Glass: If You Don’t Understand It, Ban It

Despite all the misinformed media coverage and FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) surrounding Google Glass I have gone 8 months without a single negative incident… until today. I was asked to leave Grand Coffee on Mission Street in San Francisco. Granted, it is a private establishment and a rather small space, the first thing I asked the manager was:

“Have you ever worn Glass? Do you know what it’s all about?”

Her response was quickly “No.” But she went on to say that she doesn’t want customers or employees to feel uncomfortable. I asked if she doesn’t allow cellphones either and she said she asks that people don’t talk on their cellphone while in the store. Talking on your cellphone in a small space and wearing glasses seem like totally different things, right? I was asked to sit outside if I wanted to stay for coffee.

This was a very discouraging event for me because I have been so energetic about evangelizing Google Glass for so long. How is it that with so many thousands of Explorers there is still this huge amount of confusion about the device? And now that I have my Glass integrated with my frames, what am I supposed to do other than leave the establishment? Since I have a pretty ridiculously strong prescription, I simply can’t share my Glass as much as I used to… so where is Google?

Back at the beginning of December, ABC News made a hugely public display of their misunderstanding of Glass. Reporter George Stephanopolous made a mockery of Glass by fumbling with the device on air. He tried to push the device in front of his eye, when it is supposed to sit above your eye, out of the way. And Google didn’t provide a response. We, Explorers, simply griped about it in our own Community… yet the public saw what they saw. The fear and confusion continues to grow.

I really wish that Google would step up and truly educate the public about Glass. Let’s see television commercials! Google is rich, they know that you can buy safe youtube views here Let’s see a Google representative appear on talk shows and showcase the real way to use Glass! Let’s see Google reach out to local communities and explain that Glass doesn’t cover up your vision and is not a distraction.

It’s been almost a year. Glass is not a new thing anymore. Why is there still this confusion and fear?

I am not recording you.

Driving with Google Glass

“ok glass, get directions”

When I first put on Glass, as I believe is the same for everyone, I took a picture. Taking photos is a very natural use of Google Glass; the camera is in your face, so taking a photo immediately comes to mind. For me, the second thing I asked my Glass was for directions. I was really curious about the Navigation interface, but my first impression was that the interface is negligible. The Google Maps Voice told me every turn I needed to make and the display, while rarely active, was magically there when I needed it and gone when I didn’t. My first real use of Glass, after the most basic “ok glass, take a picture,” was “ok glass, get directions Home.” And in fact the entire drive home, I was amazed at how easy it was to drive with Glass.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz about driving with Glass and whether it is or should be illegal. Take a look at these photos and let me know your opinion in the comments:

Driving Without Glass
Driving With Glass

Glass Explorer Cecilia Abadie recently fought back against a ticket that was issued to her for wearing Glass while driving and she won! She was pulled over originally for speeding, but was later assessed a ticket for “driving with a monitor visible.” Now, even though Glass could potentially display video or other content, it is not ideal due to battery life and usability and Cecilia stood by her claim that she was not actively using her Glass while she was driving. Glass can supply audio notifications (which are totally legal) without needing the screen to ever activate. And if Glass were being used for Navigation, wouldn’t that be legal?

Check out the press conference through Cecilia’s Glass:

I hope we can overcome our fear of driving with Glass and see the amazing possibilities the device can bring. Another Explorer, Det Ansin has been developing an application that connects his Glass to his car through Bluetooth. The added information he receives can surely make him a better, more responsive driver. Take a look at the his YouTube video showcasing his Glassware:

Another team of Glass Explorers, Jake Steinerman, Victor Kaiser-Pendergrast, Ryan Spletzer, and designer Jeremy Avery, have developed an app called DriveSafe for Glass. This app uses the Glass sensors to warn drivers when they fall asleep and their head dips. It then provides directions to the nearest rest stop so that the driver can rest until they’re ready to continue on their journey. Surely Glass is valuable while driving when applications like these are available.


My opinion hasn’t changed throughout my entire experience as a Glass Explorer. I feel very strongly that not only is it safe to drive with Glass, but it’s safer than driving without.

Okay Glass Let’s Operate

Chris Vukin and Team(evermed) are disrupting things in the Operating room by incorporating Google Glass into how doctor’s monitor the patient’s vitals, dictate notes and coordinate care. Team(evermed) has begun performing trail runs using Glass and their suite of Glassware in the OR as well as the general EMR workflow of the hospital staff.

Patient Data fed to Glass to keep the doctor situationally aware

Patient Data fed to Glass to keep the doctor situationally aware

Chris has posted a series of images from actual OR usage over the past few days. These tests included several features; patient data display, picture and video documentation for attachment to the patient’s Electronic Medical Record, and dictation. According to Chris, Vital Signs were manually entered and pushed to Glass via a Mirror based platform, pictures and video were captured and shared, dictation was also captured and shared.

Working in the Cathlab with Glass

Working in the Cathlab with Glass

This suite of Glassware that Team(evermed) is developing will improve the accuracy and completeness of documentation, provide hands free interaction for documentation, and give the provider the independence and ability to interface with pertinent patient data in real-time without pulling a team member away from their tasks to meet their needs (i.e. pulling vitals, images, notes, answering a page, placing an order, etc). This is an ongoing and expanding project for Team(evermed). These are all longitudinal studies, with deep links to their other developments in the healthcare/wellness space, and Chris hopes that  the studies run decades.

These three EMR solutions are aimed at covering 80% of the work providers do in their day to day routine on a computer; Results Review, Orders, Dictation.

The OR trials show off  the basis for the team’s first 3 Electronic Medical Record products, a provider Rounding Tool, Admitting Tool and Pharmacy Rounding Tool.

Team(evermed) isn’t focused just on the hospital as they also have a consumer Glassware in work called CPRGlass which will be presented at Stanford Medicine Xlate this month.

Glass isn’t the complete wearable solution from Team(evermed)’s perspective as they are also working to integrate not only Scanadu but other wearables and connected health accessories for automated data collection for analysis and care. They are looking to launch the new smart Electronic Medical Record platform for healthcare consumers and providers, a ubiquitous platform, web based and viewable on any device with a browser.

Scandu Scout, potential partner device for Glass

Scandu Scout, potential partner device for Glass

Today I was at the MEST Conference here in Houston and after hearing all the issues with EMR and seeing folks reaction to Glass, it seems that Team(evermed) is not only on the right track but leading the coming Glass revolution.