Greg Swan Google Glass NBC

My colleague Brandon Sullivan, fellow blogger Josh Braaten and I had the opportunity to share our thoughts about Google Glass with our local NBC affiliate earlier today.

Today is special because Google opened the Explorer program to any U.S. consumer interested in purchasing Glass and helping pioneer the field of smart lens technology. That means consumers are having to weigh that early adopter opportunity against the reality of dropping $1,500 for a 1.0 product that will soon be outdated.

Real time translation with Google Glass, KARE 11, Greg Swan

We spent time with KARE 11 talking about how Glass works, the impact of real-time content publishing, Weber Shandwick’s wpForGlass, some of the open and honest drawbacks about this version (e.g., battery life, fashion), the awesome features of the device today (real-time translation!), and yes, Glassholes.

Watch the piece here.

As a bonus, here’s a pic I via Glass took during the interview that I published straight to my music blog via our own wpForGlass. YES!!

google glass weber shandwick

So should you buy Google Glass today?

Yes, if:

  • You can afford it.
  • You are of the mindset that today’s latest technology outpaces itself regularly.
  • You aren’t afraid to laugh at yourself months/years/decades from now about wearing this silly thing on your face.
  • You will be an open and honest advocate, taking care to explain how Glass works to strangers but never shying from your convictions about important things like privacy, fashion and utility.
  • You want to be part of driving what’s next and driving value for emerging technologies — truly being part of creating something that could impact our society.

Otherwise, don’t. This is still the first, developer version of Glass, and it isn’t a technology that is ready for general consumers. That could come down the line, but only if the right people invest in developing enough utility and use cases that truly add value to consumers (drive down the cost, improve the hardware, increase the number of apps, etc).


Pew Research Center: The Next America

You might be waiting for things to settle down. For the kids to be old enough, for work to calm down, for the economy to recover, for the weather to cooperate, for your bad back to let up just a little…

The thing is, people who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive.

Instead, they make their ruckus when they are short of sleep, out of money, hungry, in the middle of a domestic mess and during a blizzard. Whenever.

As long as whenever is now. — Seth Godin

via Seth’s Blog: The right moment.

People who make a difference never wait for just the right time. They know that it will never arrive.

Staples wants to be the Kinkos of 3D printing, according to TechCrunch.

“Staples is getting a jump on 3D printing and just rolled-out a 3D printing service to two of its U.S. locations in New York and Los Angeles, where consumers can walk in and have a 3D doodad printed. If this trial proves successful, the retailer says it will expand the service to more locations.”

I relate this news to libraries going all-digital and adding 3D printing capabilities in their computer labs as a value-added service to communities.

Companies are starting to see a business reason for those same “print it yourself” functions, and that’s what Staples is bringing to the market. It’s an exciting step forward to the mainstreaming of product design and user-experimentation.

As a notable sci-fi reference to this trend, Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age (1995) describes the evolution of the Post Office as a place we will go to have large deliveries “printed,” such as cars and beds.

Essentially printing items of a size and complexity your home 3D printer (aka matter compiler) of the future couldn’t handle. Are we on track to that prediction? Time will tell.

A long, but must-read piece on The Personal News Cycle. As we consider consumer engagement, crisis and content strategy, I will be quoting from this every week for the next year…

In contrast to the idea that one generation tends to rely on print, another on television and still another the web, the majority of Americans across generations now combine a mix of sources and technologies to get their news each week, according to the survey by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Where people go for news, moreover, depends significantly on the topic of the story — whether it is sports or science, politics or weather, health or arts — and on the nature of the story — whether it is a fast-moving event, a slower-moving trend, or an issue that the person follows passionately.

The data also challenge another popular idea about the digital age, the notion that with limitless choices people follow only a few subjects in which they are interested and only from sources with which they agree — the idea of the so-called “filter bubble.”

There are relatively few differences by generation, party, or socioeconomic status in the level of interest with which people report following different topics.

The data from the survey, which was designed to probe what adults distinguish most in their news consumption in the digital age, offer a portrait of Americans becoming increasingly comfortable using technology in ways that take advantage of the strengths of each medium and each device.

There are five devices or technologies that majorities of Americans use to get news in a given week.

The average American adult uses four different devices or technologies for news.

Three-quarters of Americans get news at least daily, including 6 out of 10 adults under age 30.

Nearly half of Americans with internet access have signed up for news alerts.

And the rapid growth in mobile technology is changing the mix. Among smartphone owners, 78 percent report using their device to get news in the last week.

