This is the first post in a recurring series where I document my experiences with the Google Glass device. Stay tuned for more posts in the coming weeks and months.
Last month our product manager, Kyle Davenport, informed me that I was selected to try out the revolutionary Google Glass. I asked Kyle why I was chosen among the large pool of potential candidates. He put it bluntly, “it’s because you don’t turn down for nothing.” It’s true. I don’t – except for the police and Burger King.
Glass was shipped promptly and was delivered within 3 days of placing the order.
Glass connects to your phone via Bluetooth and requires the MyGlass app, which helps you manage the device. Surprisingly, Glass has 12GB of free memory on the device so you can store pictures and videos directly. There is no expandable memory slot for a microSD card however.
The first thing I tested was the camera since taking pictures and videos are the most prominent features for your average user. The Glass allows for taking pictures by the wink of your right eye, which I personally find to be amazing. With the attachable shades on, taking pictures is discreet and effortless. It’s perfect in settings like the movie theatre, blind dates, and the beach.
The camera is rather mediocre as it is only 5MP compared to most smartphones with 8MP cameras or better. The picture quality varies greatly depending on the lighting. In situations with a large contrast of light and dark, the dark areas become saturated and obscured. In settings with a balanced amount of light or darkness, the resulting snapshots fare much better.
I tested the video capabilities in a variety of settings such as nature, the zoo, and night time driving. The video quality on the Glass is underwhelming with a resolution of 720p. The latest generation of smartphones is able to shoot video in full HD 1080p format.
Sweetwater Creek State Park
The Glass fares poorly in situations with a moderate amount of movement. Additionally, it is unable to balance and capture contrasting dark and lighted areas appropriately. With the rise of action shots, I initially thought Glass could be quite useful for adventure seekers, but after seeing the video quality – it is evident that the GoPro HD will remain the default portable video capture device.
Atlanta Zoo – Paaaaaanda Beaaaar
I tested the video capabilities during night time as well.
Turn Down for Burger King
A pretty sweet feature of the Glass is the seamless integration of social sharing. You can share captured photos and videos on Facebook almost instantaneously. Facebook shares your content on your friends’ newsfeeds and prominently announces it was done via Glass, making you appear creepier than Ernest in certain situations.
One downfall of this sharing feature is that Facebook automatically compresses video before posting it on your newsfeed, which can result in grainier footage.
Original Glass Video
Shared Facebook Video via Glass
For pictures, photos shared on Facebook become altered and compressed as Facebook technology adjusts the scale of color and saturation to attempt to balance the picture accordingly. In the pictures below, the Facebook version looks better than the original photo taken with Glass
Ultimately, this is how i feel about the Google Glass camera.
And there you have it, my first week with Google Glass. Subscribe to the blog below to get updates on my misadventures with the Glass as I continue to test its features.