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Busting the 7 worst myths about Google Glass

Armando Rodriguez | May 30, 2013
We've using Glass for two weeks, and are ready to separate fact from fiction.

The upshot is that Glass is nowhere close to being retail-friendly, so evaluating it as if it were a final, shipping product is grossly unfair. Google is working with Explorers, collecting their feedback and enhancement requests, to turn the final version of Glass into a force to be reckoned with. But chances are you won't hear about any of these improvements until shortly before the device goes on sale, which Google says will happen sometime before the end of the year.

Myth: It will cost $1500
Most people I've talked to are excited about Glass until I tell them how much I paid for my unit. Yes, the Explorer edition of Glass does cost a pretty penny, and that price is unlikely to drop anytime soon. But the $1500 that people are paying for the device today is essentially going toward a Glass development kit—one that's shared within companies or among groups of people interested in crafting apps for the headset.

Development kits generally cost more than final device hardware, and Google has already gone on record saying that Glass will retail for less than $1500 when the final version hits store shelves. Of course, that could simply mean that Google plans to sell the headset for $1495. Or Google could play it smart with pricing and make Glass as affordable as possible (see the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7).

Regardless, Glass won't be dirt cheap, but you probably won't have to whip out your Platinum card to purchase a pair.

Myth: It shoves distractions in your face
Wearing Glass isn't as distracting as you'd think: The glass prism (in effect, its screen) sits outside your normal line of vision, and you can't see it unless you focus on it. Since everyone's head is different, Glass has to be fitted to your face —just as regular glasses do—to prevent the screen from hovering directly over your eyeball.

Many people are concerned that Glass might be dangerous to use while driving, but the technology's current limitations keep it from being as engrossing as most smartphones. (During my daily commute, I often see drivers messing with their cell phones while zipping along.) The screen doesn't light up when you receive a notification, and most of the device's communication capabilities are hands-free anyway. That situation might change as designers develop more apps for the platform, but in its current state, Glass is no more distracting than a typical billboard or road sign.

Myth: You have to use voice controls
If I had a nickel for every time someone has run up to me yelling, "Okay Glass" in the hopes of activating my Glass, well... let's just say I could probably afford to take something other than public transportation to work every day. Glass does accept voice commands, but most of the time you control the headset through a small touch panel on the device's side.

 

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