It is rare when I wake up with the amount of excitement I did on Tuesday. I sat straight up in my bed, ignoring my normal routine of checking Flipboard and browsing Twitter from my iPhone. I got up, walked out of the bedroom and my Jack Russell ran around my feet in excited little circles as I made my way to the bathroom to get ready. After I got dressed I hailed my Uber, ready to begin my journey to Glass. Google Glass was first introduced at Google IO in 2012. Since then, they have continued to add people to the testing program, also known as Explorers. Explorers are Google’s way of throughly testing Glass before it reaches stores. So far, Google has released monthly software updates to Glass, which usually add new features in addition to fixing bugs.
The drive to San Francisco was unbearable. I was so close to obtaining something I’ve wanted for so long.Traffic was almost stopped as I cruised along the new Bay Bridge in a new Camry hybrid.
When I reached Google’s San Francisco office my palms were sweaty and I was almost nervous. I entered the building and security directed me to the elevators. The Glass studio on the 5th floor wasn’t what I was expecting. In my mind I had pictured a colorful office setting with business-types walking around with Glass. In reality the experience was very different. The space is relaxed, with soft colors and filled with what look like bamboo desks and white plastic chairs. The staff is very friendly and personable. They look like normal people who happen to be wearing Glass. Nothing dramatic, no suit and ties, just average people.
Upon walking into the suite, I was prompted to sign in and present my ID. Shortly after signing in, a Glass Guide walks me over to a display of non-functioning Glass with a mirror. All five colors are proudly displayed for would-be Explorers to try on. The guide reminded me that I had ordered Sky (blue), but that I was free to try on all the colors before I had to commit to one. Originally I had wanted Sky but was thinking Tangerine could be interesting. Upon seeing Tangerine in person, it looked more red than orange so I didn’t even try them on. I tried on Sky, and thought it clashed with my face. My Glass Guide suggested Cotton (white), and I was instantly in love.
After finally deciding on Cotton, I was directed to sit on a nearby couch and wait for my personal Glass Guide who would bring me my Glass, and walk me through the initial setup.
Not long after my original guide had left to welcome more explorers, my personal guide introduced himself, and led me to a desk that had a mirror, a black shopping bag with “Glass” written on the side facing me.. He asks me what I do for a living and from there he gives me a rundown on how the initial setup works. Once he’s done, he slides a big white box over to me with “Glass” written on it. Unboxing Glass is very similar to unboxing an Apple product. The package is thoughtfully constructed and laid out. When you lift the cover off there is a thin sheet of waxed paper that when removed, reminds me of the satisfying sound made by the plastic screen protector on a new smartphone. Swoosh. I was now staring at my pair of Glass in my selected color, Cotton. A huge smile crept across my face that wouldn’t fade until I closed my eyes later that night.
My Glass guide walked me through setup step by step. Normally I would find something like this boring, but unlike most setups, Glass doesn’t have a tedious tutorial.
I was lead through real world examples that I got to do on my own. Nothing was simulated or prepared. I was using my Google account, setting up my own contacts and eventually taking my first picture, which happened to be my Glass Guide.
With Glass, Google has created an entirely new shopping experience. Similar to Apple’s in store pickup, you are given a sherpa that welcomes you to the world of Glass. Google has perfected Apple’s shopping experience with the Glass studios. My Glass guide was nice, helpful and more importantly, fun. The experience was almost perfection. Nothing my Glass Guide said felt rehearsed and he seemed like he cared about my experience. If you go to pickup Glass, it is less like going to a store, and more like going to a friend’s house. The experience is very relaxed, natural and fun. If you get invited to participate in the Explorer program, I strongly recommend you pick them up, you won’t regret it.