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Why Google Glass isn't a Segway

+Mike Butcher, of Techcrunch, just wrote on a comment over on Facebook that Google Glass is the next Segway. He was skeptical from the moment I let him try mine. Just never even gave it a second thought. He's not alone, I've seen dozens of people repeat this refrain on Twitter and here on Google+. 

But this isn't a Segway. Here's why not:

1. Segway is, even today, years after launch, $3,000 to buy. 
2. Segway never got me excited. I can't use one in my life.
3. Segway has no utility for most of us, who need to commute and carry kids and pick up groceries, etc.
4. Segway just doesn't integrate in a car-based society well.
5. Segway just doesn't provide enough additional value over a $200 bicycle to make it worth it (I just was in the Netherlands where EVERYONE rides to work on low-cost bikes).
6. The reason many of us use bikes is to get exercise. Switching to a Segway has a real lifestyle cost here.
7. UPDATE: Paul Graham says that using a Segway has a "fashion" cost: http://www.paulgraham.com/segway.html

So, let's see if Google Glass measures up.

1. I believe Glass will be $200 to $300 to start and will quickly come down in price after that. Even if it starts at $500, it will quickly come down to $200 over the first three years. 
2. Google Glass has me excited and I already own one and will never take it off the rest of my life.
3. Google Glass has instant functionality for 95% of those 400 people who tried it on. It takes a new kind of picture, helps you live your life, and lets you focus on the world around you even while watching your emails and notifications.
4. Google Glass is safer to use when driving than your existing smartphone or even your car's navigation system. It can be used at work. At play. At home. In the mall. Even while watching a movie (if the babysitter is trying to get ahold of you it's a lot better to see that in Glass than on a Smartphone screen because it's less distracting to other people).
5. Google Glass brought me INSTANT value over my smartphone. Yesterday it showed the gate and time of my flight. Even while dragging two suitcases through Amsterdam's airport. 
6. Google Glass is the first tech product that actually is usable while getting exercise. Either at the gym, while walking around, or while using my bike.
7. +Tau-Mu Yi pointed this one out: the Segway stays the same after you buy it. Google Glass gets better and better as more apps come out. Already in the past two days I've gotten three new apps.
8. UPDATE: as to #7 above, there IS a social cost to wearing Google Glass at the moment. Some people think you are a dork. Others might get angry. But unlike the Segway, I can usually turn these people into fans when I show them the utility and when they consider that they will eventually be lower cost than a smartphone.

The two just can't be compared and even the launch was very different. 

Segway was hyped up by rich people only. This week I let school teachers and taxi drivers turn mine on. With Google Glass it's the average person that's hyping them up to me. My taxi driver said "this is crazy, I want one." Segway NEVER had that reaction.

I asked five separate audiences about them after showing them off this week. Thousands of people. Nearly every hand went up when I asked if you would buy one if it was $200. That simply NEVER happened with Segway. 

Mike Butcher is wrong about this product. See you in 2015 to see just how wrong.

The video below was made by +Nicolas Charbonnier who has been wearing wearable computers for far longer than I have (he's the one that +Sergey Brin came up to at CES a few years back and started asking questions about what he used them for).
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204 comments
 
Segway has not even tried to go for low-margin mass-market version. Segway is in competition to many other offers (shall I remind you about.. bikes?) (later note: this comment was made when Robert's post was not fully uploaded... bike is an obvious alternative) while Glass - comes to a real need for real-time, seamless connection to the digital world.

I would better compare Glass to Bluetooth headsets: they looked strange at the beginning and generated similar reactions.
I can't forget my grandma's reaction to the first Bluetooth user seen on the street (the headset was invisible to her): " Dan, what happens to this world? This guy is so young, dressed well but crazy, talking to himself!" 
 
Checking back in 2015, by which time the $2-300 price point should be reached. 
 
I agree. Google Glass is more than just a device, it's ushering in a new era of computing namely the "wearable computing" era. That's much bigger a single device could ever be. 
 
+Tau-Mu Yi great point. My Glass already has more features today than just three days ago. I now have a Twitter app, a New York Times app, and an RSS app. Awesome!
 
+Daniel Yount it's ushering in something bigger than that: the Age of Context. This is a big deal that goes far beyond wearable and sensors.
 
My initial reaction the first time actually saw someone riding a Segway in public was, "Look at that dork."  My reaction to my first encounter with a glass user is likely to be: "I don't want you to film me, take those damn things off." 
Ben Lang
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+1 this comment if you'd buy Glass for $200-300.

+Robert Scoble you're spot on with this, as soon as prices go down this is going to be huge.
 
And he writes for a tech blog? Not sure how any tech-loving gadget geek could not be turned on by this, this is the stuff out of science fiction. An actual HUD system that might actually make it into the hands of regular people. i'm just gonna say it - if you are not happy about this you don't love technology! 
 
(Actually, Segway has found quite a niche in Law Enforcement and Security.)

I think the real promise of Google Glass will be as a personal change agent. (the iPhone really changed the way people interact with computers. I have a feeling that Glass may be similar in its impact.)
 
+Robert Scoble I really bet tons of apps are going to come as soon as this gets to everyone's hands. Lots of developers like me are just dreaming about coding for it.
 
One thing similar between Segway and Google Glass.  Users of either look ultra nerdy!
 
at $300 or less glass might catch on, but if glass is $500> then the army of substandard substitutes will come out at affordable levels and end up giving the whole field a bad reputation. And that would be a shame.
 
Google Glass is the first real advancement against personal privacy.  I do not like what it represents.
 
I can see good utility with this for a taxi driver. Always have your destination maps and road conditions appear when you verbally repeat the passenger destination. Kinda science fictional cabby if you think about it.
 
+Robert Scoble There's another huge difference between Glass and Segway and it is obvious to anyone that has seen you wearing them. We could call it the wow factor, but as  you walked around with glass, the crowds would form around you with everyone wanting to try it, you could see the excitement in their faces, the desire to take photos with it and to be photographed wearing it, and the near univeral desire to acquire a pair for those that actually tried it. As a big believer in privacy, I had some initial concers but I am now a convert.
 
