Why Moto 360 Will Kill Google Glass

In November of 2013, I became a Google Glass Explorer. Part of this endeavor involved forking over $1,500 and tax for a technology device that was still in beta. The hardware was beyond prototype, but not in the mass production scale that would be necessary for worldwide distribution.

Just a few years ago, smart watches such as those made by Sony and Pebble were very limited in their functionality, battery life and technical specifications. When Project Glass was announced in 2012, it was seen as a revolutionary technology. It was wearable computing to the next level. Google Glass enabled people to have the information they “needed” in the corner of their eye and gave them instant access to the world wide web with just a simple voice command.

In theory, the technology is great. However, in practice, it’s a different story.

I have been a Glass Explorer for just shy of six months and I have to admit that I (like many other Glass Explorers) use the technology much less than I ever thought I would and here’s why:

Battery Life: Most of the applications for Google Glass can be a battery hog. However, with “regular” use throughout the day, I can usually squeeze a good 6-8 hours of casual use before the battery is depleted. Many of the augmented reality applications such as World Lens, require a lot of battery use because they involve the use of the camera, display, wireless data and heavy processor use. Doing something as simple as taking a video can deplete the device’s battery in just 20-30 minutes. Granted, Glass isn’t designed or intended to record long form content, but more or less “moments” which is why the device records 10 second video clips by default.

Security “Issues”: Many workplaces will not allow the use of Google Glass because of exposure to sensitive information and PII (Personally Identifiable Information). I would not be surprised to see if the PCI standards change to ban the use of wearable cameras in areas where employees are able to see credit card numbers. Sadly, most of the concerns about Glass are around it’s camera, which brings me to my next point.

Social Acceptance: Wearing a computer on your face is about as acceptable as riding a Segway around your office. The simple truth is that we aren’t there yet. The fact that we recently learned about the largest government surveillance scandal in recorded history doesn’t help either. People feel that their privacy has been invaded enough by companies reading their e-mail, governments listening to their phone calls and more surveillance cameras than we realize. Until these fears are settled, wearing around a camera on your face will remain a faux pas in many settings.

Reliability: Google Glass is not reliable. Plain and simple. Switching between Bluetooth and Wifi data is never seamless. The device is incapable of connecting to Wifi networks that require TOS agreements or have any sort of splash page login method. If you leave the device turned off and unplugged for a period of time, the battery mysteriously depletes itself. The most frustrating reliability issue is related to connectivity. You can have Google Glass successfully paired to an LTE device with great signal strength and still see the dreaded “can’t reach Google right now” message.

 Google Glass can't reach Google now error message

Moto 360 Won’t Have These Problems

The most exciting thing about the Moto 360 is that it won’t have most of the problems that I encounter on a daily basis with Google Glass. First of all, it’s on my wrist, so it’s much less conspicuous than a face-mounted computer. This definitely helps us in the social acceptance arena, and makes it a wearable that I’m comfortable wearing everywhere (except maybe not the shower). Battery life may be a problem, but not in a way that it is for Glass. I expect overnight charging for my smart watch and would love to see wireless Qi charging integration to make that process just a little bit easier.

Better App Development

I don’t think I’m alone in assuming that there will be more and better apps designed for wrist-mounted wearables. Although the Android Wear platform may look completely analogous to Glassware, it’s a much more practical form factor which means more users and more potential for success of any certain app. Also, apps can be designed to work on a number of devices, not just Motorola’s upcoming offering. Developing for a multi-device platform is a no-brainer when compared to developing for a single device on a different framework.

Sex Appeal

Men love watches. It’s really the only jewelry that most guys wear, and a lot can be inferred by the watch someone wears. For example, during the work week, I wear a Seiko stainless steel watch with a black face and very minimalist design. It shows that I am polished, responsible and punctual. On the weekends I like to wear a leather-banded “easy read” by Timex that is reminiscent of a standard GI watch from decades before.

With the ability to instantly change the face of your watch and select a stylish band, this wearable becomes less of a computer and more of an accessory.


With Moto 360, you don’t have to brag to the world that you’re wearing a computer. A fringe benefit of this design is safety, as we recently learned from the woman wearing Google Glass that was allegedly mugged inside of a San Francisco bar.

Affordability & Luxury

$1,500 was a lot of money to thrown down on a prototype. Especially something that won’t get daily wear. I don’t expect that Google Glass will dip below $800 any time soon, either. Moto 360, on the other hand, is likely to come to the market with a sub-$500 price tag. The competition in the market will surely help keep prices down as other manufacturers continue to innovate.

However, as in the world of watches, history tells us that consumers will spend thousands of dollars for a rare timepiece. If any of the major watch makers join the game, we might see an emergency of luxury smart watches which will only drive more consumers in the middle class to pick up a lower priced model.

