Why Moto 360 Will Kill Google Glass

In November of 2013, I became a Google Glass Explorer. Part of this endeavor involved forking over $1,500 and tax for a technology device that was still in beta. The hardware was beyond prototype, but not in the mass production scale that would be necessary for worldwide distribution.

Just a few years ago, smart watches such as those made by Sony and Pebble were very limited in their functionality, battery life and technical specifications. When Project Glass was announced in 2012, it was seen as a revolutionary technology. It was wearable computing to the next level. Google Glass enabled people to have the information they “needed” in the corner of their eye and gave them instant access to the world wide web with just a simple voice command.

In theory, the technology is great. However, in practice, it’s a different story.

I have been a Glass Explorer for just shy of six months and I have to admit that I (like many other Glass Explorers) use the technology much less than I ever thought I would and here’s why:

Battery Life: Most of the applications for Google Glass can be a battery hog. However, with “regular” use throughout the day, I can usually squeeze a good 6-8 hours of casual use before the battery is depleted. Many of the augmented reality applications such as World Lens, require a lot of battery use because they involve the use of the camera, display, wireless data and heavy processor use. Doing something as simple as taking a video can deplete the device’s battery in just 20-30 minutes. Granted, Glass isn’t designed or intended to record long form content, but more or less “moments” which is why the device records 10 second video clips by default.

Security “Issues”: Many workplaces will not allow the use of Google Glass because of exposure to sensitive information and PII (Personally Identifiable Information). I would not be surprised to see if the PCI standards change to ban the use of wearable cameras in areas where employees are able to see credit card numbers. Sadly, most of the concerns about Glass are around it’s camera, which brings me to my next point.

Social Acceptance: Wearing a computer on your face is about as acceptable as riding a Segway around your office. The simple truth is that we aren’t there yet. The fact that we recently learned about the largest government surveillance scandal in recorded history doesn’t help either. People feel that their privacy has been invaded enough by companies reading their e-mail, governments listening to their phone calls and more surveillance cameras than we realize. Until these fears are settled, wearing around a camera on your face will remain a faux pas in many settings.

Reliability: Google Glass is not reliable. Plain and simple. Switching between Bluetooth and Wifi data is never seamless. The device is incapable of connecting to Wifi networks that require TOS agreements or have any sort of splash page login method. If you leave the device turned off and unplugged for a period of time, the battery mysteriously depletes itself. The most frustrating reliability issue is related to connectivity. You can have Google Glass successfully paired to an LTE device with great signal strength and still see the dreaded “can’t reach Google right now” message.

 Google Glass can't reach Google now error message

Moto 360 Won’t Have These Problems

The most exciting thing about the Moto 360 is that it won’t have most of the problems that I encounter on a daily basis with Google Glass. First of all, it’s on my wrist, so it’s much less conspicuous than a face-mounted computer. This definitely helps us in the social acceptance arena, and makes it a wearable that I’m comfortable wearing everywhere (except maybe not the shower). Battery life may be a problem, but not in a way that it is for Glass. I expect overnight charging for my smart watch and would love to see wireless Qi charging integration to make that process just a little bit easier.

Better App Development

I don’t think I’m alone in assuming that there will be more and better apps designed for wrist-mounted wearables. Although the Android Wear platform may look completely analogous to Glassware, it’s a much more practical form factor which means more users and more potential for success of any certain app. Also, apps can be designed to work on a number of devices, not just Motorola’s upcoming offering. Developing for a multi-device platform is a no-brainer when compared to developing for a single device on a different framework.

Sex Appeal

Men love watches. It’s really the only jewelry that most guys wear, and a lot can be inferred by the watch someone wears. For example, during the work week, I wear a Seiko stainless steel watch with a black face and very minimalist design. It shows that I am polished, responsible and punctual. On the weekends I like to wear a leather-banded “easy read” by Timex that is reminiscent of a standard GI watch from decades before.

With the ability to instantly change the face of your watch and select a stylish band, this wearable becomes less of a computer and more of an accessory.


With Moto 360, you don’t have to brag to the world that you’re wearing a computer. A fringe benefit of this design is safety, as we recently learned from the woman wearing Google Glass that was allegedly mugged inside of a San Francisco bar.

Affordability & Luxury

$1,500 was a lot of money to thrown down on a prototype. Especially something that won’t get daily wear. I don’t expect that Google Glass will dip below $800 any time soon, either. Moto 360, on the other hand, is likely to come to the market with a sub-$500 price tag. The competition in the market will surely help keep prices down as other manufacturers continue to innovate.

However, as in the world of watches, history tells us that consumers will spend thousands of dollars for a rare timepiece. If any of the major watch makers join the game, we might see an emergency of luxury smart watches which will only drive more consumers in the middle class to pick up a lower priced model.

I wanted Glass when it was announced. It was new, it was fresh and it was unexplored territory in the real world. Now that I’ve seen Moto 360, I see elements some elements of Glass that I love that will fit much better into my daily life.

