A view from Google Glass base camp

Google glassAfter much speculation and hype, Google Glass has finally landed in the UK. Many have asked why, citing that it’s pointless and you won’t buy it. You will.

The ‘base camp’ event was held on the 27 and 28 June by Google in Kings Cross. I was reliably informed it was staffed by not only event staff but also Google employees working on Glass; which probably explained hearing “welcome to the future” one too many times. For those less gregarious amongst us, it was perhaps a bit intimidating, especially when you get to the photo demo and are asked to strike four poses wearing the Glass while they take photos. Many seemed keen, I wasn’t.

Following a brief tutorial wearing the new enhanced Glass with a flexible titanium frame, you get to learn the gestures whilst practicing not to squint, a natural reaction to something so alien but not necessary. Despite this, I couldn’t imagine wearing the Glass for a prolonged period.

Music, translation, star gazing were all on demo as were the different styles on display, which if I’m honest, whichever way you cut it, don’t look like normal glasses. I have no doubt however that these will change and get smaller, stylish and almost invisible like contact lenses.

What’s stunning about the device is its ease of use, clarity of vision, speed and endless possibilities. We’ve all read the scaremongering articles regarding the security or privacy aspects but putting that aside, this really is cutting edge technology that will change lives. Look at a sign in Italian and see it in English, look up at the sky and see the solar system geographically correct. I’m guessing we only experienced a minutia of what this product can really do but what we were allowed to try was impressive.

So will people buy and wear it? Are Brits going to shun this innovation as many have said? In my opinion, no, and avoiding any clichés, it is the future which will set the tech industry alive and move it to the next level.  This is a new category that changes everything, it’s the next step beyond your smartphone. Google the unassuming innovator has done it again.

Daniel Todaro is managing director of Gekko Group