"2. Glass will be a HUGE success BECAUSE I SAY SO!" - Robert Scoble

;)
 
This really is one of very few of your posts I can appreciate. Thank you, sincerely, for your subjective observation +Robert Scoble
Google Glass is now ahead of getting a tattoo on my list of expenditures. Hot and cold running water is way ahead of both... Go ahead and say it, it's ok, maybe you'll feel better.... :-D 
 
+Robert Scoble I don't understand that you answer on this Segway thing comparing with Google Glass...
+Project Glass targets completely different User Groups.
My two cents: Glass People are open minded and active. Segway Users wasting energy and driving with this useless thing instead of walking or biking.  
 
Segways were hyped as revolutionary and something that would change the way 'cities were built' and putting someone on it DID elicit the same reaction. It was hyped by leaders in industry. It had marvelous technology. The comparisons to Segway aren't mechanical or economic ones, but cultural ones. It was legislated against, prohibited, allowed -- never with any consistency, never with a specific purpose (although it had plenty of specific purposes). It couldn't fit into one's life (even though if it could), logical fallacies abounded with biases and critiques. The company also didn't have a baked-in religion. Which could make Glass culturally WORSE unless the ambassadors dial it down a notch. (I owned Segways and own brain-computer interfaces as a disclosure in my comfort level with freakish awesomeness)
 
Quite honestly, I'm on the fence - I think the key question will be whether non-enthusiasts (unlike Scoble) can use the HUD without it being a "context switch" in their attention and participation in day-to-day activities. If yes, then it will be a popular hit and will achieve scale; if no, it'll languish in the "interesting tech gadgets" land of almost-fit toys. +Robert Scoble, you think that Joe Average will find it integrating into his life that way, without the pull-it-from-your-pocket context switch?
 
I share the privacy concerns of +Scott Sullivan-Reinhart  and others in this thread (and those who know me know I'm far from a privacy superfreak - in the never-ending battle against Facebook on privacy issues, I usually come down somewhere in the "meh" camp). Still - it is intriguing, and to deny its clear significance in terms of  technological advancement and wearable computing is kinda silly. 
 
+Jon Winters I've had a couple of people react like they thought I was filming them. I let them try them and see that they are rarely on and educated them about how to tell when they are being filmed with them. Most of those people turn into fans. That's something else that's different from Segway.
 
But teh TechCrunch mind is all-knowing and all-seeing.  They are always (fashionably and smugly) right about every single thing that happens and will ever happen on an hourly basis...  Their snarky opinions have snarky opinions.  Sorry had to :)
 
I'm playing devil's advocate here. I'd love to be testing glass right now. A cool gadget no doubt.  But voice control?  Why hasn't it taken off?  For some, like my wife, it just doesn't work very well.  For me it works but I don't want those around me to hear what I'm working on or I don't want to disrupt their environment so I prefer to quietly type, point, click, and gesture. 
 
+Scott Sullivan-Reinhart you are wrong. 100% wrong. It does not take away personal privacy at all. I was far more freaked out about these before getting them than after. Just wait, you'll switch your tune about them too.
 
Can we see more demo's of what it is like wearing them
 
+Michael Mitchell Google Glass and Sex? My wife says take them off. But they will be big in porn and I bet that many couples will use them. That's just a line I'm not willing to cross with technology.
 
+Axel van Lil my answer? After, say, 20% of people around you have them on, you'll stop thinking they look so ridiculous. Also, unlike bluetooth headsets Google Glass has an extraordinary amount of value for wearer. So, despite the "fashion cost" many will wear them. I know I will. I really don't care about you thinking I look like a dork or a douchebag with them on. The benefits they bring to my life far outweigh the fashion cost.
 
+Jon Winters voice control on Glass worked with 98% of the people who tried it on this week. It's extraordinary and is a HUGE shift. 
 
Why this will work; because even the elite who bought segways will want a pair of these.

They are for everybody. Much like chromebooks except you haven't got used to a previous standard yet. This time Google is setting the standard.
 
+Michael Mitchell um, many women LOVE Google Glass in my experience. Particularly younger women (I showed them to a bunch of students). It might be the man asking the woman to take them off.
 
The nerd-look will totally go away once the glasses become small enough
 
+David Bucci yes. The context switch is about 1/10th what it is if your smartphone gets you to look at its screen. That's what a lot of people aren't getting!
 
It's not the first time TC are doing this and they seem to stick to the idea, until it's proven wrong. They will be proven wrong, once again, with this kinda immature, article. 

But at least they get attention, right!? 
 
I think the advantages far outweight the fashion cost. Plus the look could change in future versions.  +Robert Scoble has often compared this to the introducation of the Apple II but I'm beginning to wonder if it is not more comparable to the introduction of the automobile.
 
The very slow reveal that Google is doing with Glass is softening the population up to the eventual rollout. Brilliant strategy. It's gonna be a hit. 
 
It is a matter of how people around us are aware of these new gadgets: I was wearing my Sony Smartwatch during a business meeting and I was getting incoming calls. Instead taking out my phone I was just having a quick check on my watch. The person I was meeting with: " are you in a rush? Why are you checking time so often?". If 20% of people were wearing a smartwatch, that question would not have existed.
We are just preparing for developing apps for Glass and already filled two pages with use-cases :)

 
We will probably have a chance to test the theory of how acceptable in daily use these things would be for the general population.

Never mind the look. I suspect that the fact that you are walking around talking to invisible people will annoy greatly the real people around you, something like those bluetooth phones. People always turning to you and saying "WHAT?", and then getting tee-ed off. Suspect most owners will stop using them. If Google can find a system to think commands at the glasses, that will be great.
 
For me, Google Glass has a level of pretension since everyone knows you have it on.  If the value (utility) is there and you can make it seamless for everyone you interact with, then yes, it has potential.  Without achieving those two, you'll just seem rude or intrusive.
 
+Annie Sisk you really need to watch the privacy debate Andrew Keen and I had: Robert Scoble Discusses Google Glass in the Bathroom After going back and forth for an hour, Keen asked the audience how many were freaked out by these things? Only five hands went up. How many wanted to buy them for $200? Nearly every other hand went up.

The privacy debate is over for me. The average person simply doesn't care. The utility these offer outstrips any fear of these new technologies.

Look at it another way. 37,000 people die in cars every year. Yet we all keep driving. The good outweighs the bad. I'm never taking mine off.
 
I absolutely love these posts Robert. Please keep them coming!
 
+Robert Scoble How would  you feel about laws placing restrictions on wearing them ? As an example, in the red light district in Amsterdam ? Perhaps in other sensitive locations.
 
