If I Had Glass

The Verge has a post up that says the winners of the If I Had Glass campaign are largely Twitter users with big follower counts and links to a list of all winners. Sadly, my twitter account is not on that list. Back on February 20th, I saw the campaign launch and immediately tweeted this out:

I wasn't joking, although it was a reference to Sergey's subway ride. I will wear my glasses on the subway when I get them. If you want to invest in the services that are going to be built for these devices, then you need to own these devices.

Fortunately I know a few winners and I will get my hands on Glass early on. But if anyone at Google is reading this, I'd love to buy a pair of my own.

#mobile#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. John P.

    Unimaginative tweet.

    1. fredwilson


      1. Matt A. Myers

        “A day in the life of an NYC VC” or some variation might have caught more attention – your cleverness of referencing the subway wasn’t apparent to me until you reminded me of Sergey wearing it on subway.

        1. Francois Mathieu

          It doesn’t matter much cause the winners were picked randomly!

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Oh — that’s stupid then … not really a contest, that’s just called a draw then. Alwell.

      2. Aaron Klein

        I thought it was a great tweet.Especially if it can cache the set of directions and keep telling you where to go when you’re out of cellular signal.I always have to “screen shot” my Google Maps directions on the NYC subway so I don’t lose my train change directions while underground…

  2. Joshua Cyr

    They are still letting people know. I just got my notification last night.

    1. fredwilson

      Hmm. Fingers crossed!

      1. Joshua Cyr

        If you haven’t been invited by now you will have to wait for another opportunity. https://plus.google.com/+pr

    2. ShanaC


  3. AlexBangash

    HCI is really taking off. Interesting to see what applications get written for Glass. Close to 10% of the Y Combinator companies in last weeks batch were hardware for computer interaction.

  4. jason wright

    i anticipate a street muggings spike.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      And an equal amount of arrests as the people are caught on video? 🙂

      1. jason wright

        i’m ready

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Or just carry a device that blocks all wireless signals, and then steal the recording device / the evidence.. 🙂

    2. fredwilson

      For sure. iPhone will be old hat

      1. jason wright

        if hats were fashionable….

      2. kidmercury

        as if it isn’t already……

    3. CJ

      I should teach a class on urban awareness. There is a huge difference between someone who has grown up in an sketchy urban area versus everyone else and that difference will often save your device, your wallet or sometimes even your life.Unfortunately the same lack of awareness that’s missing in the first place for those who need it is the same thing that makes them think that something like this isn’t necessary and keeps them being identified as a target.

      1. fredwilson

        getting mugged a few times as a kid, like my kids have experienced, teaches you something

        1. CJ

          Certainly something you never forget. Experience is the best teacher, even though the lessons sometimes suck.

        2. JamesHRH

          Like the need for self defence or the need for better routing.

      2. jason wright

        objects of desire can be so corrupting of innocence

        1. CJ

          Unfortunately, in most cases, innocence was already lost.

      3. ShanaC

        what do you think most people are missing?

        1. CJ

          Situational awareness, Positional/spatial awareness, picking out people who are dangerous versus people who are just weird, how to make yourself less of a target, etc.

      4. PhilipSugar

        I did this after a new post so it wouldn’t get attention.I would say there is a big difference when you are aware, trained and are carrying because the people identifying targets know they will end up full of holes.

        1. CJ

          Just being aware and trained is enough to prevent 80-90% of the situations that put you in danger. Carrying comes in handy in that remaining 10% but it’s doubtful that you’ll ever need to rely on the piece if you’re smart about situational awareness. Still, always nice to have it if you need it.

    4. pointsnfigures

      Had yet another flash mob in Chicago last night. 28 arrested. Robbing innocent people on the street….animals.

      1. CJ

        Indeed. Exploiting a hole in the system, I wonder when the city will patch it.

  5. kirklove

    They will be banned at Buvette.

    1. fredwilson

      I am going to get thrown out of there at some point anyway.

