PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. - Web giant Google recently made its new signature electronic device, Google Glass, available to the public but a Local 10 tech expert has had them for more than a month and has some advice for gadget geeks thinking about buying the high tech specs.
Jeff Eggleston is the IT manager at Local 10 and he was one of the few invited by Google to experiment with its new optical head-mounted display.
"I'm handicapped so there are things I can't do and walk at the same time, so I'm looking forward to doing some of those things without using my hands, without having to stop what I'm doing to make it work," Eggleston told Local 10's Roger Lohse.
The glasses feature an oh-so-tiny LCD display that's positioned about an inch from your eye and despite the somewhat bulky body, the glasses are pretty lightweight. You can wear them right out of the box or mount them onto a pair of custom frames that Google offers and get prescription lenses.
The glasses are voice activated and you scroll through the menus using a touch pad on the side. You can take pictures, shoot HD video, send e-mail, upload files to social media and search the web. There's a growing list of apps users can download.
Eggleston has had his glasses for about a month now and finds they're most handy on the road.
"For me the best use is in the car, directions. I loaded an app the other day that finds the nearest gas station, it tells the price as of a few days ago and I can scroll through it to see if there's other gas lower," he said.
Google promises its glasses are going to revolutionize the way users see the world but if you focus too much on the data in the display, you could literally run into trouble.
"Initially, I drove around the neighborhood really slow cause it is a little bit distracting," said Eggleston.
The first generation of this device does have its bugs. For example it frequently overheats, the battery life is about two hours and at this point there aren't many practical applications.
"After you've read a few headlines and read a few newspaper clippings you're like, 'What's next? Where do I go from here?'" Eggleston said.
The other drawback for many will be the price. Eggleston plunked down $1,500 for the high tech specs and another $680 for the custom prescription frames.
There's no question this wearable technology has lots of potential, but for the money Eggleston said right now Google Glass may leave many consumers feeling half-empty.
"I would hold off a little bit, maybe by mid-year next year it will be a little further developed," he said.
There are about 70 applications currently available for Google Glass owners to download, but that list is growing every week as developers come up with new ways to use them.
To learn more about the device or become a Google Glass Explorer, click here.
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