Reading the reviews made me think that Google Glasses could be "Intelligence Equalizer". You don't have to be born smart anymore. Apps and data access can provide the context and decision making capabilities in real time. Now, thats revolutionary !!!
 
Price, Price, Price, Price will determine its success
 
Just because you don't agree with his opinion +John Smith doesn't mean that he is biased or has been bought out.  I got a chance to use them for a few days and instantly fell in love with them.
 
+Euro Maestro cameras are already banned in several places. 

I will ban them at some of my parties too. "No wearable parties" are going to be a big deal, even in Silicon Valley. 

But that already happens before Glass. When I got to +Marissa Mayer's house, she asked me, before I got in, to not take photos. I decided that going in was more important than taking photos, so I complied. Same thing with Google Glass. 
 
+John Smith I paid for my own Google Glasses. More than $1,600 including taxes. I'm not paid by Google. I've shown them to thousands of people and, most want them. So, if that's bias then too bad. You don't even have the balls to use your real name here.
 
I'd just like to point out that I am not a "hater". I'm merely seeking to offer a different perspective. I never said Google Glass would not have some applications. But for me these wil be in niches, like law enforcement and industrial settings. Not every day life, as Google portrays it. That's my view at this stage. I don't believe the average person wants a HUD in their life, other than maybe that time they need to ski down a mountain and record the video. Hence my view. That's not to say it won't be a hit in the tech community, as I'm sure it will. But the tech community is a niche, whether we like it or not. 
 
+Robert Scoble Did the initial round of sales only go to Americans? It would be interesting to hear from users in other countries if indeed they had access.
 
It's unfortunate that many people assume glass will be used for continuous recording. The battery isn't capable of it, so just make sure the person your talking to doesn't have an external power connector and it is extremely likely they're not recording you. It's a strawman attack.
 
+John Smith I will be uploading a video in a couple days of the press conference Robert gave highlighting Google glass. You will hear many criticisms and concerns about certain aspects of Google Plus raised by both Robert and myself.  There isn't any evidence of bias.
 
+Peter Vogel yes. At Google IO you had to have a USA address to buy one. I know of one German who bought one, loves his. The reaction in Europe was quite consistent: 95% loved them.
 
+Mike Butcher And to that end, where's the cultural revolution and discussion/backlash around GoPros strapped to helmets? There isn't. Because there's a purpose (and those look far more ridiculous than Glass when worn). You're pretty spot on with considering different perspectives.
 
+Mike Butcher after showing them to 400+ people face-to-face and five audiences of more than 3,000 total, I totally disagree (and I showed them to many people in the street who weren't geeks, or who were taxi drivers, etc). Even the customs agent last night wanted to try them on. Almost everyone in the audiences wants these as long as the price is affordable (around $200). Nearly everyone I showed them to really got where these would be valuable. 
 
This is what will get people alienated. Let that "let me touch it" feeling fades away and you'll see. It's perfectly fine for you to use it and really great that it makes your life easy, but this is your comfort zone. And wearing glass is something that kind of forcefully expands your comfort zone into other's comfort zones. People are already wearing "masks" and this will glue them more securely. Not sure if I'd want to have anything in common with completely "locked out" person, nor would I want to be the reason of someone "locking out". 
 
People seem pretty happy to shout private conversations into their mobiles whilst on the tube...talking into Glass is only a small step.  And how many of us have walked into someone accidentally whilst texting...I suspect Glass will reduce that danger!
 
+Dan Boabes There is already a company that is integrating it into frames and is virtually invisible.
 
Great summary on the value of glasses compared to the Segway. One thing you missed on your list +Robert Scoble  was how Glass can be used anywhere, while the Segway is very confined in where it can be ridden.  

The challenge will be comparing the value difference between Glass and the iPad   
 
One other difference: before Segway was announced there were rumors that it would have a breakthrough technology. Like a new Sterling engine. There was a belief that the tech behind it would be capable of having an impact as well as the device itself. That turned out to be false. That doesn't negate or explain the "it will change cities" comments as it was built up as The Greatest Product Ever. Glass was a known entity from the beginning. The details weren't there, but what the product is was.
 
Problem for me personally is that I hate having something on my face. I never wore glasses (even after 12 years in this computer field, starring at the monitor 12 hours a day if not more)) but you did, Robert Scoble, that's why you got instantly used with Google Glass. I hope I will never have to wear glasses, but maybe I will when I'll get older. THEN, MAYBE, I'll be using Google Glass every day .
Let's see how many people are in my situation.
I wanna try it Google Glass though, don't want to jump the fence before trying.
 
We're but a step away from Zaphod Beeblebrox glasses, as mentioned in the Hitchhiker's Guide.
 
+Mircea Goia I have never worn glasses in my life. I can't even tell you how quickly I took to Glass.  Almost  all these concerns being raised are from people that haven't tried it. I literally watched dozens if not hundreds try it and I can tell you that people just don't have that reaction after actually trying it.
 
+Mircea Goia that's the major argument against them that resonates with me, actually. But a product can be a major success if it gets even 20% of us to use them. 

I have a feeling that those who hate glasses or face wear will buy a watch like the Pebble or maybe whatever is coming from Samsung and Apple. This is why this trend is contextual, not just wearables. It's bigger than just what's on your face.
 
+Euro Maestro That's why I said I want to try first before jumping the fence.
Who knows, I may like it in the end :).
 
Yes +Robert Scoble but the experience between a watch and on your face is so completely different. It's the fact that it is on your face and doesn't require you to look down or change what you are doing that makes glass so appealing. You could use glass even when you have your hands full, the examples of swinging your kids, etc. is very powerful.
 
I think you're 1000% dead on Robert Segway competed with cars and Americans laziness and it's price point. I think even of Google glass got as good as cell phones and down to a 500 price point it would still be a success. It's the future of where smaller cell phones going. Most likely carriers would subsidize them like they do cell phones now
 
I hate to disagree with a tech-guru like +Robert Scoble, but I do agree with +Scott Sullivan-Reinhart, that the privacy issue with Glass will be a wonderful debate at some point in the near future as they get used by more people... and unfortunately that means more inappropriate ways causing A LOT of concern.  Stay tuned.. the privacy issue is only starting to heat up   
 
+Chris Voss I agree with you. It's one of the few areas where I disagree with Robert about Glass. I think a 500 price point will be more than enough to make this a huge hit even at 700 will still be big. Clearly though a 200 price point would totally dominate the market and freeze out competition if introduced early enough.
 