    2. jason wright

      the majority of private spaces may ban them

      1. kirklove

        That was my personal ban. ;)Though you are right on private spaces, too.

      2. kidmercury

        assuming they can detect them. they’re already working on making a version for contacts. also, just like smartphones, there will be too many positive uses, and too many industries that promote it.

      3. ShanaC

        definitely locker rooms would

  6. kidmercury

    The technology backlash is growing. I love this stuff and can’t get enough but it is coming to fast for a lot of people, even many young people.This is a product i would love to see Apple do. Just so Samsung and Amazon can copy the UX.

    1. fredwilson

      It will be fun to watch Apple copy Google now

      1. Brandon Burns

        or watch apple simply ignore 😉

        1. CJ

          And become irrelevant. They are fast on their way to becoming the new Nokia and the new Microsoft. They replaced an imaginative disruptive force with a bean counter and the outcome is the proof why that was a bad idea. They need someone with vision to step up and run the design side of the house, almost a co-CEO in the sense that he needs that authority that rests with the CEO so he can shove cool things past the army of spreadsheets that I imagine Tim Cook has used to barricade the door to his office.

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            I think it is time to see what happens with the holugram and if Apple has to push it out too fast.

      2. William Mougayar

        I think Apple might be gunning for an iWatch. So, it should be interesting to see your watch compete with your glasses over bits of data.

  7. bandsbybands

    silly question – how do old school lens glass wearers incorporate google glass into their analog glasses? they never show that case – and there are a lot of us out there?

    1. fredwilson

      I assume they will make prescription versions

      1. bandsbybands

        i see a warby parker partnership coming, now that you mention that. that would be awesome.

      2. jason wright

        i assume the product will parse, identified by different colors, which do and do not do certain things.”I’m sorry sir, you may not where your Glass Red in this restaurant”.

      3. Dave W Baldwin

        Thanks for that statement. Instilling the ‘cool’ concept thru marketing would entice the prescription shops to offer array.

    2. Richard

      Ingenious to call it glass vs glasses. A pair of glasses takes on new meaning.

    3. CJ

      They’re partnering up to provide the frames so you can add in your own lenses.

    4. ShanaC

      I’m curious too. How would they deal with my lenses (highly thinned down)

  8. Joe Yevoli

    I can’t wait to see where Ray Kurzweil fits into Glass. Personally, while Glass is obviously an unbelievably cool and forward thinking idea, I think the initial prototype will struggle to gain mass acceptance because people won’t feel entirely comfortable wearing them in public. Think blue-tooth head sets.However, if you can make them an almost seamless part of the human body (contact lenses), people won’t be able to exist without them.

    1. CJ

      They don’t look bad to me, I think a $1500 price tag would be a bigger obstacle than the fashion statement.

      1. Joe Yevoli

        You’re right, they don’t look ‘that’ bad. But, they definitely don’t look good!

    2. Donna Brewington White

      My guess is that they become the new cool. Or maybe I’m thinking from the perspective of a Southern Californian. You wouldn’t believe the things you could see here.

  9. Richard

    I’d get a pair into the hands and onto the heads of mike trout and buster posely. I remember writing MLB in college asking them to put cameras in the first base bag (funny how we still call it a bag!)

  10. andyswan

    If Fred gets glass, I will borrow them from him and wear them the next day when I go into his office to update him….and close him on an investment in Voomly.Fred will finally truly be able to see things from an entrepreneur’s perspective.The AVC community will be able to see first hand what a successful pitch looks like.Pappy will see the smile he puts on the faces of everyone in the room.

    1. CJ

      Kickstarter? I’ll toss in a few to see this done.

    2. Aaron Klein

      I’m thinking live hangout so we can all attend. 😉

  11. Charlie Crystle

    People dissing Sergey for wearing Glass on the subway are the same people who would have dissed him for taking the subway in the first place.The most exciting part of this is the API. http://www.youtube.com/watc

    1. Elia Freedman

      I hope I get laughed at a lot with my next major project. Then I’ll know I’m on the right track.

