Speaking this week on the Google X device he himself is heading up, Project Glass, Steve Lee commented on wearing the device in the real world. He spoke this week with Fast Company on the many ins and outs the team had to go through before even wearing it out of the building – “we had to keep it confidential and within the confines of our [Google] office building. And trust me, that’s frustrating” – then went into post-announcement testing. “I’ve personally been wearing it everyday out in the real world. I even took it into a San Francisco bar to test out that social situation”
This situation Lee speaks about was ironically called into question by the interviewer Austin Carr with a bit of a quip: “We all know what happens to new, secret products at bars in San Fransico” to which Lee shoots back: “I didn’t leave them behind!” They’re of course speaking about the infamous leak of the original iPhone 4 and the blog that notoriously purchased the device for a finders fee – that aside though, San Francisco did appear to be a great testing ground.
“I was actually meeting a bunch of friends there. I’d been working on this project for a long time, and for the first time in my career, I couldn’t really talk about my project with my friends. So they were curious. But with other groups of people, I would walk from my car to the bar and back to my car–running into a bunch of people–and literally no one said anything. It didn’t seem like people noticed.” – Lee
Lee continued that he’s observed “the vast majority of people” he’s encountered whilst wearing Project Glass “don’t even notice it.” It’s not difficult to imagine, with citizens of our modern mobile generation perhaps becoming de-sensitized to most forms of electronic gadgetry at the onset of the always-on Bluetooth headset – but what about the glass? Lee notes that the prototype certainly isn’t complete, and they do seem to want to make the device workable for all people.
“The ultimate goal here is to serve everyone and make this is a universal device. So that means people that wear eyeglasses, or tend to wear sunglasses or contacts, or people who have perfect eyesight. That’s a really hard problem–to accommodate everyone. Nevertheless, we’ve prototyped lots of different form factors to accommodate all those folks.” – Lee
Stay tuned as we continue to explore Project Glass while it inches closer and closer to a reality – Google currently maintains that a final release of the project is several years out, but prototypes do appear to already be in genuine working order, so to speak. Can’t wait for the day!