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This is What Google Glass Teaches Us

This is What Google Glass Teaches Us

Google Glass is an interesting concept that has made a lot of waves, if not a whole lot of sales. The emergence of the futuristic eyewear technology from one of the biggest software and hardware companies in the world has drawn a lot of attention from the media and tech fans, but since its introduction, Google Glass has been plagued with a number of missteps that now leave its future dubious. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to learn from the history of Google Glass. Here are five lessons the wearable technology has taught us in the past few years.

1. Privacy still matters to people

Glasshole: A person who constantly talks to their Google Glass, ignoring the outside world.

That definition is courtesy of Urban Dictionary. It’s a pretty good one for the name given to Google Glass wearers by the unimpressed, but it leaves out probably the number one reason people are opposed to Glass: it invades their privacy. A Google Glass Explorer, the descriptor for someone who purchased an early (and expensive) version of the hardware, described being harassed in February of 2014 for wearing her Glass. Sarah Slocum went to a bar in San Francisco and, while showing it off, had her Google Glass literally taken off her face by someone unhappy with the new tech. She was able to recover her hardware but, when she went back inside the bar, she found that her purse had been stolen. There’s a really visceral reaction to Glass from a not-small percentage of people afraid of being recorded without their consent. The Bay Area incident is a fairly extreme example of the problems that can be caused if people feel like their privacy is being violated.

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2. Technology needs to be subtle

As amazing as the technology is, Google Glass still looks like you’re wearing a small computer on your face. That’s less than ideal, to say the least. The most successful products tend to be ones that fit seamlessly into people’s lives, instead of sticking out. A number of Google Glass owners say they’re leaving their Glass at home nowadays because they’re embarrassed to be seen in public with it.

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3. Third-Party support is crucial

One of the major occurrences that made people doubt the future of Google Glass was when Twitter stopped updating its app for its operated system. That’s the most prominent service to discontinue its support, but not the only one, and even more are likely to drop out if progress isn’t made soon. That so many people think this signals doom for Google Glass highlights how important it is that smart devices inspire confidence in those who are adding extra value to their product. Namely, the third-party software developers. In this case, Twitter lost hope in Google Glass, and that’s cause for concern. Be sure to inspire confidence in the people who provide value for you.

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4. You have to be patient

Google Glass probably debuted too early. It was released as a Beta product, with more than its share of software issues in the past two years. Even worse, the people Google disappointed were the ones most excited to use its product. The Glass Explorers who paid a lofty $1,500 for the privilege of owning a Google Glass before the rest of the world dealt with all the kinks that come with a beta and then some. Keep in mind that, either in the business world or your personal life, it’s often better to deliver something of high quality eventually than something of shoddy quality a little sooner.

5. Something doesn’t have to be successful to be inspirational

No, Google Glass wasn’t a success. But it certainly inspired developers to continue working on wearable technology. Google itself has their Android Wear, and the Apple Watch is supposed to come out at some point in 2015. Even though Google Glass doesn’t seem to have a bright future ahead of it (after all, creator Babak Parviz left the project and Google for a job at Amazon), the work was hardly in vain. Remember that, even if something you do doesn’t take off initially, some ideas just don’t die.

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More by this author

Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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