*Image ©2014 Motorola Mobility LLC

My Top Ten Uses for Google Glass

10. Caller ID
The great thing about wearing Glass is when I receive a phone call I can quickly glance at the screen to see who is calling and decide whether or accept or reject the call. I don’t need to pull my phone out of my pocket and I can very discretely reject a call. Best of all, I can answer the call with Glass. The only issue right now are some call quality issues which is why I use Glass more for Caller ID than making/receiving calls. I would expect that to improve before the consumer version rolls out.
9. Keeping up with social media
Getting notified of comments on your posts and responding quickly can be integral to keeping the conversation going. With Glass, I can always rely on getting my notifications for certain posts right in my periphery.
8. Getting the Weather Forecast
While I was getting ready for work this morning I tiled my head up and said, “OK Glass, Google, Do I need a jacket?” within a second I had the current weather conditions read aloud and a forecast displayed on the prism. It doesn’t seem like much, but little time savers like these can add up HUGE. The best part, is Google can understand natural language like, “do I need an umbrella?”
7. Appointment Reminders
The awesomething about appointment reminders is that you can immediately get directions to wherever you are going. With Google Now, Glass can remind you when you need to leave the house to make it to the office on time. If you embed the location of your appointments, you can instantly get turn-by-turn directions to your destination with no effort on your part.
6. Keeping up with my portfolio & sport scores
Granted, you can do this with your phone, but zipping through the Google Now tile cards on Glass allows you to do it even more quickly. These little time savers stack up and keep you from bending your neck down to look at your phone throughout the day.
5. E-Mail
E-mail is still the primary form of my digital communications. It’s how I work with businesses, get updated on financial transactions and ultimately the easiest and most widely accepted way for people to communicate online. With Glass, I can have my messages read to me while I am on the road. Use Google Wallet to pay for dinner? Watch your e-mail appear instantly confirming the amount charged before the server returns with your check.
4. Responding to Text Messages
One of the greatest innovations in texting wasn’t the graduation from T9 to the Qwerty keyboard, but the advent of voice recognition. Glass’s voice recognition is fantasticwhich makes things like responding to text messages a breeze and surprisingly safe(r) when you’re driving.
3. Translating Foreign Languages
“OK Glass, Google, How do you say this is my favorite restaurant in French?” It’s one of the simplest ways to communicate with people while you’re traveling abroad (provided you have connectivity).
2. GPS

Glass’s turn-by-turn directions are the simplest, most intuitive and unobtrusive method of providing directions I have ever seen. Unlike a traditional GPS, Google Glass only shows you a map when you are about to make key maneuvers during your trip. You’ll hear audible reminders, but the screen will only illuminate when you need to see what you’re about to do.
1. Finding out anything I need to know, instantly
Let’s be honest, the most amazing part of Google Glass is the instant and (almost) effortless access to Google’s search engine. As Google improves its contextual search and natural language recognition, I am finding that there are more and more “natural” search queries that give me exactly the information I’m looking for, exactly when I’m looking for it. That’s what I call awesome.

My First Week with Google Glass

This is the second post in a series of three posts. Please click here for the first post.

I have officially had +Google Glass for over a week now and I am totally impressed. It has been an incredible effective tool for going about my daily life and staying in touch with the people I love the most. Through text messaging, hangouts and Google+, I have been able to use Glass to keep in touch without touching a thing.

Apart from the ease of use and constant communication, Glass has offered me the opportunity to be very social in almost any situation. Since wearable technology isn’t quite commonplace, I get a lot of interesting reactions from people in the real world. Those that are tech savvy immediately identify it, but the majority of people have no idea what it is. Some people are even afraid of it.

Trying it on for the first time:

One of the greatest opportunities of being a glass explorer is having opportunity to showcase the new technology to other people. My favorite part of demonstrating Google Glass is to see the look on the faces of each person as they try it on for their first time. Once they are instructed to tap their temple to activate it, they are immediately amazed by the display (I was too). After that, I usually ask them to read what is under the time (“OK Glass”). As soon as the voice recognition is activated, the person is usually amazed and even sometimes startled.

After they get the hang of the gesture controls, voice commands and how to navigate through the user interface, they take off trying to search for different things and test various features. So far, through all of my demos I have noticed that “take a picture” and “get directions to” are the two most common commands used by demo participants. I would imagine those to be two of the most popular applications for the product and also two features that I use quite often. However, there is a lot that Glass can do beyond just snapping photos and giving directions.

What you need, when you need it:

One of the coolest things about Glass is how intuitive it is. If you are familiar with using Google Now on your phone, you already have most of the commands and features down. For the most part, anything you can do on Google Now on your phone, you can do through Glass. This makes setting reminders and being reminded a total cinch.

In addition to reminders, Google Now gives you updates on the things you always do, like following your favorite sports teams, to knowing when you need to leave to get to work on time. You can customize your Google Now experience by using Google search. As you look up addresses, follow sports teams and frequent businesses, Google suggests information based on your preferences. This keeps you from having to search for the same things, instead they are always at your fingertips.

