Back to testing today and I needed to run out quickly to IKEA to grab a few household items. Of course any trip to IKEA is never a quick stop, if you’ve ever been to a store you’ll know about their ingenious one way showroom style floors.
They remind me of a game called Theme Park back in the late 80s where you had to build an amusement theme park and make it profitable. The way you would always win was to create complicated one way systems that guide visitors through you Theme Park and at the right points put in the rest stops and the toilets to make sure people aren’t getting agitated.
IKEA does this in such a sublime way that people hardly notice it. As an entrepreneur, I always marvel at the IKEA business model and business practices, they are a well tuned shopping engine for sure.
First off since it was about a half an hour drive away, it gave me an opportunity to really put the directions on the Glass to the test.
The first thing which I hate about the directions app on the Glass is that whenever you have requested the address, it will ask the user to open up the Glass app on the phone. Presumably this is to allow Glass to request and OK the permission to know where I am via GPS. I don’t know if this is a restriction just on iPhone, but it’s ridiculous. Each time I do this and get my phone out I think I would probably end up using the phone map instead as it is far more user friendly.
Secondly whilst sitting in the car I realised that you would never really use the directions app for driving because it is both a distraction, and for the most part, most cars now (if not all cars in the future) have built in satnav systems which are far superior to the Glass app.
Furthermore, future cars will undoubtedly be connected to the internet and offer wifi as well, so it would seem to make the Glass product redundant in a vehicle. Maybe the directions work well for public transport and walking, but it’s certainly useless for driving.
Still though I wanted to test out how effective it was and this also lead me to another discovery about the app. It missed telling me about some turns. There are many flaws to the directions app, from missing turns, to late instructions, to getting the wrong GPS location and hanging.
Overall if I had to put a percentage to it I’d say that 30% of the directions on the Glass were missed or late and so I would have had a nightmare getting where I needed to go, thankfully I knew the way without directions.
When I got to IKEA I decided to test again the difference with and without sunglasses. On the showroom top floor I would keep the sunglasses on, and on the marketplace ground floor I would wear without the sunglasses. The results were obvious. No one noticed the Glass with the sunglasses, and without, I would say that 1 in 4 people noticed. Again I had some enquirers as a couple of young lads asked me about them and my experience of them. It would seem that the younger generation know more about it, presumably through some media story somewhere.
Whilst I was shopping around I got a call from a good friend and so I tried using the Glass as a headset and mic and so I routed the call over to it. The sound quality through the bone conductor is totally crap, I had to revert back to my phone to finish the call. All I can say about the sound via the bone conductor is that it is gimmicky and inefficient. Most of the time I can’t hear the sound and when I did it sounded like a distant echo. I’m not going to test it with the ear bud as I think that defeats the design of the device being that it’s trying to free up your ears as well, so it’s extremely contradictory that they should provide this ear bud with the Glass. Clearly Google themselves have reservations about their bone conducting sound!
After shopping I left IKEA and tested the directions back home again and the same experience was had. This time for some reason the directions app also got a little confused with itself and ended up getting really hot on the side of my face and as a result also left the device with virtually no battery charge left.
As again with most of my testing, problems with battery, problems with functionality and overall problems with implementation.