I have arrived in L.A. This is my first time in California. I am here for my appointment to be fitted and instructed in the use of Google Glass. I am early. The airport shuttle drops me off in front of Google. I have to admit, the entrance makes a perfect welcome for the Glass Explorers. I am too early.
I will go exploring before my appointment. Google is in a seedy/trendy neighborhood two blocks from the beach. Venice Beach. The one you’ve seen in movies and TV shows.
Homes open directly onto the sidewalks. No yards. But sometimes glimpses of serene courtyards. Lots of balconies positioned for sunset views.
Temples. Synagogues. Yoga. Girls with perfect bodies in yoga tights carrying long sticks. Some can ride bikes, haul big bags, and transport sticks at the same time.
The beach is very Bay Watch. Beautiful girls on blades, bikes, surf boards. Beautiful boys on skateboards. Surfer dudes. Oh, and Homeless. Lots of homeless.
Pedicures and sandals. Best sandals ever in the history of the world. Tan people.
Time for Glass
Google appointment time. I am still a bit early. They take me right in. (I should have stopped first thing in the morning. I’d be home by now.)
Pat is my Glass Guide. He is young. His blue (“Sky” in Google lingo) Glass perfectly frames his eager, blue-eyed face. He is going to teach me how this works.
Where is the display? Well, I can’t see a thing if I keep my glasses on and position the Glass on top. (Although it is a really comical sight.) Glasses off. The display is there. Yeah. But it is hard to read.
All the comments on the user sites about how easy it is to use? Those comments don’t apply to me.
Pat is patient. “Swipe forward. The other way. Swipe down. Say ‘OK, Glass.'”
We import contacts. We try to call one. “Contacts not yet uploaded,”
“Tap the side. Swipe forward. Swipe forward. Swipe forward. This is your timeline of activity.” (It is my timeline of futility.)
Oh, Pat, what a challenge I am.
Pat is determined.
“Tap the side. Say ‘OK, Glass.’ Try again.”
When did speaking and tapping become hard? The Glass Guides offer generous libations. No thanks. I can’t drink and think at the same time.
We have successfully added two contacts! We have asked Google the weather in Tacoma. We have affixed the sun shades onto the device! We have said, “OK, Glass!”
Pat is smiling. (To be fair, he was smiling throughout this session, bit this smile looks happier now.)
We discuss charging, sharing, wearing.
We package up the device. We wander back through the Google maze. Down stairs, into the courtyard, past the swings, into the lobby.
The Glass Guides kindly allow me to sit inside and charge my phone while I arrange passage back to the airport.
They do ask for their cool key card and lanyard back. It would have made good swag. Matte black. Matches the lovely gift bag.
Cut Loose with Glass
Back to the street. I feel very conspicuous with my Glass gift bag. I wish it were smaller. Too much packaging. Really. Way too much. (But it is exciting to open the various boxes. Three separate boxes house the Glass and the lenses.)
I need to charge my phone. All the outlets at Starbucks are in use. I sit outside with my coffee keeping watch on the tables within. An outlet opens! I am on it. The bathroom is unisex and has a combination lock. I am drinking lots of coffee because the phone is slow to charge. I memorize the combination to the bathroom lock.
A trio of tidy, yet fashionably scruffy dudes in black t-shirts and tattoos sits next to me. They are wearing expensive casual shoes. They are worried about being recognized. I don’t recognize them. Maybe they are musicians.
A guy walks by in a spotless white t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops. He is carrying a briefcase. He must be an executive.
More perfect women pass through carrying yoga sticks. Yoga pants, yoga tights, leggings, jeggings, bike shorts. Everything is form fitting. All the forms are quite seemly. Most people would not require retouching in a photo. I suppose there must be imperfect people in the neighborhood. Maybe they only come out at night.
I head back toward Google to wait for my shuttle. I pass bicycles, laptops, iPhones, 4-door Priuses, sky-high stilettos, flip-flops, dreads.
“OK, Glass, let’s go home.”