I’m sure you’ve heard about Google Glass Explorer Cecilia Abadie’s (@cabadie) run in with the law, where she was given a ticket for wearing Glass while driving.
It seems like everyone has written about this … and it seems like all my friends have written to me about it too.
Here’s the thing: Google Glass is FANTASTIC while driving!
Remember, Glass is made for light information that doesn’t distract and is perfect for getting driving directions.
Glass is not immersive. It’s a small screen in your entire field of view.
I’ve driven with it before, but today - perhaps in solidarity - I drove in to work while wearing my pair. (I also tested out the vignette photo feature too):
I even tried to do a G+ Hangout with them while driving, but no one answered.
Look, I’m not stupid. I wouldn’t do this if it weren’t safe.
So, committed to testing it out, I tried again on my drive home today.
Thanks to my friend Kim Bui (@kimbui), I tested out a video call through Google Glass. And, as I expected, they were not distracting. Here’s a screenshot Kim captured via her phone:
And here is a screenshot from her desktop:
Here are some thoughts:
1. The call quality was very not good. That’s my nice way of saying pretty bad. Kim, who called on her phone then on her desktop, said the video was pixelated. The audio was also delayed, ranging from 5 to 20 seconds.
2. Audio is hard to hear. This is why the next iteration of Google Glass is getting the mono earphone.
3. Completely hands free. I answered (or could have declined) the call via voice command. Making the call is a little trickier if I don’t have the contact in my immediate contact list.
4. It did not distract. Seriously. With Glass, I have to choose to look up and engage. I chose not to during the call, expect when it was completely safe. It’s the same common sense you should use when driving with or without the radio on.
I don’t know what will happen with Abadie and her ticket. I, like others, hope she fights it. But the truth is people are fearful of this device because they haven’t used them yet and are projecting their concerns. The U.K. has already banned them while driving, even though they haven’t been offered there yet.
Clearly, I hope that it’s not made illegal here and common sense prevails. But, in my opinion, it is safer for me to see in front while driving, completely hands free, rather than looking down to my phone trying to get directions.