Morwenna Ferrier tries out Google Glasses [Amit Lennon]
This week, Google Glasses got a whole lot cooler. Diane Von Furstenberg has created a range of fabulous eyewear that will be available from Net-A-Porter at the end of the month, including sunglasses and pink lenses. Yep, you can now buy your Google Glasses at the same time as that Christopher Kane sweatshirt you've been lusting after. So what are they really like? Morwenna Ferrier took a peek...
Since its invention in 2012, Google Glass has had quite the journey. The glasses have been ridiculed in The Simpsons (as ‘Oogle Goggles’); Sarah Jessica Parker wore them on the FROW; and they’ve been trialled by Israeli surgeons. But since going on sale last month in the US for £1,000, there has been a bit of a glass-lash, with several wearers being attacked. Whether because they’re perceived as an invasion of privacy (you can secretly film), expensive, or just lame (the frameless prototype were a bit ‘nan’s bi-focals’), it seems the world is not entirely ready for Google Glass. Early adopters are even being dubbed ‘Glassholes’.
Diane Von Furstenberg's Google Glasses
But I embrace technology, so could I love them? Google UK’s Emily Clarke thinks so. She uses hers to read recipes (‘no flour on your cookbook’), take photos at gigs (‘so you don’t block the view’) and get directions – it links to a GPS so you can walk the route virtually. People stare but, luckily, being British, don’t say a word.
Diane Von Furstenberg and Sarah Jessica Parker [Rex]
Glass is a glasses-mounted computer and tiny screen angled like a wing mirror. You see it by glancing to the right. It’s not designed to replace smartphones, rather the things you try – and fail – to do while walking: following directions, sending messages, taking photos. Its remit will doubtless expand – currently voice activated, it will soon respond to a blink.
I say hello and it responds with a list of options. I ask it to take a photo and it snaps exactly what I see. I can search news sites simply by asking it to, scrolling my finger along the frame and tapping. Some words – like Grazia – aren’t recognised, probably because it’s US-developed. I adopt a West Coast accent, yelling ‘Gre-zia’, and eventually I’m understood.
Diane Von Furstenberg and Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Google Glasses [Rex]
Anything that allows you to drink, eat and take a photo simultaneously is impressive. The new glasses have titanium frames and there are even round ‘hipster’ frames. Next up is a collaboration with Luxottica, the company behind most designer sunglasses, which means we could soon have Ray-Ban Google Glass and the like. But at £1,000 and having seen Her, am I ready to be a Glasshole? The jury’s out.