Initial thoughts on #FETC #Throughglass

This past week, I attended FETC in Orlando.  That would be the Florida Educational Technology Conference.  An event with 8000+ attendees from around the world. This was my first opportunity to wear Glass all day in an environment where most people knew what they were.  They were certainly popular.  Overall, I saw probably 20 or so others wearing Glass.  Probably the highest concentration of Glass wearers in one place this week outside of Mountain View. At one point, there were 6 of us at the Google booth at the same time.


Many people I talked to had heard of Glass, but had not seen them in person. I worked the Google booth for about 4 hours on Thursday to answer questions about Google products. Even though the brand new Chromebooks were lined up behind me, I had a line all day waiting to speak with me individually in order to try on Glass. Other vendors even came over and asked for a chance to wear them.

Even on the last day, I while sitting in the final keynote, a man asked if he could take my picture wearing Glass. I asked if he wanted to try them on and he got all giddy like a kid at Christmas and said, “I wanted to ask, but didn’t know how.” That was a common theme among a lot of people I talked with.  They didn’t know the etiquette involved in asking to wear others’ Glass. Some people were brave enough to ask, others waited until someone else was trying them on before they asked, and others waited until I offered. I understand witnessing Glass in the wild is rare at this point, so I don’t mind people asking.  I got them to understand how they would be used in the classroom and I have no problem talking about them with others. I even had one woman approach me and say very flirtatiously, “Nice Glass!”

I am constantly hearing great uses for Glass.  One that really jumped out was a teacher from Canada.  He doesn’t have Glass yet, but his idea for them was brilliant.  He is a job coach for special needs students, but has too many students under his supervision to go out in the field with many of them. His idea was to send the students out with Glass and do a live Hangout with him. Then he can see what they see and give them direction or instruction right then.

I intend to post more photos later this week as I get more time to sort through them.

Overall, Glass aside, I was impressed with FETC.  I got some great ideas for future projects, the attendees to my session were responsive and receptive, and the set up was easily navigable.   I was a little disappointed to have to pay $3.25 for a bottled soft drink and $15/day to park, but that isn’t the conferences fault. FETC will definitely by on my list for future conferences.

If you were there, what were your thoughts? Did you get the opportunity to try on someone’s Glass?


Is it illegal to wear a cell phone on your face?

On Saturday, I attended a live performance at a local repertory theater. A friend and I walked over to the theater from a nearby restaurant and I had Glass with me. Out of curiosity, I wore Glass into the theater when I collected my tickets, past the ushers taking tickets, and past the usher helping patrons find their seats, all without anyone seeming to notice. I had no intention of wearing them during the show because they would have been a distraction for me. But, if they were also prescription lens (they are not, at the time, I had no lenses in them), I may have wanted to wear them. Prior to the show, I took the above photo using the vignette feature. As is standard, an announcement was made prior to the show that photography during the show was not allowed; however, no one asked me to remove Glass or even seemed concerned I was wearing them. I put them away on my own to watch the show.  Had I worn them during the show, someone may have asked questions, but I got the feeling they would have just politely asked me to remove them. Later in the day, I heard the news of a patron of an Ohio movie theater being questioned by Homeland Security.

This news was surprising to me.  I know people have a lot of concerns over privacy and I can somewhat see those concerns.  Others have concerns over distracted driving. I get that too. However, pirating movies using Glass seems ridiculous to me. First, the battery on Glass couldn’t handle recording an entire movie. But, if you didn’t know that, it is still pretty obvious that you are wearing Glass.  Why would someone draw that attention to themselves if they were going to “secretly” record the movie?  In addition, it is quite easy for a Glass user to show all the recent uses of Glass (including any photos or videos they may have taken). But, should they have to? I’m sure nearly every movie goer in that same theater had a cell phone in their pocket capable of doing exactly what Glass can do.  Were their cell phones searched?

I know that these stories don’t give us every detail.  Maybe the patron was belligerent and caused other concerns beyond Glass. I don’t know. I understand there isn’t a lot of people fully educated on Glass yet and that is a risk I assume when using them.  But, I’m troubled that a person could be potentially detained and questioned by Homeland Security simply for wearing Glass. I hope there was more to the story than were put out in the media.

It’s interesting that hidden cameras have been around for decades.  I worked for an television news service back in the late 90s that used hidden cameras frequently for investigative reports.  One was hidden in a necktie and one in a baseball cap. In my opinion, these cameras were far more ethically questionable than Glass, but were legal (and I might add significantly cheaper). I was never one to use the hidden cameras, but those that did were well educated by our legal counsel on how and when they could use them legally.

I’m also reminded of an incident I witnessed at the White House a few years ago. A person was denied entry to the public White House tour because they had a camera with them. The White House makes it very clear well before you get to security that cameras are not allowed. However, several people in the same group were allowed admittance even though they had cell phones that had cameras. Maybe the White House has revised their policy since that incident, but at the time, it seemed equally ridiculous.

We know the widespread use of wearable technology is inevitable, whether it be glasses, a watch, whatever, but aren’t the current laws already equipped to handle such technology? Whereas, Google acknowledges that laws will have to be revised or rewritten to allow mass use of their self-driving cars, when has it become illegal to wear a cell phone on your face?

So, I’m curious as to why the uproar over Glass when it incorporates no technology capabilities that didn’t already exist?  Is it a need for educating the public? Is it a distrust of Google?  What do you think?

Look, Mom, We Won!

I tried to use the video feature as I claimed my team’s trophy at a recent speech meet.  The video isn’t that great because I couldn’t keep my head steady.  I had to look down at the steps, over at other people, etc.  I’ll have to practice walking with my head still, I suppose.  So, I’m not posting the video, just 2 images from it.

Screenshot 2014-01-22 at 9.05.48 PM

I’m no Action Jackson

Glass so far has proven to not be good at action shots.  I know from working on my school’s yearbook that action shots in the florescent lighting of a gym are the hardest shots to get.  So, I’m not surprised the photos I took during my pickup futsal game didn’t turn out well. That is something I intend to play with to see if there is something I can do to get better photos in these conditions.

Does My Glass Make You Uncomfortable?

I wore Glass to my Improv Rehearsals today.  I thought it would be fun to record video while I was performing to use as a critique method and also to allow others to see my perspective during a scene.  Eventually, I’d like to get comfortable enough with them to wear in a live performance.  Well, one member of the group was very uncomfortable with me wearing Glass.  So, I didn’t wear them for this rehearsal after snapping a shot of once scene. Until the person is comfortable, I won’t impose my Glass on them. No one else seemed to care. So, we’ll see where it goes.

Using the Vignette with Field Trip in Glass

This image I took using the vignette feature. I google Mass Ave in Indianapolis because there is where I was.  Afterward, I realized I should have used the Field Trip app on Glass.  Field Trip has what they call cards on interesting facts on different locations. I’m really looking forward to using Field Trip on our 8th Grade Class Trip to Washington, DC in April.  I’ll have a post soon with some uses of Field Trip.

The Snow and The Slush

I tried some action shots of my pickup futsal game last night but wasn’t pleased with the results, so I’m hoping to try again next week. I’ll keep you posted. Tonight, I took a photo of my shoe after I ran through the mess that is making up the streets now that the temperatures have started to rise.  I also used the Vignette feature to post the weather.

My Observations on Flipping and Google Glass

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