is only going to get slimmer, more stylish, and a lot more powerful. We take you on a tour of the unique wearable tech that's taken Google almost a full year since its sensational debut to finally get out the door.
Google Glass isn't about style, it's about software. That's fitting, since Google isn't (and usually doesn't pretend to be) a hardware company. Think of Glass as a proof-of-concept design, a starting point for personal head-up displays to come, and you're on the right track. Google will leave it to actual frames-makers, like Warby Parker, to create fashionable headpieces with the Glass go-ahead.
So what is Glass, and how do you use it? Think of Glass as a personalized head-up display and camera that's an extension of your smartphone. Unsurprisingly, there's far greater functionality with Android than with iOS, though Google does plan to support Apple's operating system. The My Glass app hooks into your Google account, where it can access your contacts and Google+ profile. This comes in handy for sharing photos and videos you capture with Glass...over Google+, of course.
Sliding the sunglass shade into the frame isn't too tricky, but you do have to get the hang of it. First you turn the lens on its side to fit it into the nose piece, then you pivot it into place, with the divoted right edge lining up with the frame's camera and lens module.
That oval Glass button on the earpiece is the device's speaker unit. It chirps when you slip Glass on, and reads out driving directions. You'll also hear alert notifications ding in your ear. And that circular button on the left side of the stem? That powers the smart frames on and off.
CNET is going deep with Google Glass Explorer Edition, so stay tuned for the full, complete, and unabridged review coming soon, with many more photos and videos. In the meantime, read our first impressions here.