The main thing that would keep me from wanting Glass is that I really like rimless frames. (See my pic.) But we'll see what they can do in a few years.
 
It will be interesting to see how Glass plays out in the education sector. It may be the ultimate for BYOD.
 
Robert Scoble Discusses Google Glass in the Bathroom tells me you are wrong +Ian Rumbles You really do need to watch the privacy debate with Andrew Keen. People simply do not care. A small, very vocal, minority does. But they soon will not be listened to and, really, shouldn't be. 

Sorry, I thought this was the full session. It's not. I've asked them to post the full session. After a very in depth debate about privacy Andrew asked the audience if anyone cared. Only five in audience did. 

Imagine if, at the beginning of the automobile age, people listened to those who said "thousands will die in these things." That was true, but the utility outstripped the risks. Same will be true here.
 
I'm curious to see what some people who do science videos, e.g. +Nicole Gugliucci, will do with them. I have a friend who is totally opposed to them because she thinks it's a privacy violation, and I said that I think it doesn't do anything that smart phone cameras don't already do, and less.
 
+Robert Scoble I went to a history museum a few months ago and they had a display featuring the introduction of the automobile and it included newspaper clippings and commentary at the time from all these people predicting that the automobile will never be accepted for a whole host of reasons including the noise and the problems that it posed for horses etc.
 
+Robert Scoble So, I have read all your reviews. But what do you actually use your glass for? Besides taking pictures and video. What does it do?
 
I'm curious to see what +Robert Scoble answers, but I'd like heads-up navigation linked to me car, displaying my turn-by-turn navigation and my speed.
 
+Kathryn Huxtable yes, I once read about how high the manure would be now given our current population densities and it wasn't a pretty picture. :)
 
Dude I coined that term months ago. 
 
If Glass isn't a success, then it's only a matter of time before something similar (and smaller or cooler) is.  The only obstacle I can see is their appearance, but this is easily remedied with the relentless march of technology.  Or, dare I say it, the "Apple" effect (if such a thing still exists post-Jobs).

The biggest piece of functionality its missing is continuous-record with the ability to rewind a moment you didn't know was going to happen - but I guess this will come when battery life can keep up.
 
Sad I can't do augmented reality with it.
 
+Jen Savage That's what I've heard. I think we'll need that before it really fulfills its potential.
 
Glass is just the highest profile of the new wearable recording devices.  The epiphany glasses and memoto recording devices are potentially more invasive (since less easy to spot).  It will gradually become impossible to police/restrict the use of these devices, so the privacy issue will just morph into acceptance I think.  Google may be  clever (or lucky) with its timing...let some of these lower function devices take some of the heat perhaps over next 12 months.
 
Damn your Glasses would be unsatisfactory if you still only had an iPhone.
 
+Olivier De Meulder 

1. Taking photos and video in a whole new way. I am capturing moments with my kids that I simply could not catch with my smartphones.

2. Getting navigation hands free. While walking around Amsterdam I often had stuff in both hands. Camera bags, suitcases, etc. 

3. Life assistance. When I got to the airport yesterday my Google Glass told me the gate and flight and time I needed to know. I didn't need to pull my smartphone out of my pocket. Since I was dragging two suitcases at that time, this was very useful.

Other things it shows me? 

  a. Traffic between me and next appointment.
  b. Weather today and tomorrow (get your umbrella)
  c. My stocks.
  d. My calendar and next appointments.

4. Notifications. I see New York Times, my email, photos from my Path friends, and other notifications. 

5. Phone calls. I can see who is calling without having to disrupt a conversation, pull my smart phone out, etc. 

6. Googling. "OK, Glass, Google 'Andrew Keen'" and I learned a bunch of stuff about Andrew while I was being interviewed by him. 

7. Sending messages. "OK, Glass, send a message to Maryam Scoble;" "Maryam I love you." 

And more everyday. I just got an RSS and a Twitter app. I imagine that by the end of the year there will be hundreds of apps.
 
+Robert Scoble - off topic - but I noticed that you seem to be using Google+ for your main platform rather than your http://scobleizer.com/ blog.  Is that something you are experimenting with - or are you completely moving away from a separate blog and having Google+ be your main platform?
 
+Malthe Høj-Sunesen I still have my iPhone. I just never use it anymore. I do use an iPad Mini, mostly for Flipboard. I totally disagree, by the way. Android is growing on me. I can type faster on Android than on an iPHone now thanks to SwiftKey.
 
Google Glass is just another elegant toy for people to get attention on the street or at a party.  It's amazing how quickly people choose being noticed at the expense of their loss of privacy (to themselves and other strangers).  The REAL concern will be when people are driving while wearing them.  This has got to be the absolute worst distraction device while driving a car!!  I can imagine pedestrians wearing these will be hit and killed from being distracted by who-knows-what on the net, or answering an email, twitter, etc. Literally "shades" of 1984, Cyborgs and the BORG.  
 
+GB Robins yeah, but I will come back to my blog soon. The only advantage of a blog is that I can do multiple photos and videos on a single post. For everything else I simply don't care about the blog anymore. Using Facebook or Google+ is more fun (and builds audiences faster -- yesterday's post here was on the top of http://www.techmeme.com too).
 
Segway probably won't help you save lives. I can see +Project Glass doing so with some forms of implementation in medicine (particularly paramedics)
 
+Paul Newitt you are absolutely wrong. Wearable computers are 100x safer than you looking at a Smartphone and 5x safer than you looking down at your car's navigation system. WHy? Because your eyes never stop looking ahead at the road.
 
+Andrew Mair I tend to agree with you at least about the epiphany device. I had a long conversation with the memoto people and specifically discussed the concerns about it possibly being invassive. They are actually going out of their way to ensure that it is transparent.  It's really about lifelogging and not about capturing photos without people being aware.
 
+Paul Newitt I disagree. They may be less distracting that current devices used while driving. As for getting noticed, that passes with time. (I didn't color my hair to get noticed, but I do get noticed. You know, it passes with time.)
 
+Paul Newitt I fear the scenario where someone is looking RIGHT AT ME on a street corner and steps off into oncoming traffic. I'm not sure if a HUD in near-vision makes the effect of ignoring far-vision more pronounced/affects peripheral vision. I'm not an expert in optics outside of wearing glasses (but I'm sure everyone else is an expert in vision because they have personal experience with having eyeballs), but it's something I worry about.
 
