04/17/2014 06:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Google Glass: I Have Better Things to Do With $1,500

Bloomberg via Getty Images

I didn't apply to be one of the early "explorers" when Google first made its "Glass" wearable computing device available last year, and I didn't opt-in when they sold them online to anyone willing to pay $1,500.

Although I don't own Google Glass, I have tried it.

Part of the reason, of course, is the price. I have better things to do with $1,500 and, besides, if I wait a while, the price is sure to come down. If Google is serious about providing wearable access to the Internet and to its mapping service, to the general public, it will have to find a way to price them for $600 or less.

But price isn't the only reason. For one thing, they are not yet ready for prime-time, and I'm not sure they ever will be. I'm not against wearable technology. I just want the technology to solve a real problem or enhance my life in a meaningful way. That's why I'm not excited about most current smartwatches, though I do wear a Lifetrak exercise watch because it's affordable ($50), it doesn't require being recharged (has a one-year coin battery) and it does solve a real problem -- incentivizing me to walk more.


One issue with Glass is the user interface. There is a touch-pad that lets you use hand-gestures to activate Glass or navigate to a different web page, and you can use head movements, but the main interface is voice, which is great when it works, but still not 100 percent reliable.

Some are waiting till Glass gets more stylish. The fact that they're quite geeky looking wouldn't stop me, but I can see how many would prefer more fashionable eyewear. Google has signed a deal with an eyeglass company, so we can expect better-looking versions, including some with prescription lenses.

There are some who worry about distracted driving and walking. Indeed, having a computer monitor just above your eye could be distracting, but it doesn't have to be. If you look straight ahead, you see what's in front of you, not what's on the tiny monitor. Still, there is the temptation to look at the screen at inappropriate times, just as some are tempted to look at or touch their phones when they shouldn't.

My biggest concern about Glass is that I'm not convinced it's the best form of wearable technology. I like the idea of having the Internet accessible all the time, but I'm not so sure I want to be wearing a monitor on my forehead.

Another issue is lack of social acceptance. There has been quite a backlash against Google Glass. Some is probably unfair, but there are those who worry that they can be used to surreptitiously take pictures or video. But to be fair, there are plenty of other ways to do that with digital cameras and smartphones, including plenty of wearable cameras. For some, Google Glass is simply symbolic of the growing number of well-heeled techies who are flaunting expensive technology that many can't afford. There is even a pejorative term that starts with "glass" and ends with "hole." The word in the middle is a synonym for donkey.