Tag Archive: celebrities

7 things I’ve learned #throughglass

Now that I’ve revealed the 5 reasons I care about Google Glass, it’s time to keep this discussion going.

If using Glass has taught me anything, it’s that people want to try it.

At festivals, conferences, outdoor shows, or even just while walking down the street, people approach in pairs, groups, or solo. Their eyes widen, and they ask: “Is that it?” I nod, they smile, and a conversation begins.

“What are you seeing right now?” they ask, ogling the eyepiece above my right eye, not noticing its darkened state.

“Right now, I’m looking at you. So I see you.”

“Oh, but are you recording everything? Should I not say anything incriminating?” A giggle then, ranging from innocent to slightly disturbing.

Through a smile, I answer, “The battery life isn’t huge, so no – I don’t waste it.” I wink or I don’t wink, depending on my mood and the attractiveness of the guy asking (yes, it’s usually a guy).

After the friendly ribbing, I try to summarize what I’ve learned – for the non-disturbing folks, at least.

I'm the star of many people's first #throughglass pics.

I’m the star of many people’s first #throughglass pics.

Sean Hemeon and I, in someone else's #throughglass pic.

Sean Hemeon and I in another first #throughglass pic.

1. Glass isn’t what you’d expect.

Since I picked up my Glass on May 29, at least 30 people have tried it. And whether by telling me (as more than half did), “This is much less intrusive than I thought” or by putting it on wrong (placing the display directly in front of their right eye rather than above and aside), it turns out the vast majority were surprised at how Glass actually fits and feels. Its display is meant to look like a 25″ screen from 8 feet away. Is that intrusive?

2. Glass is “of the moment.”

I mean, look at it. The hardware’s very design is an on-your-face hint that Glass is about NOW. (And I love the now.) It’s best for receiving important info right away and sending your own without much feather-ruffling. Rather than retreating into the rabbit holes of your smartphone, you can remain in the world.


  • Texts – via Bluetooth from your phone
  • Gmail – Priority Inbox message notifications
  • Google Now – quick info and alerts based on your calendar events, location, etc
  • Facebook, Path, Tumblr, Twitter – notifications and sharing
  • New York Times, CNN, Elle – news alerts, as they’re pushed out

3. Glass helps you consume content AND create it.

Along with surfacing “of the moment” content to take in, Glass has impressive on-board tools to help you create and share content of your own:

  • 5MP still camera (for 2528 x 1856 photos)
  • 720p HD video camera
  • Voice-activated photo and video captions (per app capabilities)
  • Near-instant automatic photo enhancement, within Glass
  • Sharing to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Path through wireless connection or your phone’s data via Bluetooth
  • Auto-backup to Google+
  • 12 GB onboard storage
  • Battery life: 45 min continuous video or 3-4 hours off-and-on usage

4. Glass can tell stories.

For video that documents a moment, an event, or a conversation, Glass blows any smartphone camera out of the water. I recorded my first Glass video on Google’s campus in Venice, CA the day I picked up Glass. Here’s what I’ve observed since then:

  • Glass’s onboard mic sits inside the frame, more protected from outside noise. As a result, self-narration comes out ultra-clear.
  • Framing is set-it-and-nearly-forget-it. If anything, you only need a quick look or two at the display while shooting.
  • When someone’s looking at your camera, they’re also (mostly) looking at you. So, once your observers get past their initial Googley-eyed state, you can record a pretty solid interview. In my first days with Glass, I was reminded of Errol Morris’s Interrotron, which allowed interviewees to look at the face of an interviewer rather than at a camera. I’d love to know what Morris thinks of Glass.
  • Recording is hands-free. “But GoPro video cameras do that, too,” you might think. Indeed, they do. But Glass is so much smaller and way cuter. And a GoPro certainly can’t do the other stuff mentioned in this post. As WIRED Gadget Lab’s Matt Honan points out, Glass could easily kill GoPro the same way smartphones put point-and-shoot cameras to rest.

A few tests I recorded and edited:

5. Glass can educate.

Since Glass has the hands-free video advantage, and since it can also connect to a live Google+ Hangout (where others on the call will hear your voice and see what you’re seeing), I believe Glass offers a whole new window on education. Using Glass, you can share anything from “How to apply long-lasting lip liner” to “How to fix the engine of a space shuttle” and everything in-between.

I tested this theory as well. Please enjoy the results!

6. Glass makes augmented reality make actual sense.

Many others have noticed this already. Because Glass is the first unobtrusive, head-mounted display, it’s poised to catapult augmented reality into actual reality for a mass (or more mass) audience. Some even call Glass an “augmented reality head-mounted display” (as this early article does). I wouldn’t go that far, because as yet the device does not “perceive” what’s seen through the lens in order to layer information over it. Yet.

That said, Google has banned display advertising on Glass. And though I’ve worked in the ad industry for 14 years, I heartily agree with the ban. Glass becomes much more a part of its wearer than any other technology, and that must not be taken lightly. With Glass, I feel the new digital adage “mobile first” doesn’t go far enough. With Glass, I believe apps must be “helpful first.”

7. Glass turns regular people into celebs – and celebs into fanboys/fangirls.

This one will take a little explanation: in short, I’ve been working with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the past several weeks to create social media content promoting this fall’s Primetime Emmys. Prior to this, I’d only seen the first part of this point (regular people as celebs) come to life – when I wore Glass to an outdoor festival in Chicago this summer. Several groups of people approached me there, or just gasped and whispered to their friend, “That’s Glass!” Nope, not kidding.

The other half of my point (celebs as fanboys) came true, more or less, on my second day at the Television Academy. That evening, a director and crew shot a Primetime Emmys promo piece that will soon appear on United Airlines flights. Hosting this piece was Kunal Nayyar, whom you may know as Raj on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. Using Glass, I shot a fair amount of behind-the-scenes footage and stills (G-roll, I’ve coined it).