+Robert Scoble Great, thanks!  I'm using blogger and finding it a hassle to post there, and then link to Google+ - and I see that all of your content is in the post rather than some others that put a few lines and then link to an outside source.  I much prefer reading it inside of Google+ like you're doing.  Thanks for the updates on Glass, too!
 
+Raveesh Bhalla GREAT observation and comment.   I believe that this Tool (Google Glasses) will be a huge assistance to those needing their hands.   I work in the dairy cattle technology field and see this a huge advancement in Vet medicine, record keeping and referencing.   Paramedics fit right in there.
 
+Eric Rice The current HUD in Glass is apparently pretty transparent. You can easily see the real world through it.
 
cc +Gary Levin Can you weigh in on the optical issues since you're an Ophthalmologist et al. I'd feel better about medical doctors vs. tech geeks on issues of peripheral vision/huds/etc.
 
+Eric Rice the HUD is ABOVE your eye line. You do NOT look "through it at people." So, you would tell that the dude isn't paying attention. Personally, it still is safer than looking down at a Smartphone. Why? The screen and the world around you are at distance. I can see both you and the screen, sorta. That said, it only stays on for a few seconds, so it's hard to use while walking around.
 
I hope Google+ offers a FREE Glass to all its users.  That's the only way to prevent Glass from becoming a Segway.  LOL  !!@@!!
 
+Robert Scoble Fair enough, totally respect you did that. I'm still going to take the view that that enthusiasm will only scale "so far". The vast majority of people almost certainly don't want to wear a HUD day to day.
 
+Dan Boabes Excellent point about how the Segway has not moved to a much cheaper version of itself.

Imagine if the Segway was promoted and cost as is the case with this "boosted" skateboard.  http://www.ted.com/talks/sanjay_dastoor_a_skateboard_with_a_boost.html "... an electric vehicle that weighs less than a bicycle, that you can carry with you anywhere, that you can charge off a normal wall outlet in 15 minutes, and you can run it for 1,000 kilometers on about a dollar of electricity."

They are talking in this about something like a Segway, but at a cost of well under $500. With the hype that surrounded the Segway and a price like that, we might not be disagreeing with the initial claims.

With that said, I think we have to agree +Euro Maestro has a good point about how the cost will be a determining point in how successful something like Google Glass becomes. If prices are too high, it remains a niche player (after all, +Robert Scoble thinks little about spending $1500 on a new camera for his job), but that potential audience increases greatly as the price drops to the level he is imagining.
 
+Eric Rice I just had my eyes checked and my optometrist was very interested. She said the only problem might be that if you look up your eyes blink less often than if you look down. But I showed her that the screen only stays on a few seconds at a time and she said that there shouldn't be a problem then.

The screen is NOT between you and things ahead of you, so is not distracting while walking around or driving. It's as dangerous as looking down at your dashboard to see how fast you are going while driving.
 
+Robert Scoble I'm not sure if my English fails me, but what I meant was: If you still exclusively used an iPhone your Glass wouldn't be that much fun.

Just like.. I don't know.. A Segway isn't much fun for an amputee.. (No comparison between amputees and iPhone-users intended btw.)
 
+Mike Butcher Why wouldn't most peole want to wear a HUD day to day ? It's lightweight, convenient, out of the way, unintrusive and incredibly useful.  The only real down side is the fashion cost but as Robert said the advantages far outweigh that cost.
 
I've often thought that on the public launch Google might give each of the Explorers a few pairs for free - for family and friends.  (Complete conjecture).
 
+Malthe Høj-Sunesen sorry, I totally disagree on that point. Plus, Google Glass would work just fine on iPhone anyway except it would miss a feature or two until that gets fixed.
 
+Robert Scoble That's fine, but it is our responsibility as technologists to be a bit more scientific. I've read 'YOU ARE WRONG' more times than I care to read in a lifetime here. We should be better than that. We have a cultural responsibility and should advocate science. Our industry is plagued with opinion-as-fact. We need citations, we need science. No fanboys, no haters. We need to be the bad-asses we pretend to be.
 
Mike Butcher is a great journalist hack he is NOT a technical guru or an entrepreneur.  I know him well, he is a good guy but he has no idea on new tech.  Sorry Mike you are not a good person to predict the future of tech you have no understanding after all this time and never will until you start your own tech company and he bets his own future on future tech. Scoble is right! 
 
+Eric Rice well, sorry, when someone is wrong they should be pointed out that they are wrong and I don't need science to point out that someone is making a point that is misinformed. I have the Glass, very few people do. When you get it you can see right away that lots of the privacy fears are totally wrong.
 
How can a FEAR be WRONG?
 
And when, +Eric Rice, science is available, I will quote that too. Over on Flipboard I'm keeping a magazine of all articles about Google Glass (titled "Glassholes" ) and am curating both pro and con articles.

Science often runs behind. For instance, I'm sure there will be research into how distracting these are while driving. It doesn't take science to tell you that these are far less distracting than looking at a Smartphone screen. Why not? Because your eye doesn't leave the road ahead with Glass, while it definitely does to look at a Smartphone screen.
 
+Eric Rice because the fears are often totally wrong. When someone says that these record all the time and are more intrusive on private lives they are TOTALLY WRONG. Misinformed. That point can NOT be allowed to stand without being challenged.
 
Will glasses be the only forms factor? I endured Lasik because I hated glasses. 
 
I agree with +Robert Scoble that the privacy issues are dead except that the press might not let it go and continue to push it.  Government, on all levels, already have very good and detailed access to information on us, including personal information.  So do businesses.  Glass evens the playing field by allowing us, the citizen, to have and produce information on businesses and governments in ways that will expand the power that social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ have started.  As you can tell, I'm less worried about what people will do with Glass than what governments and businesses will do if we don't have Glass.

As such, I'm very curious how different sub-groups will react to Google Glass in the near future.  

If you're a female, working late at night, and have to go down into the garage, or walk the streets alone, will it be normal to set up a Hangout with friends/family so that you almost have a virtual escort that can call for help if you encounter any problems?  

If you're in a stop and frisk environment, pulled over by the police, do you want most of the people around you to have Glass available?

When you're worried about parents living alone, do you insist that they use Google Glass tech (Maybe Glass plus other sensors that would alert you if they are unable to communicate or act)?

