Google Glass: Major Issues and Redesign Measures

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 3:45pm

At our last meeting, Bilal and I were each given a Google Glass device to explore. Neither of us had much previous experience with Glass, but having heard about it from our colleagues we were intrigued and excited to try it out. After playing around with Glass for a few days, it became clear that there are some major issues with the device. While Glass was one of the first pair of augmented reality glasses commercially available, it’s clear that Google’s AR technology still has a way to go in terms of usability, feasibility, and wearability.

These are some of the major issues we identify for Google Glass, as well as some redesign measures to address these issues.

Major Problems:

-What is Glass really useful for?

-Cannot use with prescription glasses.

-Battery life.

-Wifi dependant.

-User interface issues:

-Navigability is not intuitive (swiping down, forward, on the side of the glasses).

-Timeline organization is not immediately clear (past, present, future feature of the timeline).

-You can only share pictures and videos via Google +.

-Display is not great (gives you a headache after a while).

-Not wearable for people who already wear glasses (if you wear prescription glasses, you cannot comfortably wear GG over your glasses).

-Not economically feasible (GG sold for $1,500. Expensive for what you are getting).

Redesign Measures:

-Google advertises Glass as an “exploration” and in ads invites you “to explore with us” so for commercial users there’s no clear context of use, or stated problem that Glass solves for you. What can Glass do for you that your smartphone, tablet, or computer can’t? Is Glass just an expensive exploration of AR? If so, Google should specify this (a lot of people probably don’t know what AR is).

-Improve battery life.

-Improve processor & display.

-Totally redesign the user interface for more interactive use:

-Create a user interface more like a smartphone; get rid of the past, present, & future organization style. Have a static “home page” that is easy to switch back and forth from, and displays all the other pages you can access.

-Design the ability to touch the display you’re looking at.

-Project the display so others can see it as well (so Glass is not such an individual experience).

-Design bluetooth function for other Glass devices; so users can easily connect to other Glass devices for interactive use.