      1. andyidsinga


      2. Charlie Crystle

        I’m sure I’m laughed at plenty (for good reason…)

    2. andyidsinga

      nice restful apis

      1. Charlie Crystle

        yeah. think of the mashups…

  12. kenberger

    I tried them, but was asked not to post pix taken of me wearing them.Doesn’t do all that much just yet, but doesn’t need to– so many practical applications spring to mind the moment they’re on your head.My killer app desire is for when i’m singing/playing guitar for people. i want to look at the audience while the lyrics and tablature scroll by, the app keeping the correct place by listening to where i am in the song.

    1. Charlie Crystle

      It’s always better for everyone if you don’t have to reference lyrics while playing. Be in the moment–tough to do if you’re translating as you go.But if you do, check out OnSong for the iPad. Central Pa company, growing fast.http://www.onsongapp.com/

      1. kenberger

        i’m not a deep composer type. But I’m very much a ham and i love to just have people shout out the name of a random tune and i slug my way through it. this app would help for this case.will check out onsong– I’m an iPad hater, but musical instruction and reference is a killer use case for it.

        1. Charlie Crystle

          Ah…my bad. I’m such a damn purist I forgot that people actually have fun with music 🙂

        2. kidmercury

          love your vision here, this would be an awesome app.

          1. kenberger

            thanks. i take that feedback from you seriously, KM.

        3. ShanaC

          totally useful for concert playing as well, no need to turn pages

      2. Matt A. Myers

        For learning or an audience knows that you’re learning and will be more understanding I think it’d be fine.

    2. ShanaC

      that would be very very cool. Was the experience disorienting at all?

  13. Richard

    Anyone else notice the effect that technology (google et al.) is having on corporate profits. The postwar average is 6%, today it is 10%. That’s the e in p/e, which makes the p better for you and me.

    1. kidmercury

      the E is rising because aggressive inflationary monetary policy is shifting profits from small businesses to larger corporations. for the same reason, P/E ratio is rising as well. i expect these trends to continue.

  14. William Mougayar

    Damn, I missed that contest. Well, I’m going to tweet #IfIhadiWatch to get in line for that one.

  15. Reykjavik

    I do wonder whether Glass will just prime the space for other companies to become the leaders or Google’s first mover advantage will persist. I’m guessing the former. Google has never distinguished itself in execution outside of the search/ads arena, but their scale helps to socialize new technologies among the public and pave the way for other entrepreneurs who have better go-to-market strategies.

  16. JLM

    .Eyeglass frames are an important fashion statement. Really more important than the lenses they contain which are, after all, the actual reason one allegedly wears vision correcting glasses, no?Once the first apps are in use, then the fashion statement will rule.Invest in the frames as they are renewable.The glass will become the new locus of convergence. The bluetooth monitor writ small.JLM.

    1. William Mougayar

      It would be interesting if one could clip them to an existing frame. Remember the clip-on sun glasses?I bet you some factory in China is probably manufacturing adapters for that, right now.

      1. JLM

        .Makes perfect sense given the magnitude of the installed base of frames.Pragmatic.JLM.

        1. William Mougayar

          yup…until they come up with the implantable version 🙂 not far fetched.

      2. awaldstein

        Eyewear is a huge hurdle to overcome.When we designed the first 3D glasses at RLD we dealt with the same issues.How they fit. How they looked. How they were if you wore glasses. Comfort. Safety. Endless….At the end, Avatar happened and people just wanted to see the movie and forgot everything else.

        1. ShanaC

          It isn’t the eyewear, it is fixing the display to match perscription data. I don’t think I could focus on the display correctly due to both nearsightedness and astygmatism

          1. awaldstein

            You may be right but you are an exception based on my experience.

