Apr 09

Join me at GITPRO World Conference 2016

I will be presenting at GITPRO World Conference 2016 on April 23rd.

Creating Fun with Wearables, IoT, & MQTT

The purpose of this talk is to inspire an exploration of creativity utilizing the skills you already have and maybe some new ones to create and have fun doing it.  This is a 30 minute talk that is designed for all skill levels.  So if you are new to Wearables and IoT or an old pro just looking for new ways to think about things this talk is for you.

During this talk I will be presenting an interactive experience with a one of a kind wearable and discuss how I turned the wearable into an IoT device using MQTT.  I will discuss the path I traveled to create something new and how you can do the same thing.  This talk will also explore how to use your expanded skill sets in your projects.  

Explore, Create, & Play…Start today.

To register for this conference please visit the even site: GITPRO World Conference

GITPRO World Conference 2016

Mar 21

Google Glass gets Layar augmented reality

It’s official, there is now a version of Layar for Google Glass.  Now we get to see what AR (augmented reality) is like on Glass. When I heard this I got really excited and immediately went to Layar.com/Glass to download the app.  Since this was not developed using the Mirror API there is a small amount of installation that needs to be done to get the application running on Glass.

So I played around with the app briefly before going on to do a few more things. I started working on a draft of a blog post and as I looked at the preview on my site I saw an opportunity to try something with Layar.  I have a Google+ widget that has a QR code that is linked to my profile. So I decided to scan it with Layar and see.  I have been wanting something capable of scanning QR codes for a long time.

The Good: Finally something to scan QR codes with. Fast response from scans.

The Bad: Doesn’t leave the info I want in my timeline on Glass. There is no way to reference any of the Layar information once you navigate away from it inside Glass.

The Ugly: Within a few minutes of playing with the app and taking the screenshots for this blog post Glass got very hot and I had to take it off.


This is only one of many uses for Layar. However I think the app has a ways to go before it is really Glass ready.  I want to be able to vignette and share the things I do with Layar. I don’t know about you but what fun is an app that you can’t share with anyone?


Feb 26

I want Google Glass version 1 back!

I have been a Google Glass Explorer since June of 2013. Having started very early with the technology I have had the opportunity to watch it grow both in the software and the hardware. Up until now I have have had a love affair with my Glass. Yes, I am the Explorer that puts Glass on as soon as I wake up and only put it away when I am sleeping. No, I don’t wear it in the shower!

That was before.

Google offered a one time swap out for any Explorer in the program before Oct 28 2013. We were told version 2 of Google Glass has some minor modifications to the hardware as well as the ‘wink to take a picture’ feature. I decided that in the interest of being compatible with future features I would go ahead and trade in my version 1 for version 2. During the week I was without Glass I realized how much I adjusted the way I used and absorbed technology. It was difficult to transition back to looking at my phone all the time. It felt like time dragged so slow during that week.

Then I received my shiny new Glass.

Talk about exciting! I was overjoyed to have version 2 and immediately put them on and started adjusting them. I adjusted the nose pads. I tried to tighten the band. I adjusted the nose pads again and again. It just felt wrong. So my first instinct was to believe that during the week away from Glass I had gotten used to not wearing it. Google states there is a two week break in period. During the two weeks I was continually adjusting the nose pads. No matter how I adjusted them I just couldn’t seem to get Glass to sit up above my eye. When I would wear v.1 Glass never blocked my line of sight. Out of my peripheral vision I could see the bottom edge of the prism. With v.2 I see the whole prism in my peripheral vision. Grrrr. My guess is there was a slight adjustment on how Glass sits and it was moved down a bit to accomadate fitting with the new prescription frames.

Now let’s discuss the main gripe I have with v.2, the piece of Glass that rests on the top of your ear. In v.1 this was considered the weak point of Glass. I saw many Explorers have their Glass broken at the same spot.
So it appears as if Google has not only shortened the weak spot but thickened it as well. Now, with the added material it causes extreme discomfort after wearing it for a bit. It feels slightly heavier then v.1. It also pushes my ear out at an odd angle. The battery area that used to stick out behind my head is now shorter so when I put my head back against a head rest it doesn’t push Glass off my face. Again, at first I thought this was a good thing. However it seems as if the balance of Glass has been thrown off due to the added material and shortening of the area that rests on your ear. Now as soon as I tilt my head forward or move it quickly my Glass shifts forward and feels like it is going to fall off my face. With v.1 I always felt like my Glass was secure on my face. Now with v.2 I feel like I am constantly pushing it backward.
Did I mention my ear hurts? I can no longer wear my Glass all day.

I notice the way it looks now when I observe other Explorers and at first I couldn’t pin point why it looked different. It now covers peoples eye more. What Google did so well in v.1 to bring back eye contact and keep Glass above the line of sight now blocks people from making solid eye contact in both eyes unless the Explorer has their head tilted up.

My v.2 is also the not calibrated for the color correctly so instead of the background being black it is a washed out red color. There is a border around the screen that is making the viewable area smaller and removing valuable screen space.

Last but not least is the bone conduction in my v.2. It seems to run at about half the volume of the v.1. I used to be very satisfied with my audio quality. I am not sure if this is due to the slight change in position of where the bone conductor rests on my skull or changes made to the actual hardware inside.

In closing:
I would rate v.1 a solid 8 out of 10 for design and function
I would rate v.2 a solid 4 out of 10 for design and function

It is obvious as a long time Explorer why the changes were made. However at this time I wouldn’t want to buy this device at its current comfort level. Give me the option to purchase v.1 and I would in a heartbeat.

So what I am really saying is, “Google, may I please trade in my v.2 for v.1?”

Credits: Special thanks to +Megan Calcote and +Tim Stevens for allowing me to use pictures they took of their broken Glass.  Sorry you both experienced the weak point.