Get Directions To…

There is some controversy of whether or not Google Glass should be used while driving. Already, states are adopting laws to prevent motorists from wearing Glass while they drive. Unfortunately, this is more a lack of understanding than a true prevention of accidents. To prove my point, the photos below show me using turn-by-turn navigation with Google Glass and without. If you notice, when using my cellphone, the directions are on a small screen which interferes with my field of view across the windshield. With, Google Glass, the instructions are in my field of vision and don’t distract me from my primary task, driving.

Unlike a traditional GPS or using your phone for directions, Glass gives you constant reminders and only illuminates the display when you’re about to make a change in direction. This curbs the distraction of having a constantly illuminated display in your vehicle which can inhibit your line of sight. (Also notice that Glass is transparent, so although I can see the heads up display, I can still see through it.)

Somethings you just don’t want to know:

One thing that Google Glass will help me with is curbing calories. Every decision we make when we go to eat has caloric consequences. Sure, we could hunker down on our smartphone, type in our unlock code, find the app with the calorie counter and then search for what we’re looking for, or we could simply tilt our head and say, “OK Glass, Google how many calories are in a Little Caesars pizza.”

With search at your fingertips, and right in the corner of your eye, it’s almost impossible to find an excuse not to look something up that could help you or your health.

What it means to be an Explorer:

The greatest reward of being an early adopter and part of the +Google Glass Explorer program, is the opportunity to meet so many new and interesting people. Below are just a few snaps of people trying G
lass on for the first time. Having the opportunity to share such a unique and incredible technology with them for the first time is something that I truly love about being an Explorer.

Instant Photography:

It almost goes without saying, but Google Glass is a great tool for “capturing the moment.” The camera is always ready, you don’t need to fumble around, and with a press of a button or quick voice command you can have images and videos that will automatically upload to the cloud that you can instantly share with your friends and family.

Taking pictures with Glass is impossibly simple. Take a look at the first snaps below from people that were trying Glass on for their first time:

How to get Google Glass:

Okay, if you really like the potential you see from Google Glass and you’d like to get an invitation to order, you’re in luck. I currently have 3 invitations available to send to those of you interested. In order to receive the invitation, you must have funds available to cover the full purchase price plus any applicable sales tax. The current cost is $1,500.00, which includes free overnight shipping.

If you are interested in getting Glass and would like one of my three invitations, please share this post through social media and contact me with the form at the bottom of my blog and tell me why you want Glass. I will chose the three most compelling reasons by 11:59 PM CT tonight (Sunday, December 15, 2013).

Be sure to stay tuned for the next post to learn more about my first month with Google Glass.

My First Days with Google Glass

This is part 1 of a 3 part series.

A couple of months ago, you could have called me a skeptic. I didn’t really see the value in paying $1,500 and a trip to New York or San Francisco for something that was still in beta. If anything, I thought Google should be paying us to wear it. I watched some of the first explorers and noticed the issues they were dealing with (poor battery life, equipment failure, etc.). I wondered why anyone would want to spend so much money on something that had such limited functionality.

When the #ifihadglass campaign initially rolled out, I thought it was a really great idea, but felt I would need some groundbreaking idea in order to get an initial invite. As it turned out, you just had to have a somewhat good idea, $1,500 in your pocket and the ability to travel to NYC or SFO to pick them up. I watched a lot of my connections from Google+ score the initial invitations and watched with envy as they traveled to the closest coast to get fitted for their Glass.

As the Explorer program with +Google Glass continued to grow, I watched more and more people taking the device out in public, testing the sociological response form wearing Glass and attempting new and different applications. On the surface though, it just looked like a bunch of geeks (sorry, +Robert Warren) posting pictures of their driveway with the current temperature superimposed over it—something that could be easily accomplished with a smartphone five years ago.

As time rolled by, I convinced myself that getting Glass wouldn’t be worth it for it. I made myself think that I really didn’t need it and wouldn’t be able to do anything worthwhile with it. Then, out of nowhere, my good friend+Derek Ross gave me the opportunity to get in. No longer would I need to have to fly to one of Google’s offices to get fitted. All I needed to do was provide my payment information and wait by the mailbox.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t force myself to pay $1,500 for something that seemed so useless to me.

Then one day everything changed. An acquaintance I met online, +Robert Warren, scored a pair of glass and we joked for months about me trying it out. Finally, we met for dinner with +Shaker Cherukuri and afterwards he let me try it on. I was absolutely amazed. I could not believe the clarity of the display, the clarity of the sound, the speed of the device and the many purposes that he was able to demonstrate in my short demo. In just a few minutes he turned a skeptic into a believer.

That night I got online and tried to turn over every rock I could find on the Internet to get myself an invitation code. Finally, after “begging” to the Glass Gods, +Chris Pick and +Kelvin Williams came along and threw me the invitation that got me into the Explorers program. I immediately jumped online and consulted with my family on which pair to buy. We decided Shale would be the best fit with my wardrobe and to “blend” in perhaps more than Sky or Tangerine.

So, now after a few days I’m starting to formulate some opinions on this new tool (not a toy) and how it is going to be beneficial for my life and my career…

This is the first of three posts which will tell you more about my experience. I wanted to start out with the backstory. Stay tuned tomorrow for the next part of the series and photos from today’s Glass Meetup.