I find the potential upsides far outweigh the potential problems.
 
Okay, I'm totally stuck on 'fears are often totally wrong' so I'll just maybe throw out there then, that perhaps the path of goodwill isn't one of such aggression. I support Glass with responsibility and hold completely different views than you do, and in the process of evangelizing a technology, I have to evangelize against a view. Kinda like being a gun owner. I have to compete against the OMG GOV'T COMING TO GET US crazy people. I'd never tell someone their fear is wrong. Good luck and may we find harmony in the future at some point.
 
Context is missing from this conversation.

This whole "bathroom" debate was argued by people who would lick someone at Google for a free pair of Google Glass. Those are the people that understand the whole technology. Most muggles won't. Those are the people that may get the most offended. Sure, all hands went up at "who would pay $200 for this?", because you asked a roomful of nerds.

Another piece of context are the ones that came up to you and asked you about it. Those are the ones that realize they MAY be recorded and MAY have their picture taken. They KNOW what to expect. When news of this thing gets out, who knows what the reaction will be from the common folk? Remember that guy who had his eye apparatus ripped off his face in a McDonalds about two years ago? That. Nobody talks about that.

Another issue I have with Glass is that I don't see a single, solitary thing it does to help me. Not one. "Ok, Glass, take a picture". In the time it takes for me to say that AND the delay I've seen in the video, I can grab my iPhone 5, slide it, snap a shot that I control immediately. I'm not sold on voice commands. I feel stupid talking to a computer, despite watching Star Trek since '68. Also, the interview you did with glass on looked good, but had a little too much head bob for me. What if you sneeze? What if you look away? That's why we use tripods. In fact, there's a scene in Star Trek VI where a "reporter" is wearing a camera on his head, and in 1996 when that I came out I thought it looked stupid then.

Nothing has sold me on Glass at all, and I've been a tech nerd for almost 40 years. This looks like nothing more than a convenience, but doesn't show one iota what it can do that another device can't.
 
+Jon Winters for this kind of "always in front of you HUD" I don't see how to do this without wearing something on your face. I suppose if you stay alive another two decades that we might see some sort of contact lens with a projector built in, but even then, your eye won't like it so I don't see how to do this without some sort of device in front of your eye.

Alternatives? Stick with Smartphone or use a watch.
 
+Michael Gaines I paid $1,500+ for my Google Glass. Please do watch this privacy debate: http://tnw.2gzr.com/517940f8531a484b777dae06 

I've worn them into 20+ bathrooms now and only had one problem, where someone said "I guess this is the awkward part of Google Glass." I answered "they aren't recording." He answered "how will I know?" I said "because you'll have a pair in 12 months." His eyes rolled. But, you can tell they are recording or not. If recording the projector is on. It's impossible to record without the projector on. 

Plus, I was wearing them facing up, so the camera wouldn't see anything anyway. There simply isn't a problem here. Period.
 
+Michael Gaines Getting directions on glass if far better than with a smartphone.  Finding out about gate changes as you pulling your luggage through an airport is another thing that won't happen with your iPhone, you need to pull it out and read it to see what the alerts are. With glass the alerts just to come to you and you continue with your activity. It is far more convenient.
 
+Michael Gaines sorry, I've talked to dozens of "muggles" about these. Every single one was excited. Every single one. You are totally wrong on this point. 
 
It's funny how people choose their battles to argue. It's said in parts of Manhattan that you can't walk through the street without being picked up on multiple cameras recording you. This is probably more true now in cities more and more. Every commercial place you going into has a camera. Mayor Bloomberg just got done saying you'll never know where the cameras are. They're even talking about in the air drones recording everything. I think it's silly for splitting hairs over Google glass there's a much bigger issue here if you really want to take a look at people taking video of you in public. Maybe u should b more worried what governments or business is doing with u on recorded video as opposed to some smo goofing around with his Google glass
 
"Screw the lead times. You don't have a great product yet! I know burn rates are important, but you'll only get one shot at this, and if you blow it, it's over." -- Was Jobs wrong about 'Ginger?'  Does the same point apply to Glass?
 
+Michael Gaines have you used Google Now?  If you use Google Now regularly, you'll see the benefits of Google Glass.  It can't be explained well without this experience.
 
+Euro Maestro That's your OPINION, correct? I prefer not having something on my face. That's crossing a wearble tech line I'm not willing to cross.
 
Great visionary optimists see 20/20 crystal clear vision possibilities far into the future for Google Glass.  On the other hand, conservative conformists like +Mike Butcher are myopic to this. 
 
+Robert Scoble This is neither the next Segway or the next iphone. It's the next ipad. A product that is not a NEED to have but a WANT to have, great for certain experiences like taking photos or other specific use cases but not necessary for anything for a mainstream user, the same way you don't need to use an ipad to read a digital magazine, but it makes for a better experience, i.e. Flipboard. The fact of the matter is, there are people who get excited about new technology (all the people surrounding you at thenextweb 50 wanting to try it) and people who don't care (all the people walking around Germany who were clueless as to what you were even wearing) . Sure, you love it, I might, many others may as well, but for the mainstream consumer, unless there is significant value add, they won't change their user behavior (or spend for it). Using a smartphone enables you to do every day things that you absolutely can't with a standard cell phone. It's a need to have that offers tremendous value add. I fail to see enough every day use with Google Glass, at least in it's current form (and granted I haven't been as lucky as you to be a test user), to ask people to walk down the street wearing what is essentially a fashion item which everyone would look the same with and literally talk to their glasses on command (appearing like their talking to themselves). These same reasons are why I'm skeptical of smartwatches, again a fashion item that at the moment, I'm not sure how much value is added over a smartphone. Further, when talking about wearable tech, and your point that you don't need to look away from a person and use it, you still have to excuse yourself briefly from a conversation in order to command it then concentrate on it to get the value out of it, or the other person will just feel ignored or look at you like you have two heads. That said, it's akin to pulling out your phone and checking something quickly. Lastly, people get offended in social situations by others who constantly take out their phone. At least with that, you can put it in your pocket. Where do you put your glasses if you need to take them off? Folded hanging on your shirt? That could be kinda clunky as they are heavier (and more fragile) than your typical sunglasses. And if you don't ALWAYS have them with you, you can't build a routine and depend on them in your every day life the same way you can with your phone which you always have on you 24/7. So, I think there is definitely value here for some, and for some uses, but to me it will be more main stream than a Segway and less than a smartphone...again, the ipad.
 
