Google Glass: First Impressions and Posing Questions

July 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm Leave a comment

IMG_0498Nerd chic? Geek chic? I even updated my twitter profile to show off my new Google Glass. My “winning tweet” was “#ifihadglass I’d provide context-sensitive, evidence-based exercise, diet, & adherence reminders & risk warnings to improve public health”. In retrospect, not bad for 137 characters! That was February 21. On March 28 @ProjectGlass tweeted, “@lisagualtieri You’re invited to join our #glassexplorers program. Woohoo! Make sure to follow us – we’ll DM in the coming weeks.” I was amazed how many people were excited for me, and asking to borrow them, including people who I never would have suspected would have heard of Google Glass. June 3 I received notification that “Your Glass is now ready!”

Less than 48 hours later, after the excitement of getting them and being trained to use them, my first reaction to them is that I’m not sure I want to wear glasses, or glass, or any device on a frame over my ears. I am pleased not to need glasses or contacts. Maybe it is my upbringing. At my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary yesterday, I noticed that my mother’s eyes were closed in the 2 pictures of her in their wedding album. She didn’t wear her glasses when she was dressed up, and probably couldn’t see much without them. Are they my new fashion accessory?

My second reaction is that it is not yet apparent how Google Glass can improve my life and how I can fulfill the promise of my tweet. To improve my life, I’ve thought about teaching, research, meetings, exercise, and dancing, as a start, and see ways to capture and  lifelog but not yet how to make substantial improvements. To improve public health, I asked myself, “What is possible if everyone had them?” and variations of “What if cancer patients had them?” I have glimmers of ideas but am still working on answers.

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Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM

Lisa GualtieriLisa Gualtieri is Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is Director of the Certificate Program in Digital Health Communication. Lisa teaches Designing Health Campaigns using Social Media, Social Media and Health, Mobile Health Design, and Digital Strategies for Health Communication. Contact Lisa:

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