    2. Dave W Baldwin

      You’re on it! It will be interesting to see how long the clip on takes @wmoug:disqus

      1. William Mougayar

        I just read that the first versions will not be for people who currently wear frames http://news.cnet.com/8301-1

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Go figure. 🙁

    3. William Mougayar

      At the risk of digressing, didn’t the Army Seals have some version of these glasses a while back, even if the voice and video were on separate tracks?

      1. JLM

        .Navy SEALsArmy Special ForcesJLM.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Neither are Marines…(neither was I but had to say that in case there aren’t any on this thread-JLM knows what I am talking about)

    4. Donna Brewington White

      Will remember where I first heard this.

    5. ShanaC

      Frames are expensive (often for no reason) (as a glasses wearer, I can say that)But you’re right, there definitely will be fashions of google glass. (I call red)

  17. rachelsklar

    That Verge headline is totally misleading. It *seems* dominated by celebs and high follower counts If you only scroll down a little, because it goes in descending order of follower count. But the data is right at the top of the study, and the germane stat is this: 61% of people selected have less than 1000 followers. (Or, this: 7% of people have more than 10K followers.) Total is 4238 people.And Fred, I was one of the winners, so I would be happy to hand them off to you for a subway ride! (Evidence that winners were selected at random)(and if you go down the list and look at the rationales for glass, that is borne out.)

    1. fredwilson

      thanks Rachel. i can get my hands on a pair easily. what i am looking for is a pair of my own.

    2. andyidsinga

      were the winners selected at *random* ??

    3. ShanaC

      so are you keeping them

  18. JohnStandoreen

    Excellent post!

  19. Pete Griffiths

    It’s the beginning of meaningful AR.

    1. kidmercury


  20. Donna Brewington White

    Seems like common sense on Google’s part to get glass into your hands. For obvious reasons. Or even to repay you for the Android sales/use that is probably attributal to your promotion.

  21. andyidsinga

    im totally stoked about glass – and wearables in general!fred, looking forward to reading what you think about glass when you try it.Have you tried any smart watches? like pebble or martian? ( i love my pebble )i also applied via twitter, but didnt get it – dang …maybe because i proposed to tear it down and build a hacklica for my kids 😉

    1. fredwilson

      i am waiting for my pebble

  22. Aanarav Sareen

    I tried them at a Google event a while back. They’re definitely interesting. The impact on commerce could be fairly significant.

  23. Tom Labus

    Newt gets them.Please!

    1. fredwilson


  24. Jeffrey Hartmann

    I absolutely love the concept of Google Glass. I have several applications that I would like to try, I think if done right this has the potential to really give people new capabilities and ways to interact with the computer. Imagine if a bridge engineer could solve a system of equations based on blueprints stored in google drive + assisted visual identification of structural materials + information collected from road sensors that are available through a web service. Imagine if a calculus student could glance at a board and see a worked solution, more people would concentrate on the application of the math then the rote process to solve the equations. I think something like this has great promise to really make scientists and engineers many times more productive, which can only be a good thing. There are lots of good engineers, but the ones who have an intimate grasp of complex mathematics and the tricks to solve hard problems is much fewer. With access to cloud resources at a glance to use big systems like Ceres to solve equations based on data, I think this could really level up a lot of engineers and scientists.Of course this is just one idea, I have several in mind that are really only possible to do well with an interface like Google Glass. Terribly exciting times. Eventually I’m sure it will be able to remember everyone’s name based on a glance, this is a killer app for me. I’m terrible at names. I think lots of kewl stuff is going to happen with this new hardware.

  25. Joshua Sortino

    I’m super lucky that Google picked me https://twitter.com/JoshuaS…. Not sure if it was because they liked my reason or if I was just randomly chosen. From what I’ve heard, I’m beginning to think it was random.Next time you’re in the Disqus office, feel free to try them out!

  26. jason wright

    would you trust this man with your personal information?

  27. John Revay

    I just saw this headline …..Google will brick Google Glasses if owners resell or loan them out http://tinyurl.com/bqmkc3hI hope you got a pair,