My Life With Google Glass Begins

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 08/29/2013

This is my second first full day with Google Glass. Can day-1 not count? It was full of thinking through my “real” job responsibilities, before realizing a huge one was about to become programming apps for Google Glass. Do with Google Glass what you DID NOT do with iOS - frankly, because I couldn’t see myself becoming an Objective C programmer, and likewise couldn’t see myself basing my entire career and passion on the proprietary offerings of a public company with seeming ambitions to become our lifestyle digital goods and digital goods delivery platform overloards. You think Microsoft had the population by the gonads, just-you-wait.

There is an anecdote. Call this anecdote taking page after page after page from the Uncle Steve play-book, and applying it to what the public will want and demand as soon as they know they can want and demand it. I have only had Google Glass now for one whole day and a few hours-and-change to the day before (when I got them) and the day after (right now, here this morning not even 10:00 AM yet. I can feel my mind gradually transforming. Reality just doesn’t quite feel right without looking through at least 2 panes of glass. The first is my prescription glasses, which a lifetime of habit and laziness can’t strip off my face in favor of contacts.

On a completely unrelated note, I notice more and more ads for contact lenses during the day as I surf on my Chrome web browser. At first, it didn’t seem like I was seeing contact lens advertisements. They were completely transparent and spanned the entire size of the heads-up display, so as to render the advertisement invisible to all but the most astute observer. But I can see they are there. It must be a trail of always-on geo-data accumulating then fractal-compressed into a series of direction vectors starting from being turned on during the first factory-test, through purchase and arrival, and all the way to every time you put them down at night by your bedside. In this way, everyone has a growing fractal footprint of accumulating lifelong probability.

It’s as plain as the nose I can see on my face, using the Mirror app I wrote using the Google Mirror API. Oh wait, can I do that? Is there a selfie-sensor built-in by Google that is not exposed through the Mirror API, to do exactly that: make a hovering mirror in front of you. Oddly, it’s only monochromatic. But interestingly, you can rotate the image of yourself. That’s because it’s a virtual 3D model reconstructed from the echo from a sound-burst emitted by the phone, and the analysis and likely-you reconstruction from the echo. So, don’t expect real-time updates. The presumably echo-location sensor for seeing in the dark has tons of other unexpected uses. It won’t be smart to expose them too soon - before we’ve explored some possibilities for ourselves. We learned Adobe’s lesson when we bought YouTube. Uncle Steve also taught it a bit. Privileged access to all the real hardware is… well, a marketer’s dream and smart guys’ privilege. But I kid. I kid. There’s no such unadvertised sensor… Except that it could all be done with a normal microphone. All you need is ultra high frequency speaker.

What next? What next? Oh yes, I have to do some WordPress work to finish out a “prototype”. I’m starting to appreciate the plastic nature of the word prototype, and it means as many different things as the people you ask. It’s a good thing to have in a job title, because there’s always something that needs to be prototyped by someone here in this company. Here’s the thing I’m discovering about me: I have the skill-set everybody wants.

My first order of business after knowing what balls I have to drop and what plates need continued spinning, I now turn my attention to the good-will of my neighbors. I have to become much better with names, or get the name cards consistently re-instituted (somehow without embarrassing myself) and become everybody’s best friend. I started this morning with performing the trick of asking someone to put on Google Glass then lend me their phone set to camera. EVERYONE has that vanity they wish to entertain, and this is a PERK of working at @360i! You actually get to touch and feel the $1500 exclusive in-crowd club that has Google Glass. Some are true creatives that did remarkable #ifihadglass contest entries, or perhaps just such brilliant single tweets, that they got approached and offered Glass.

I have dreams of being one such person. But Alas, I am not one of the blessed connected, but am rather one of the passionate, and persistent folks with a sense of purpose down in the trenches of prototyping and implementation. My personal purpose loosely aligns with that of my direct employer, 360i, and with their (since I went to work for 360i) new owners, Dentsu - the largest marketing company in Japan and amongst one of the largest in the world. I write this daily work journal in the vim text editor. I am entertained at Facebook, Tumblr, and Google Plus’ use of the j and k keys in stepping through streams - particularly recently with how Google is handling the 2-column arrangement. Very entertaining. You should press the j key in the Google+ home screen.

But Google+ and Google Glass and Google HelpOut are my future. How can they not be? I’m getting my ass out of SEO, over feeling-good-about-myself issues. It was a nice place to hang my hat for 14 years. But of those years, I only called myself an SEO for half. It was after a long stint at Scala, Inc. being a commission-making Webmaster generating leads and compelling the discussions forward (I was doing that sort of thing in 2003 & 2004), and sort of corralling in ill-behaved sales and technical guys. They sales guys never responded to Web inquiries in those days. The web was deemed full of yahoo’s (that’s what they called all the web leads that came in with Yahoo addresses) and discounted ALL such leads, regardless of email address. About 10 unique leads like that came in per day. After 2 business weeks, you had about 100 leads. Now, if only about 1-in-100 is a serious sales lead, and can actually be brought to close, then you’ve got a seriously good business there. And that’s what I did. Got as many that COULD get to close to close. It was damn close to Facebook before Facebook, without you hardly even knowing it. Discussions just lived in the system, with perfect discussion continuity and chronology, so you could follow the sales lead quite literally from search hit, to recurring orders, to tech support cases, which could (and was) formatted into web-content, so as to lead to more sales inquires, and the snowball is thus gotten rolling and gotten to pick up mass and grow as it rolls down the mountainside and picks up more discussions with prospects, customers, public forum discussion, tech support cases, and so-on, which get polished and formatted to become more web content, and so on. And that’s what I did for about the first half of my career as an SEO, when I didn’t call myself an SEO.

