I will be the first to admit, I am not an attractive female.  I know you may have thought that by reading the title, but I am far from it.  Heck I’m not even a female.  Surprising, no?  So now that we have cleared up that confusion, I will say that I now can sympathize with females about where curious eyes may wander.  Does getting gawked at really happen that much?  Do you really notice when people take a peak?  Are there days when you just want to be another one in the crowd?  Hopefully I can clear up some of these questions that I receive on a daily basis.

I wear Google Glass everywhere.  Woah that opener seems like a bit of déjà vu.  No, I’m not that unoriginal with my writing, I just cannot stress enough about how much I wear that red piece of plastic.  Originally it was awkward to wear it out in public, but now it has become the norm to realize when you are getting checked out for the better or worse.  So let’s take on that first two questions: does getting gawked at really happen that much as an Explorer and do I notice?  Yes, yes it does and yes, yes I do.  I’m not trying to gloat or anything, it just happens.  I mean I’m wearing something that only a handful, figuratively speaking of course, of people have.  It’s no different than the kid who rides around campus here on a bike in a gorilla suit to promote “Happy Thursdays”.  Only so many people in the world own and wear a gorilla suit on a daily basis (no factual data to support that claim).  People obviously give him looks and he’s ok with that.  He’s doing something different.  Well now it’s just normal to us onlookers, but you get my point.  Where he and I are different is that he is an anonymous entity whereas I am a individual face.  I have eyes and Glass happens to be conveniently placed in that particular location.  Because of this, my eyes happen to meet a lot of other eyes while commuting to my destinations.

At first I felt awkward wearing it out.  I knew people were going to look, but not to the degree at which it happens.  It wasn’t that I was embarrassed, it was that I am not usually the center of attention.  Wearing it that first week and having several people come up to me and talk about it really helped with the confidence.  It became less of an uncomforting experience and more of a rewarding, interactive one where I got to socialize with many different people.  I really opened up over the first month of having it.  I would talk to several strangers a day without care.  Over this time span, I became aware of the looks that I got.  Not only in the number of looks, but the type of looks as well.

I started this little internal game of mine to see if I could find out how many people on a daily basis took a peak whenever I walked past them.  On average, I have counted 450-500 people a day who decide that it is worth the effort to deviate their line of sight to lock on to my Glass.  Now this number may seem high and that I’m inflating the data just to seem “cool”, but you have to remember that I go to a campus that has roughly 42,000 undergrads.  That is barely a drop in the bucket.  So I did this on my daily walk in between class for about two weeks before I just had no desire to keep up with it.  If I were to continue it I would probably go crazy.

So instead of counting the amount of looks, I developed a way of figuring out the type of look that would foreshadow a soon-to-be conversation.  I really started to realize that I felt more like an animal in the zoo behind the glass (pun intended?) than an approachable person.  However, I realize that if I did not wear Glass, people would not approach me at all, so I guess technically I’ve become more approachable.  It’s kind of a ratio of looks/talk that had before and after Glass.  Anyway, you can really tell when someone is going to come up to you based on their facial expressions.  Basically if someone is making direct eye contact with you for an extended amount of time and they have a smile on their face that only a kid in a candy store would have, you are about to make a new friend.  Like the gorilla guy, that’s ok.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you get the onlookers who give quick looks and hope that I don’t catch them in the act.  I’m not really sure why, but it is understandable.  It is just like the title of this article.  If a guy is checking a girl out and happens to get caught in the act, he feels nothing but shame.  Obviously I’m just talking about the general stereotype that we all know about because your luck may vary.  Usually though I will get the people who are curious and take a look at them only to look away once I look back to see if they were in fact looking.  It is what it is.

Now there have been times where I just do not want to be a walking Las Vegas billboard that is intrusive to your vision because it is so flashy.  Sometimes I just want to be another number in the crowd.  So some days I will go to class and not want to wear it.  Some nights when I go out to wing night with my friends I just don’t take it along with me.  I would rather be able to enjoy my time and live the moment than having to explain the moment.  This is what Google kind of talked about in their “message to Explorers” Basically, if you want to be ignored, then don’t wear it out in public.  Again, this is ok.  As an Explorer you will need time to yourself.  Downtime is a necessity every now and then.

However, what is interesting is that you can wear Google Glass and still have downtime.  Now this might be completely anecdotal, but what I have experienced is that if you pop in the included sunglass lenses, people will just pass right by.  I kid you not.  People won’t even give you the time of day.  They think you are wearing just another pair of red sunglasses.  What’s great about it is that I can see other people’s eyes through the sunglasses and nobody can see mine.  Creeper statement of the year.  Hear me out though.  I am trying to see if people are doing the quick glance thing which I talked about earlier.  So far I haven’t had one person in the two months that I’ve had Glass approach me to talk about it.  One reason like I said is because people think they are sunglasses.  Another thing I think is that with the sunglasses on, people cannot make eye contact with me even if they know it is Google Glass.  It takes away that human element from it.  Hey, it’s like that gorilla guy that I keep referring to.

So to recap, if you decide to be a Google Glass Explorer you will be looked at.  A lot.  If you like the attention then great!  If not, then you might want to rethink that $1500 purchase and wait until the consumer version is released.  When Glass becomes commonplace, it will no longer be a “luxury” to not only have the device, but it will no longer be a “luxury” to have time to yourself because you won’t have to worry about people looking at you.  Then again, it might break you out of your introverted bubble.  I am not saying that $1500 is necessarily worth the gained confidence boost, but if you have that amount of dough to throw around then I guess go for it.  You shouldn’t buy an Explorer version of Glass if your sole purpose is to be gawked over.  Don’t be that guy (or gal).  That’s not cool.  You know what is cool?  This weather.  Google Glass has some issues in this freezing weather, but that article is for another day.

Source: Google

Recent Penn State grad who loves all things mobile. Has a knack for teaching and enjoys a bit of alliteration.

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