A few weeks ago i had the opportunity to try out a google glass for a few days. The overall experience of using glass is a bit clunky at first. The head jerking and talking to yourself make you look silly and you know it. The applications on glass do not feel natural and are not compelling enough to justify looking like an idiot. Being a developer, i naturally dived into the programming tools and how i could create apps for it. That was cool for a while, and i found myself trying out card based UI’s.
Then i discovered the games…..
Clay pidgeon shooting in particular. The game is quite simple. You say ‘Pull’ and a white disk shoots out. You aim with a crosshair smack in the middle of your field of vision. The player tracks the white disk and say ‘Bang’. If you hit the disk it explodes and you score points. This was the first app on glass that held my attention for more than a minute, and after playing for 10 minutes i realized my friends were looking at me like i was a complete idiot. So i passed the glass to someone and proceeded to watch them shoot virtual clay pidgeons, standing around and bobbing their heads like utter fools. The experience was compelling enough for me (and my friends) to ignore any embarassment and keep on playing. And thats just shooting a white disk.
This reminded me of the time when mobile phones were new and occasionally you would see people apparently talking to themselves. The idea of having a private phone conversation in public places was new and it took a while to get used to. Social conventions dictated that people did not talk out loud to themselves. Twenty years later it is completely natural to see people discussing business or private matters on their phone with a headset while in a train or on a crowded street.
Shooting clay pidgeons was the first moment i realized that google could actually be on to something with glass. Granted, shooting clay pidgeons is less of a basic need than calling other people on the phone. But on the face of it, neither was SMS, the mobile web or Apps. Yet hundreds of millions use WhatsApp or Facebook to communicate.
So i am willing to accept that in the near future glass apps will appear that will be useful and fun for many people. And that millions will use glass-like devices (with more stylish and better hardware of course).