When the first iPhone came out in 2007, it looked nothing like the iPhone of today. By today’s standards it was big, slow and limiting. However, at the time it was innovative and unlike anything anyone had ever seen. The touch screen was flawless, the mobile web browser was groundbreaking, and the device paved the way for the smartphone era.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that first iPhone since I first picked up my unit of Google Glassat Chelsea Market about a month ago. Using the device has been a treat, and the technology is simply brilliant. However, it certainly has its flaws, just as the first iPhone did.
Lots of potential…but flaws too
Like the first iPhone, you can see the potential for greatness, but in order to see that potential you have to look past the unit’s flaws. Similar to Apple’s first smartphone, Glass has no “App Store” but rather a pre-determined set of apps that you can choose to turn on and off. The apps are incredibly useful, but there are only 11 that you have the option of using.
Cross-platform compatibility is lacking
There is also the issue of cross-platform compatibility. Glass will only work off of Wi-Fi unless you have an iOS or Android smartphone with data tethering enabled; there is no cellular chip onboard the device. Additionally, if you have an iPhone you miss out on some of the enhanced features that are offered to Android users, such as display mirroring.
Can anyone make Google Glass fashionable?
Finally, there is the issue of aesthetics. While the iPhone improved the design quality of smartphones, it also wasn’t attempting to reinvent something you wear every day, which is what Glass intends to do. The unit is sleek as a piece of technology, but not yet as a piece of fashion. Creating a unit that is fashionable may be the most underrated hurdle that “Glass” faces.
With all of that said, it is important to remember that the comparison to the first iPhone also includes many positives. The Glass technology is truly groundbreaking; no other company has a product like this even close to public release. It packages the information age in neat snippets for consumption, but also stays out of the way when you’re not using it. The navigation system on the unit could revolutionize travel and sightseeing. Once an SDK (Software Development Kit) is fully released, the unit will have infinitely more possibilities. Just as we saw with the iPhone, once developers get their hands on an SDK, the sky is the limit.
#iSchoolGlass program coming soon
With less than a month until the Fall semester, the #iSchoolGlass program is taking shape. We are looking for creative people with a desire to use the core functions of Glass in new ways, along with technically skilled students who wish to develop an application for Google Glass.
Similar to the first iPhone, Glass is in the hands of very few at the moment. Luckily the iSchool is one of those few, and the promise of the device will shine through as the #iSchoolGlass program commences this fall.
Stay tuned for more details to come on #iSchoolGlass