Kunal Nayyar tries Google Glass

Kunal Nayyar tries Google Glass

During a few minutes of downtime, Kunal asked about Glass and tried it out. A few moments later, he was called back to the set. After a few takes, when the crew had to reset for a new shot, Kunal raced back to try Glass again. He put it on, and I coached him through his options. He said, “Okay Glass, send a message.” Because Glass is linked to my personal Google account, it listed my contacts. Using his voice, Kunal sent a message to my friend Laureen and another to my friend Dave. After that, he accidentally started a Hangout with one of my Google+ circles – about 85 people. (Oopsie – sorry, circle friends.) After Kunal was called to set again, we chatted a third time – and I “Glassed” the whole thing. To see that video, click the SxSW tile below!

Our SxSW session idea: “And the Emmy goes to… Google Glass”

In just a handful of weeks at the Television Academy, we’ve seen what Glass can mean for interviews, access, and a new, more inclusive POV on the television industry. We all feel it’s worth talking about, so we’ve proposed a session at SxSW Interactive. (UPDATE: Less than 15% of the proposed sessions were picked up for SxSW 2014 (ouch!), and we weren’t one of them. No worries; we’re just getting started. Look out, 2015.)

⬇  Click this to see the proposal!  ⬇


What is Hip? (If you think you know…)

Bonus points if there’s a funk tune in your head after reading this post’s title.

The Underground is where my office’s holiday party will take place. It’s the latest, most hippest club in the country… or maybe not.

It’s where Shia LaBeouf partied (and got a little tipsy) before getting arrested at Walgreens – oh, but wait, the case was tossed out yesterday because Walgreens “lost interest” in pursuing it. [America hasn’t lost interest in Shia, though. We’ll see him in the 2008 Indiana Jones installment, Eagle Eye with Rosario Dawson, and Transformers: The Game. I’d like to add that I knew it! After seeing a few episodes of Nickelodeon’s Even Stevens back in 2003, I had a strong feeling that the charismatic kid would go far in Hollywood.]

Back to the issue at hand.
For our holiday party at The Underground, the dress code is “club attire“.
Directly afterwards, the release party for Duran Duran’s Red Carpet Massacre will be held at the same venue. Doors for that party open at the same time our party is supposed to end.

• Are me and my coworkers hip enough to be allowed to stay for the Duran Duran party?
• A better question: If we are allowed to stay, will we be the youngest ones there?

I talked to Luke Wilson

I was recently revisiting the funniness of this recent trip Jed and I took to LA. We’d won a trip for the premiere of “Old School”, courtesy of Rolling Rock. I’d entered the contest online a couple of days before they called and informed me I was the winner. The trip was about a week later (during the week), so I think they’d called other people first who couldn’t make it on such short notice. Luckily, Jed and I were both footloose and fancyfree and unemployed!

Overall, the trip was really cool. At the premiere after-party, I talked to Luke Wilson about both of us being from Texas. He was very dry and non-smiley. And I think I bored him– I guess he had to go do some celebrity thing because he left the conversation pretty quick.

I had a weird connection to the director, though, so I talked to him a couple of times. See, I helped out this little production company called Wiggle Puppy Productions last Summer. I designed a press pack for their recently finished feature called “Urban Ground Squirrels.” It’s a trippy film- check out their website here.

Anyway, the principals at Wiggle Puppy are huge Phish fans, and the director of “Old School” also did a Phish documentary, Bittersweet Motel, a few years back. Well, they had filmed Sara (the producer) dancing around with a red balloon of some kind of drug (I’m totally not the person to ask for further info.) And apparently that’s considered the “thesis shot” of the film. So, at the premiere after-party, I walked up to this director (Todd Phillips) and said “I know that girl you filmed with the red balloon”, etc. and he said, “I’m totally in love with that girl.”

The funniest part was telling Todd about Sara getting drawn into the Simpsons: on the episode with Phish, there’s a pan across an audience. It stops on this girl with the same long (I mean down-to-your-butt long) blonde hair and the same clothes, dancing around with a red balloon. Todd was thrilled to find that out!

It was one of those funny conversations you have to write down just after it happens. And I did. It’s pretty much covered in the paraphrasing, though.

•••Here’s a silly little list of people we saw that night, in order of appearance:

Jesse Bradford: main guy in Swimfan and Clockstoppers, love interest from Bring It On. He had bad hair that night.

Owen Wilson: he was across the aisle from us in Mann’s Chinese Theater! I heard him laugh at his bro’s jokes!

Danny Masterson: Hyde in That 70’s Show

Wilmer Valderrama: Fes in That 70’s Show

that blonde chick from That 80’s Show

Topher Grace: Eric from That 70’s Show

Will Ferrell: I said four words to him on his way to the bathroom!!

Luke Wilson: see above story (I like Owen better)

Andy Dick

Andy Richter (I)

Todd Phillips, director

Jeremy Piven: I used to have a crush on him, but he’s so short!

Stephen Dorff

Jack Osbourne: big fluffy hair; I’m sure that was fun for the guy behind him in the theater

Ellen Pompeo: love interest in Old School, otherwise I wouldn’t know her name. She’s Renee Zellwegger-ish.

Melissa Joan Hart: from TV’s Sabrina, the Teenage Witch! AKA the show that’s not as good as Buffy.

Jed and I also “talked” to the guys from that 70’s Show, minus Topher. Jed and I were on a couch, and those guys had to walk between us and the coffee table in front of us. They said, “Excuse us” and “Thank you” and were very polite for young celebrity punks.

%d bloggers like this: