If only for one day, the Glass narrative has changed--though I expect Google can ride the momentum. Everything about the Glass customer experience is more refined and mainstream than what we encounter with other Google products. Should you be lucky enough to pick up your Glass Explorer version at a Google office, you'll enter a fancy showroom reminiscent of a high-end optometrist's office. You'll be offered a refreshment, and led to a display case full of fashion-design frames. And then you'll be assigned to a 100 percent, unequivocally cool Googler, who will walk you through the basic Glass experience:
They're cool. Now you're cool. Because it's cool. Who knew?
I'm still skeptical that Glass will go retail in 2014 as the updated FAQ suggests. Between problems I've encountered with eyestrain and general usability and usefulness, I don't think Glass in its current incarnation is ready for a general consumer audience. I see a smothering volume of customer service complaints on the horizon.
Still, Google has already demonstrated that it's completely comfortable releasing retail hardware that's not really ready. In the summer of 2012, I spent a number of weeks interviewing the developers behind Nexus Q. I even visited the factory where the media streamer was being manufactured en masse. I didn't have a lot of faith in that product either--but I was still impressed with Google's commitment to experiment, and throw mud at the wall, and even go to market with flawed hardware.
Google Glass may never make you feel good. But, hey, if and when it comes out, you'll look marvelous.
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