A while ago I was also accepted to the glass explorers program. I was pretty excited at the time, and was planning to go ahead and get one. I'll admit to being a bit of a Google fanboy, though recently they've lost some of their shine in my eyes.
At the time, there were a few compelling reasons why I decided to wait, which I summarized here: Why I'll Wait on Glass
One thing to consider, is that along with the $1,500 price tag, unless you live close to one of the fitting centers, you'll also have to book airfare and hotel, which can be as much as the Glass itself, so that really raises the price a lot. At least, this was the case when I was invited to the program, it may have changed.
For those who don't like clicking G+ links, here's my full original post:
Why I'll Wait on Glass
So, I received my invitation to purchase #googleglass and become a #glassexplorers . Google notified me that I had 14 days to make my purchase and schedule a pickup date.
I've put a lot of thought into this, and decided not to move forward with the purchase. I'm outlining my reasons below, and I hope that the amazing folks on the Glass team can take this post with the spirit that it's intended: as constructive, objective feedback from a developer who is a huge Google fan.
When I first heard about Glass, I was gobsmacked. The notion of having a powerful, wearable computing device with an array of sensors, camera and floating UI always available to the user, with speech recognition and integration with wireless services - well frankly, I had trouble containing my excitement.
At the local bar, I waxed on (to annoying lengths, I'm sure) about how this was a revolution in technology. How it would change the world and the way we interact with it.
I shared my excitement with my family, and when I was selected as a #glassexplorers they had to pull me down out of the clouds.
I was busy planning apps that I was going to develop, I had visions of an app where I could say "ok glass, find my car" and a floating 3d compass arrow would appear and guide me.
I had visions of walking into my house and saying "ok, glass turn on the lights, lock the doors, arm security", and seeing an interactive display of all my devices. I would be able to say "ok, glass show front camera" and I would be able to look out of the security camera on my front porch.
I had ideas for interactive augmented reality games, where the user could scan the sky for alien UFO's and see 3d spaceships through the Glass display window.
I eagerly refreshed myself on OpenCV, preparing for all the computer vision awesomeness I would be able to develop (I'd already done some of this work on android tablets, using the native sdk).
With all of these visions in my head, I set out to begin development. Finally the new api was released. I sat down at my main development box, pulling up the docs, expecting to see all of the richness of the Android API plus Glass specific enhancements.
What I got was: Cards. A completely non-interactive API where I had to broker every request through a complex chain of servers where eventually, at some point, some static text or images may or may not popup on the user's screen.
I was actually in disbelief. I was sure I was missing some documentation somewhere. I poured through the docs, trying to understand what I was looking at. I felt that I must be missing something really obvious. From what I could tell, the amazing awesomness that was Glass, was limited by the API to being essentially nothing more than a SMS messaging system, similar to text messages on my cell.
None of my applications were possible. I couldn't talk to the accelerometer or other sensors. All I could do was go through a strange "add my app as a contact" process so that I could post text messages with some limited media to the user's timeline. That's it. Interactivity was limited to glorified hyperlinks that would post a message to Google's servers, then post a message to my servers, where I could eventually reply with a minimalistic message back to the user after who-knows-how-much latency.
Basically, this revolutionary piece of hardware and engineering was being hobbled by an API that was less effective than a twitter feed. It's like having a Lamborghini, but the only way you can drive it is by calling up an operator and saying "Ok, turn left. Where am I? Ok, go straight. Where am I now? Ok, turn right".
I decided to wait a while, certain that the really smart folks at Google were going to announce an additional API, that this was just the early state of things. Soon, there would be a native API that would allow me to do all of the wonderful things I had planned.
So, I've been waiting. Last week I got a message that my Glass was ready for me to pick up. I thought about it, thought about it some more and decided: I'll keep waiting.