Seventy-three percent of tablet owners use their device to get news. And people with more devices tend to enjoy following the news more. News consumers who use more technology are more likely to report that they enjoy keeping up with the news and are more likely to say that it’s easier to keep up with the news today than it was five years ago.

At the same time, these tech-savvy news consumers continue to use traditional platforms as well. For example, they are no more or less likely than everyone else to use print publications, television, or radio to access the news.

You have to read the whole thing…

The Personal News Cycle: How Americans choose to get their news – American Press Institute.

Google Glass Explorer Meetup 2014 SXSWThis was my eighth year attending South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) in Austin, TX, and the expectations were high.

The key theme I took away from SXSW 2013 was “Exponential Thinking, Exponential Opportunities,” and capitalizing on that thinking and opportunity, the main theme I took from SXSW this year was “Quit looking to others for the next big thing. Go make it yourself.

If you followed the media attention on this year’s SXSW closely, you surely noticed there wasn’t a breakout app or innovation this year. The whole “What’s the next Twitter?” expectation has grown tired for many of us longtime attendees, but the notion isn’t as misdirected as one may think.

The opening and closing keynote presentations indirectly addressed that expectation, plus the question of whose responsibility it is to create innovation that impacts society. But there’s a twist to the tone for addressing those questions in 2014.

You see, these kinds of events aren’t about the breakouts and newsmakers…. they are about the community that inevitably designs, builds and launches the breakouts — and the people who become the newsmakers. It’s about the community who comes together, at least once a year, to connect, share, learn and collaborate.

Opening keynote presenter and artist Austin Kleon shared Brian Eno’s concept of Scenius (genius coming from a collaboration of a group, culture or movement; a community that is critical to support all amazing ideas and big thinkers).

Closing keynote presenter and futurist Bruce Sterling told of the need to mature beyond nostalgia for the past. And as I attended sessions, met new people and experienced new interactive milestones between the opening and closing keynotes, I concluded that we should stop looking for the “next Twitter” or “next Foursquare” or “next Zuckerberg” at these events, and go make something ourselves.

Because after all, this is our scenius. This our collaborative community. This community has created great things in the past, and it will again. But only if we put the onus on ourselves.

So in the spirit of the scenius of 2014, I treated the conference differently in a number of ways:

    Lauren Melcher, Lindsi Gish, Amanda Long, Angie Gassett, Steffen Ryan, Nathan Wright, Greg Swan
  • Introduced myself to fellow attendees without mentioning what I did and where I worked, and asked the same of them. It forced us to dig deep into who we are, what we’re creating, and who we want to be.
  • Held a number of “stranger dinners,” where I invited people — those I had just met, people I know from back home I never see, and people I genuinely want to know better — to stop, have dinner, process what they heard in sessions that day, and clear the dishes to have a discussion.
  • Sought out 1:1 time with my coworkers, particularly those I see so rarely from our network, to connect, offer help and seek advice.
  • Made time apart from or in lieu of panels to attend things like the Google Glass Explorer Meetup, SXSXinspiration Meetup, and Facebook’s Politics, Government and Non-Profits Networking Meetup, taking the initiative to meet new people and foster new connections with those attending the conference officially with a badge — as well as those unofficially enjoying the non-conference events on the fringe.
  • Journaled some ideas for never-been-done-before things I want to build in the coming year.

And here are some of the favorite things we discussed as the 2014 “scenius” gathered in Austin this year:

    Greg Swan 3D Printed Bust and Face
  • You can’t fight technology’s progress. And we should work to adapt our society to leverage new technology.
  • White collar, repetitive knowledge workers will be replaced by automation, just as robots replaced blue collar, manufacturing workers.
  • No great artist or filmmaker ever referred to their works as “content.”
  • We can record the biometrics of everyone in the world in the cloud — and still have plenty of storage left for all of human history.
  • The importance of privacy, personal data and abuse from government.
  • The state of curiosity is a measure of intelligence.
  • The future of ethical programming for autonomous experiences.
  • The risk of legislators creating laws about technology they don’t understand.
  • The cultural dissonance of technology that comes from the introduction of new devices.

Pretty great topics, right? Oh, and I also got 3D scanned and printed. That was a first.

Overall, another amazing year. I came back energized and excited for what’s to come in 2014. Let’s go make something!

Full notes (via Twitter) broken out by session/topic after the jump!

Continue Reading…

Chris Dixon from Andreessen Horowitz on why the Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift makes perfect sense…

“The way to understand this purchase is to think of Google buying Android in 2005.

That confused a lot of people at the time.

Facebook believes that virtual reality will become the next major platform, the same way mobile computing did, and they want to make sure they have a big stake in that.”

via Greetings from Planet Facebook | The Verge.