The things I did would probably be considered pretty cool and ahead of their time by today’s standard. I was tracking search hit referrers in real-time, and using the data to optimize the content of sites, as far back as 2001. I did great things using the tools that I happened to be using, and I did pretty well with the solutions, given the limited scale of operations. If things ever exploded, my systems would not have scaled. I didn’t know then all the things I know today.

Watch this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJD3O_Z7e5k I don’t know if I’ll be going through the Hogan Personality Assessments, because it looks like an expensive employer thing. But I should learn the theory behind it. I am going through something for the first time in my career (an employee who doesn’t ruin everything for me when things get good), and need to optimize this experience, both for my employer and for myself. Don’t let the darker sides of my personality traits drag me down, or isolate me from co-workers. People just need a chance to get to know what I am about. I can be easily misread, because I do strange things (like actually sit on a Yoga balance-ball as my office seat and type on clicky keyboards).

I need to demonstrate my value a bit more than most, right while having no formal job description. This prototyping thing is very open ended. I am hungry. It’s still August. Go get a $6 buffalo chicken sub from Subway.

-——————————————————————————- Wed Aug 28 12:09:50 EDT 2013

It’s time to think, plan, and communicate well. The iron is very, very hot. Now, you have to finish Marc Calamia’s vendor directory (file attachments), and learn about Google Glass very well, from a developer standpoint.

Before even developer standpoint, this is a thing you need to “grok” from a consumer standpoint. This is not a mouse-and-window User Interface. Nor is it a mobile touch-screen user interface. This is a significantly different something… I don’t know what, yet. We have… a home screen. That is clear. It shows time. That is clear. You can take a picture fast with a hardware button. That is clear. Everything else, takes some figuring out. It is not IMMEDIATELY obvious. It does not pass whatever 2-year-old test Steve Jobs must have used with the iPhone. This is not a Colorforms tech device like iPhone.

From the site: http://glass-apps.org/glass-developer

Apps really have to be designed FOR GLASS. You wouldn’t want to read an entire news story on glass. Reading headlines and photos is great. But you wouldn’t read an entire article.

You need to make sure your app gets out of the way. Don’t be too frequent or loud with notifications. No modal dialogues as a timeline card. So, you can do something called installing timeline cards. That seems to be big.

Data should be in-the-moment and up-to-date. Never old stuff.

Avoid the unexpected and unpleasant. Be transparent with the user and give the functionality they were promised.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR-6D2iaviY The UI is a strip of cards. In the middle is a card that says: Okay, Glass. Now you can talk to it. On the left is a strip of Google Now cards. It shows you the future. Ok the right side is a bunch of push notifications and stuff that comes in.

There’s an eye-sensor to watch your eye. This can detect winks, and can probably do eye tracking. We are in the VERY EARLY days.

There’s iPhone-like accelerometers. There’s a lot of other sensors that are in there and not exposed to developers through the API.

Walking directions is turn-by-turn and “less intrusive” than a smart phone.

This is an experimental project.

The speaker is a bone microphone.

Every picture that’s taken goes to Google+ in private.

I think I have Layne’s Google+ login.

Now watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxB1DuwGRqk

Different perspective. Keep an open mind.

JSON over HTTPS Everything goes through Mirror API Your Glassware lives… where? NOT on the Glass!!! Glass Sync is what connects the Mirror API to Glass. Got it! Wow, this is quite interesting. Authentication with OAuth 2. The valet keys to the Internet. Permissions like glass.timeline and glass.location Your glassware is prudent on the permissions they ask for. You approve the app request for permission. You complete the 3-way handshake, taking the response-code, make a back-end request to the Mirror API, and get a token. Now you can talk to their Glass through the Mirror API.

Now, you have access tokens and can start using the Mirror API. The Mirror API is a restful API… manipulated through https requests. You can insert a timeline card into the user’s timeline. The timeline is a collection. You have crud-like operations on collections. The timeline is the MAIN collection. Glassware generally doesn’t have access to each other.

-——————————————————————————- Tue Aug 27 12:14:06 EDT 2013

Hello World. I’m back from a week-long emergency vacation during which I closed on a property in the gunks and helped prepare our place for my child’s homeschooling.

It’s time to REALLY get the Tiger system ready for prime time. The QEMU virtual version is so key to that endeavor. So long as this is tied to particular hardware or servers, people are not going to feel free to dig in. But the way this runs on either PCs or Macs with the click of an icon with no install–well, that’s cool. And the cooler I can make that experience the better. So, there is the coolification of the TigerVM, and the breaking out of private configuration values.