Awesome adventures in Google Glass: episode 2 | DMA

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Awesome adventures in Google Glass: episode 2


The other day I travelled from my front door (in Somerset) to an Indicia client in Weybridge, Surrey. The majority of the journey was on a train.

Yeah, I know you’re not exactly punching the air with adrenaline-fuelled excitement at this point, but here’s the twist: I did the entire trip (212 minutes door to door) wearing Google Glass.

This powerful digital fashion statement took the outing to a whole new level of, er, awkward.

Now here’s the thing: at no point did I take a picture, record a film or even search Google for vital information on the mating habits of the capybara.
All I did was wear the tech.

But this was the nub of the experiment: to understand how the world reacts when confronted with wearable technology.

So let’s not dilly-dally, shilly-shally, faff or flounder, let’s get to the results:
10% indifferent
40% paranoid
40% puzzled

10% frothing at the mouth like a rabid dog begging me, with every fibre of their body, to let them have a go. Oh, go on. Come on. Pleaaaassse. Don’t be like that.
You catch my drift?

One thing you discover is that more people talk to you when you’re wearing the Glass.
Like the guy who boarded the train at Martins Heron (oh that he had been called Martin Heron) and immediately asked if I was filming him.
Or the pub landlord (yes, yes, all great journeys need a relaxed rehydration contemplation) who excitedly estimated their value at £10,000 while inexpertly pulling a pint of Tuborg.

In the main, people served up furtive interest, pressing the button in their brain that sends their thoughts into what-the-hell-is-that-muppet-wearing-please-don’t-look-at-me mode.
Such is the curse for the early adopter.

A couple of days previously, a friend of mine who lives in San Francisco was explaining the irresistible rise of the ‘No Glass’ sign in hip coffee bars and other drinking establishments in the city.
Here then lies a barrier to a wider adoption.

For Glass to go gangbusters, it must somehow transcend suspicion and search out that magical tipping point where distrust turns into desire.
The more Google Glass out there, the more people will relax as it moves from novelty to normal, everyday face-tech weirdness.

Let’s watch that space. In the same way Alex Turner’s financial adviser looks for tax-avoidance opportunities.

As for the wearer, in this instance me, I found that the initial self-consciousness of being all-Glassed-up evaporated away pretty quickly.

So too, those somewhat irrational concerns that a surprise hand would skilfully plunder them from my face only to transport their wondrous lustre to the local Cash Converters tout de suite.
Not even close.

I suspect most people think they’re booby trapped or maybe emit low-frequency death rays. (Neither of these statements is true. As far as I can tell.)
The bottom line is we live to ride out another day.

By DMA guest blogger Richard Norton, Associate Creative Director, Indicia

Read episode 1 of Richard's Google Glass adventures.

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