U know Yvan makes a point this thing will have apps. Segway doesn't.
 
This may be of some interest: google glass Twitter NodeXL SNA Map http://bit.ly/Yf0XGM Most central participants:  @Scobleizer @Quora @TechZader @warrenellis @OPENForum @augmate @GreenNewsDaily @caseorganic @delitosI @UFO4U
 
Great discussion...  +Robert Scoble - I wonder if you track the interaction you get on your G+ posts.   This might be a great indicator of the interest Glass has compared to the other tech you have covered.
 
+Michael Gaines Robert Scoble has tested your camera hypothesis and the facts are: up to twelve seconds (afair) to take a picture using your phone. About a second to take a picture using Glass. On top of that you don't even need to use your hands. Scoble argued that he can take a picture of his kids doing something cute even with his hands full of groceries. 
 
+Malthe Høj-Sunesen 12 seconds to take a pic with an iPhone 5? No. I just tested it. Less than three, but I suppose I know how my phone works.
 
+Michael Gaines The comparison I read from Robert had mentioned 6 seconds for a smartphone which is pretty reasonable.  So even at 3 to 6 seconds that is considerable longer than the less than 1 second on glass. Not to mention that you don't have to pull the phone out and have your hands free.
 
+Michael Gaines from pocket to pressing either the power or home button to clicking the on screen or one of the volume buttons in three seconds?  That's gunfighter speed.
 
+Euro Maestro I'm rather dexterous with my phone. I know exactly how to make it work as fast as possible. I did it in three, not six, and nobody's factoring in the time it takes to SPEAK THE COMMAND, then the delay in taking the pic. Sorry, I don't buy it.
 
+Jeremiah Townsend The trick is to press the home butting with your thumb while you're taking it out. It comes from 30 years of playing videogames.
 
As long as Larry Page doesn't walk off a cliff while reading his email...
 
+Michael Gaines I said 3 to 6 in my comment. Did you include in your 3 seconds the time to get your phone out of your pocket or wherever you keep it, unlock the phone with a code, open up the photo app, etc ? You still have the issue that your hands have to be free to do it. As someone who is very fast with his iphone, I still find taking photos a way better experience with glass.
 
+Euro Maestro See? You proved my point. You don't HAVE to unlock an iPhone 5 to take a pic. You can slide to take a pic. You press the button with your thumb while you're taking it out.

So, like I said, Robert probably went through the trouble of unlocking the phone which you don't have to do.
 
+Michael Gaines In your 3 seconds, did you include the time to take your phone out of your pocket and slide to take a pic then ?
 
I resisted mobile phones right up until a buddy put his Treo 350 in my hands. In less than a minute, i knew I had to have one. For those who have them, is the reaction "cool gadget" or "I must have one now!"?

I also thought Google had some kind of rule that you're not supposed to share your glass with anyone or they will recall it? Why would they have such a rule?  Would sharing the devices pollute the data they are collecting? 
 
+Euro Maestro Yes. I optimize everything I do. Keys, wallet, phone, car, everything. Haven't lost my keys in 40 years. Sorry, but you won't prove me wrong on this one.
 
+Michael Gaines won't work for me because I keep my iPhone locked and in a iBookbook case (which covers the home button and makes pressing the power button difficult).  When it's not in a case, since I'm paranoid about the slipperiness of the iPhone, I move very slowly with it.  Fastest I'm capable of is 6 seconds in either situation.  Too much time if I want to catch my son while he's doing something cute.  Also, Google Glass does have a small button where you can immediately take a photo or video with one press in one second.  You don't have to use voice if you have hands free.
 
For all you guys who are negative to Glass, I've got a revolutionary idea. - just ignore it. Relax - nobody is going to force you to buy it. Stick with your phones and PCs and be happy while the world moves on.
 
+Michael Gaines my memory is screwed up right now. However, three seconds is considerably longer than one second. Ask anybody with a child: Does the cute things last for three seconds? My son (he's not even four months yet but still) has several times done something extremely cute. Even though my phone nestles in my right front pocket all the time I've not yet been able to catch him, as the cute things I want to record does only last for one or two seconds. Glass wouldn't be able to catch all those moments, but my chances would improve considerably. 
 
I can only judge it based on its visual right now as I haven't gotten to use one...And it's WAY too big. I will be looking to buy one when they integrate into a normal pair of glasses. Right now, I would be uncomfortable with this giant thing on my face. 
 
+Robert Scoble During sitting, standing, walking and cycling anywhere I see the benefits you mention, but I'm not so sure about driving a car. Perhaps it will work better for car navigation, but wouldn't you be tempted to read that incoming text message or email on Glass as well? Seems quite dangerous. Do you think it should be linked to your car audio, so text can be read to you? (added: I mean so your car audio is muted and you can actually hear Glass)
Maybe Google can speed up the development of their self-driving car, so we don't have to worry about any distractions while driving.
 
I can't wait to wear Google Glass at Wal Mart. I'll stand in the gun section, mutter to myself for a few minutes, and then ask to see an assault rifle and some Kevlar jacketed bullets. That should go over wonderfully.
 
To compare the two is ridiculous, might as well compare it to a Robinson helicopter or a jet pack. Any optician will tell you that no piece of glass will ever improve on the eyes we were born with and must we see all our notifications instantly? The privacy issues will be huge with this, will you use them in a children's park, with all the kids playing, good luck with that (and the parents) 
 
I'm not in the 'fraid of freaky camp but I found this recent episode - 'The Entire History of You' - of the excellent British television drama series 'Black Mirror' quite thought provoking in terms of a nightmare scenario that could unfold with Google Glass v5. 

"In the near future, everyone has access to a memory implant that records everything they do, see and hear - a sort of Sky Plus for the brain."

Black Mirror - The Entire History of You
 
I happen to own a Segway. It suits me admirably. On the other hand, I have no urge whatsoever to buy Google Glass. Your milage obviously varies.

Neither viewpoint translates into an objective valuation of either product.

FWIW Segway, Inc. appears to sell all the units that come off the line.
 
Segways are fun. I rock the Segway. I just can't use my Segway on the Acela Express on my way to NYC, or when I'm back home visiting my mom. I can't take my Segway skydiving. I can't use my Segway in a meeting to organize talking points, or look up some quick fact to nail a debate. You can't even compare the two. The Segway has specific uses that are EXTREMELY valuable to a city dweller (especially here in DC where they are allowed on the sidewalk). Google Glass has value always. 
 