I wanted Glass when it was announced. It was new, it was fresh and it was unexplored territory in the real world. Now that I’ve seen Moto 360, I see elements some elements of Glass that I love that will fit much better into my daily life.

*Image ©2014 Motorola Mobility LLC

My First Week with Google Glass

This is the second post in a series of three posts. Please click here for the first post.

I have officially had +Google Glass for over a week now and I am totally impressed. It has been an incredible effective tool for going about my daily life and staying in touch with the people I love the most. Through text messaging, hangouts and Google+, I have been able to use Glass to keep in touch without touching a thing.

Apart from the ease of use and constant communication, Glass has offered me the opportunity to be very social in almost any situation. Since wearable technology isn’t quite commonplace, I get a lot of interesting reactions from people in the real world. Those that are tech savvy immediately identify it, but the majority of people have no idea what it is. Some people are even afraid of it.

Trying it on for the first time:

One of the greatest opportunities of being a glass explorer is having opportunity to showcase the new technology to other people. My favorite part of demonstrating Google Glass is to see the look on the faces of each person as they try it on for their first time. Once they are instructed to tap their temple to activate it, they are immediately amazed by the display (I was too). After that, I usually ask them to read what is under the time (“OK Glass”). As soon as the voice recognition is activated, the person is usually amazed and even sometimes startled.

After they get the hang of the gesture controls, voice commands and how to navigate through the user interface, they take off trying to search for different things and test various features. So far, through all of my demos I have noticed that “take a picture” and “get directions to” are the two most common commands used by demo participants. I would imagine those to be two of the most popular applications for the product and also two features that I use quite often. However, there is a lot that Glass can do beyond just snapping photos and giving directions.

What you need, when you need it:

One of the coolest things about Glass is how intuitive it is. If you are familiar with using Google Now on your phone, you already have most of the commands and features down. For the most part, anything you can do on Google Now on your phone, you can do through Glass. This makes setting reminders and being reminded a total cinch.

In addition to reminders, Google Now gives you updates on the things you always do, like following your favorite sports teams, to knowing when you need to leave to get to work on time. You can customize your Google Now experience by using Google search. As you look up addresses, follow sports teams and frequent businesses, Google suggests information based on your preferences. This keeps you from having to search for the same things, instead they are always at your fingertips.

Get Directions To…

There is some controversy of whether or not Google Glass should be used while driving. Already, states are adopting laws to prevent motorists from wearing Glass while they drive. Unfortunately, this is more a lack of understanding than a true prevention of accidents. To prove my point, the photos below show me using turn-by-turn navigation with Google Glass and without. If you notice, when using my cellphone, the directions are on a small screen which interferes with my field of view across the windshield. With, Google Glass, the instructions are in my field of vision and don’t distract me from my primary task, driving.

Unlike a traditional GPS or using your phone for directions, Glass gives you constant reminders and only illuminates the display when you’re about to make a change in direction. This curbs the distraction of having a constantly illuminated display in your vehicle which can inhibit your line of sight. (Also notice that Glass is transparent, so although I can see the heads up display, I can still see through it.)

Somethings you just don’t want to know:

One thing that Google Glass will help me with is curbing calories. Every decision we make when we go to eat has caloric consequences. Sure, we could hunker down on our smartphone, type in our unlock code, find the app with the calorie counter and then search for what we’re looking for, or we could simply tilt our head and say, “OK Glass, Google how many calories are in a Little Caesars pizza.”

With search at your fingertips, and right in the corner of your eye, it’s almost impossible to find an excuse not to look something up that could help you or your health.

What it means to be an Explorer:

The greatest reward of being an early adopter and part of the +Google Glass Explorer program, is the opportunity to meet so many new and interesting people. Below are just a few snaps of people trying G
lass on for the first time. Having the opportunity to share such a unique and incredible technology with them for the first time is something that I truly love about being an Explorer.

Instant Photography:

It almost goes without saying, but Google Glass is a great tool for “capturing the moment.” The camera is always ready, you don’t need to fumble around, and with a press of a button or quick voice command you can have images and videos that will automatically upload to the cloud that you can instantly share with your friends and family.

Taking pictures with Glass is impossibly simple. Take a look at the first snaps below from people that were trying Glass on for their first time:

How to get Google Glass:

Okay, if you really like the potential you see from Google Glass and you’d like to get an invitation to order, you’re in luck. I currently have 3 invitations available to send to those of you interested. In order to receive the invitation, you must have funds available to cover the full purchase price plus any applicable sales tax. The current cost is $1,500.00, which includes free overnight shipping.

If you are interested in getting Glass and would like one of my three invitations, please share this post through social media and contact me with the form at the bottom of my blog and tell me why you want Glass. I will chose the three most compelling reasons by 11:59 PM CT tonight (Sunday, December 15, 2013).

Be sure to stay tuned for the next post to learn more about my first month with Google Glass.