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Video: Google Glass as Seen Through the Eyes of Two Lucky RKGers

"#ifihadglass I would use them to lead a self guided tour in a new city, getting info on historical pieces and finding the best places to eat."

~ Michelle Ulizio, RKG Product Manager

In early 2013 Google announced the invite-only Glass Explorer Program, which gave tech-lovers an exclusive chance to try out, and participate in the development of, Google Glass – long before the wearable technology would be available to the public. To be considered for the program, Google+ users had to complete the statement, 'If I had Glass...' (using the hashtag: #ifihadglass) in a written post from their own G+ account (like the quoted post above). Google then notified the lucky few (about 8,000) that they'd been invited to New York City, where they could purchase their very own Glass and attend a special interactive training session with Glass experts.

Ever the loyal enthusiasts for innovative technology, RKG agreed to sponsor any employee accepted into the Glass Explorer Program, and much to our delight two RKGers received invites:

  • Product Manager Michelle Ulizio, out of Charlottesville, VA
  • SEO Account Manager Cara Pettersen, out of Bend, OR

(NOTE: Please watch the video for a peek into Cara's Glass story!)

We recently pinned down Michelle and insisted she indulge us with her experiences and impressions thus far with Glass, and below is a summary of our clinic together. We were tickled and surprised by some of her observations. Check it out...

Tell us about the experience picking up your Google Glass.

My friend Sara, who came with me to pick up Glass, and I walked up to the Google Glass loft in the Chelsea Market (New York City) and instantly got excited – everyone up there was wearing Glass!

What were your initial impressions?

It was tough getting used to using Glass. It’s a lot of looking up and to the right, which isn’t very natural. However, it was great having information right there and being hands-free.

What has been your best experience?

Going to the fun. (band) concert in Charlottesville was, honestly, the best experience I had with Glass. I could take pictures and video during the concert with minimal interruption instead of digging through my purse to find my cell phone, tapping to focus, trying to hold it steady, and hoping for a good picture.

What is the most useful feature?

I love having the 1-touch camera/video feature with the auto-sync to my Google+ account. It makes it really easy to capture moments and trust that the images are backed up instantly.

Where do you see the technology going or what would you like to see it become? What tricked-out features would you add?

It would be really cool to have it make suggestions for where you could go in and around town, with event notices pulled in from online news sources or social media, to give you ideas about what to do that afternoon.

What implications do you foresee for our clients? How do you see them being able to take advantage of this technology?

If there was a way for users to receive deal alerts as they walk by a store, I think that would address some of the online-advertising-to-offline-conversion questions a lot of our clients ask. Otherwise, I think it would be helpful if there was a way to keep shoppers adequately informed by allowing them to research product information with Glass while shopping in a store, which could help eliminate or minimize time spent between consideration and purchase.

What was your biggest Google Glass fail or win?

Honestly, my biggest Google Glass win was being able to do some touristy things like go to Monticello and the fun. concert, and document some of the great times I had with friends without interrupting the moment to dig out my camera. The quality of the pictures was pretty good, too.

What was your most embarrassing Glass moment?

While using Glass at Monticello, an older woman thought I was wearing a special device to help with a physical disability. I let her try it out for herself, which cleared things up, but her looks of pity during a full hour of the tour (before I filled her in) were kind of embarrassing.

Touchscreen vs. voice activation: which do you prefer (as a comparison between methods for managing smart devices)?

The voice activation is great and fairly accurate when choosing a function or constructing texts, however, use of the touchpad/camera button is critical when in crowded/loud spaces.

What’s the funniest/best/weirdest reaction or request you’ve received while wearing Glass?

While at the fun. concert, one girl a few rows in front of us kept making a huge to-do by covering her face every time she passed by in front of Glass, as if to keep me from scanning and identifying her for some type of "Big Brother" operation. Then, afterwards, she jumped out from the crowd, still covering her own face, and snapped about 10 photos of my friends and me with her smartphone. It was just a weird experience.

What’s the biggest marketing opportunity on Glass for clients?

Besides neatly portraying a brand in a Google Now tile, there isn't a lot of real estate for companies to market #throughglass right now. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of applications get developed to help users access product information more easily in the Glass interface, and how frequently it will be used.

What needs to happen for Glass to become a real marketing opportunity?

If there was to be a true marketing opportunity on Glass, I think it would come through an alert/notification application or the incorporation of branding through relevant Google Now tiles. As a user, right now, I’m not browsing for hours on Glass (looking up and to the right, scrolling through tiles with the touch pad, etc.); I want a quick tidbit of information here and there, and then to keep moving through my day.

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