Rob, could you comment on the battery life?  Do you go a full day w/o having to charge it?
 
+Jan-Cees van Buiten Google Glass does read things to me. I listened to the New York Times today while on a walk. Does a damn good job. Also, it does NOT turn on the projector when a text or notification comes in. It just chimes a tone. Then you can wait until you are at a stoplight to take a look.
 
I want a HUD in my life!! I mean JEEZ.. I spend a GOOD amount of my day seeking out a screen connected to the interwebs so I can check out everything I may or may not have any relation to. 
 
+Robert Scoble does glass project the image so that it's sharply in focus as you're looking into the distance...or do you have to focus onto the glass? What I mean is... does it have to be shallow DOF? (still not sure if I'm wording the question right).
 
After reading this I checked out Segway's website for a good laugh. 
 
+Gavin Gordon whenever I go to a kid's party I see tons of parents shooting photos with their DSLRs or smartphones. Those usually give better images than my Google Glass will use. And, damn straight I will use them to shoot photos of my kids in the park.
 
By the way +Gavin Gordon if there IS a creep in the park that doesn't belong there, I will use my Google Glass to shoot video and photos of him, too, which might just solve some crimes! (having video and photos helped solve the Boston Bombing case, for instance).
 
+Robert Scoble, would love to hear your thoughts on the issue of distracted driving with Google Glass, should the product become mainstream.
 
 
The type of people who make technology decisions based on hearsay conversation on battery life are the only people booing Google Glass. If you knew what mp3 was going to do before there was an mp3 player, it isn't difficult to realize what a powerful force Glass is going to be on modern society. This is a game changer.
 
Brad Google Glass is far less distracting than looking down at your navigation system. 
 
All things Internet connected are vulnerable to attack and misuse. What is the potential dark side? What government could resist access to millions of internet connected cameras? Every citizen a spy via their smartphone or glasses.
 
Jon if someone else takes control of Google Glass you would know. First, your projector will turn on. Second, your battery will die very fast. Third, your cell phone will die very fast and will behave weirdly.
 
Let's be real here, If we're hacking we're going to hack it so the camera turns on without firing up the projector. Let's also cut the frame rate way down to conserve battery life. Perhaps just listen for certain key words that trigger bursts of exposures. 
 
+Mike Butcher consider this as hands-free computing. Most people will want that. Being hands-free it lets you multi-task, it lets you experience the best of things like Google Now all the while you can do things with your hands and be active walking around even in ways you can't really do when using a smartphone or tablet. Moving the screen near your eye and making hands-free user interfaces allows for whole new scenarios, it can be a dashboard to your life, you can be sure a lot of people will love to have a dashboard to their lives, of course now the trick is to display the exact most relevant information in that dashboard, because that heads-up dashboard display's 640x360 resolution can only display a limited amount of information at the moment, and the user interaction has to be hands-free, that is a software and web service challenge, one that is going to be fascinating to follow in the months to come on sites like Techcrunch, see which new startups and which established companies like Google can brilliant enough to create the most ingenious applications to use on this hands-free limited-resolution voice-command-mainly Android user interface.

I can think of two apps:

1. Augment shopping, what if Glass can locate the best groceries that are best for you in the store, you can pick healthier, tastier and cheaper food? Maybe through a combination of some type of indoor positioning technology and image recognition to recognize where you are in the store and to recognize all the groceries in the store, catalog all the prices through store-submitted price submittions or through direct user-submitted price submittions, then use of price comparison web services to let you know if product is cheaper at other nearby grocery stores.

2. Party mode, recognize and point at people at parties, on the street, in public places who are available to hangout with you, also in real life. Overlay name, latest social network postings, interests etc. What if you knew who wants to talk to you and who you'd probably want to talk to at the next conference?

It's possible you can fold the Glasses up and put them in your pocket most of the time. But there will be times when you'd want to be augmented, the times when you know there is that app that can augment the situation that you are in.

And +Mike Butcher do you remember I showed you my Kopin Golden-i Google Glass like device at Next Berlin a year ago? Just before I interviewed you I interviewed Mike Butcher!
 
The main issue I see in using such tiny devices is battery life.
Therefore, in my opinion, the logical way to go would be splitting the two main functions:
- heads-up display
- camera

First function could be just an info relay from phone. Therefore would just need little processing (a Bluetooth 4.0 + microprojector + tiny processor) having a long battery life (even for current technologies - at least 1 week). This product will not involve any privacy issues and would be a real game changer.
Second function (in-frame camera) has plenty of substitutes. And brings two issues: higher price and aggresive power consumption.

(I am just having a large smile seeing Robert preparing for going to bed: looking for chargers for all power-hungry devices: phone (s), Glass, Pebble, tablet(s). )

The real revolution comes from hands-free info display. Camera? There have been plenty of camera revolutions (remember Lytro?)
 
In my opinion it's not about Glass, it's about evolution of tech and developers starting to build apps for wearable tech. If it'll be Glass, Apple Glass or Microsoft Glass that's not important for us consumers, but yes Glass might get an advantage like iPhone had/has with a strong community and great apps.
 
For those of you who think there is a fashion cost, I would just like to point you at the truly astonishing variety of eyeglasses that are currently available and the rapidity with which eyeglass (and other) fashion changes. Google Glass doesn't look any more or less strange than what people from all walks of life are already wearing. 
 
+Robert Scoble what about most part of Google's target market, that is, people that already use glasses? Are they forced to switch to using contact lenses to be able to use Google Glass ?
 
Wow Robert you're obviously sold and I understand why. And perhaps my question is answered somewhere in this thread - but despite the desensitization we're all experiencing about privacy due to it's being eroded pretty much everywhere - is that not a concern for you at all?
 
"Google Glass is the first tech product that actually is usable while getting exercise. Either at the gym, while walking around, or while using my bike."

Ever heard of an iPod or before that a walkman?
 
How does Glass interact with other displays or devices I'm looking at?
 
Is Google Glass the next iPad ? in terms of success and wide adoption?
 
+Robert Scoble other than probably foldable, what other hardware update do you expect for v1.1 of Glass? Double arm battery? Someone had recently done some skin contact charging tech I recall.
 
I Everett some houw I have a pass cod on my google glass. pleace help me to get out of my mess
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