In recent weeks, Google Glass has been distributed to its first group of beta testers outside Google and in the real world. As the pool of new smart-glass wearers grows, they are feeling out the etiquette of using the new technology.
In more jaded settings, people wearing Glass are casually ignored; their recent life choice to wear a piece of computing hardware wrapped around the front of their faces doesn't register as unusual. The reactions increase, though, the farther away they go from the safety zones of the Google campus, Silicon Valley and, last week, the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, where the Google I/O Developers conference was being held.
The first reaction from strangers is usually excitement. When the doors opened on a crowded hotel elevator, Google I/O attendee Juan Pablo Risso heard a cry of "He has Google Glass! Come in! Come in!" Risso declined and took the next lift down, only to find the excited guests waiting for him in the lobby, ready with questions.Guys like this could kill Google Glass
Because it is still so new and somewhat rare, Google Glass is an excellent conversation starter. When not being accosted by curious strangers, wearers can use the eyewear to break the ice. A friend of Risso's had luck wearing his to a bar and meeting new people.
After the regular barrage of questions many strangers ask to try on the $1,500 piece of hardware. The answer is typically no, and some owners will cite Google's terms prohibiting the lending of Google Glass as an excuse.
Sometimes, the conversations are behind the wearer's back, and they're not always "Oohs" and "Ahhs." Glass owners reported hearing people whisper after they passed by. But snickers and sneering are common with any new, really expensive technology.
The cost of the devices makes them an easy target; wearing them is still interpreted as a geeky status symbol.