Getting Google Glass

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About 3 weeks ago I got an email from Google telling me that my Glass were ready for pick up. I paid online and scheduled my fitting / training session at the Google Santa Monica locations. I was also allowed to bring a guest to the Google campus.

When the big day finally arrived, I took the day off work, grabbed my fellow geek, Curtis Rissi (@boringgeek), and headed to the beach. The Google Santa Monica office was kind of hard to find. There is nothing on the outside that says Google, so we drove around a bit. I realized that it was right in front of the famous Venice Gold’s Gym (the home of all the golden era body builders)!

Once we got inside of the Google building, I was blown away. Everything was very “Google”. Everything I ever heard about Google felt true. First off, EVERYONE was wearing glass. We were greeted by our “Glass Guide” Arthur. We were welcomed then walked through the campus on a short tour. We walked through a nice open courtyard with giant chess pieces, tether ball, swinging chairs, and tables to work /eat at. To my surprise, there were children playing on the grass. Arthur told us that employees can invite their families onto the campus to eat lunch with them at the Cafe (which is 100% free).

We walked into a building on the far side of the courtyard, up some stairs, and into a loft area that was setup for for the Glass program. Everything was very open and modern looking. We met another glass guide, Marina, who helped me pick out the color of my Glass . I went with black.

Arthur sat down with me, and we dove into the unboxing. The packaging was very “Apple” like. There was a lot of detail and care that went into the boxing of Glass.

To celebrate the unboxing experience, they brought me over a bottle of Coke (how did they know I looked bottled coke??? Oh that’s right, I’ve made posts about it… Google knows all).

When I put Glass on for the first time, I was impressed with how light they were. They are hardly noticeable. I think my Warby Parker eye glasses weigh more. Arthur helped adjust they “stems” of the Glass so they were positioned correctly on my face. When wearing Glass, looking straight ahead, you don’t see them. You have to look up and to the right to see the display. The display’s clarity is amazing. The images just float out in space and are vivid and bright.

The audio was another feature that I was blown away by. Glass uses bone conductivity to transmit sounds into you head. It feels bizarre because the sound isn’t entering your ears, its just… in your head. Very strange, but it works very well.

We walked me through all the features:

  • Taking photos
  • Recording videos
  • Doing a Google search
  • Starting a “hangout”
  • Answering a call
  • Sending an email
  • Reading an email
  • Adding apps (twitter, cnn)
  • Connecting to bluetooth
  • Connecting to Wifi

There was some configuration that we needed to do. We used a new Chrome book pixel to set things up. Man, that was a nice computer! It felt SUPER solid and the construction and very Mac like. They keys were nice to type on. The display was bright, sharp, and touch sensitive! Curtis was in love.

I think that my appointment ran long because, well, I’m a geek, and I wanted to know how every feature worked.

Overall, we were at Google for two hours. Two amazing hours. I feel very luck and blessed to be accepted as part of the Google Glass Explorers.

I will be making follow up posts about what it’s like to live with Glass. For now, you can keep up with my Glass adventures on my Google Plus account page

So yeah, now I’m “That Guy” in social situations…

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2013 Q1 Review – Glass Edition

2013 has been an interesting year for me so far.

Following my goals for 2013, I have been focused on building more software products and services that automate more of my income and help me payoff some debt. I’m finding great success with Shopify.com apps and consulting work. I should really blog about this more.

Yesterday I got an idea for a shopify app. I have a very strong feeling that its going to be great once I launch it. I’m hoping to have it done by the end of summer.

To help promote my clothing line, Wolves Clothing. I’ve brought on a partner / vice president. In a short time we have already started seeing some progress. I’m very hopeful for the future as we branch out and start to sponsor more bands, events and athletes.

Being a new father in a digital age has really changed things for me. In mid February I was at home having lunch, talking to my wife, when all of a sudden my son #JacksonHighland started trying to walk on his own. Amy acted fast, pulling out her iPhone and capturing a video of Jackson’s first steps.

The entire experience was amazing. Having my son walk to me was a great feeling, but the realization that I had a high definition digital copy of that experience really hit me hard. I will have a copy if that moment forever. I will be able to share that moment with my family, loved ones, and with Jackson himself when he gets older. I want to capture everything. I don’t want to miss moments like this.

I also realized that I have a digital photo of him from every day that he’s been alive, and those will last forever as well. I have a few dozen pictures of myself as a child, Amy only has a hand full of baby pictures of her (Her house burned down in 2003). Jackson is going to end up with thousands of images of him growing up.

The day after Jackson took his first steps, Google announced a contest called #IfIHadGlass. In 140 characters or less you had to tell them how you would use Google Glass if you got a pair, and include the hashtag #IfIHadGlass.

One of my goals for 2013 was to try a pair of Google Glasses. If I was able to wear a pair for 5 minutes, I would consider this goal accomplished. I submitted the following to the contest:

I have an 11 month old son. Every day he does something new and amazing. #ifihadglass, I would always have a camera ready to capture those moments forever, and share them with family and loved ones. He will only take first steps, and say his first word once.

I also attached the video of Jackson’s first steps.

Yesterday I found out that I was accepted into Google Glass Explorer program! I’m getting a pre-release pair of Google Glass! It’s still hard for me to believe.

IfIHadGlass Winner

I love the concept of wearable computers. If you know me well, you know that I would love to augment myself with digital parts. I’ve always wanted a heads up display, just like RoboCop, The Terminator, and The Predator.

My entry to Google is genuine. I will mostly be capturing video and images of Jackson growing up. I will always have a camera available when he starts to do something new and awesome. I can’t wait.

I imagine that Google Glass will change a lot of things in my life. I’m going to be doing a lot of testing, app developing and blogging about Google Glass. Stay tuned!

Picard Google Glass

My Goals For 2013

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Every year I posts a list of things I want to accomplish in that year. 2013 is going to be a big year for me, i can feel it. Here is a list of some of the goals that I have for myself:

  • Attend more tech conferences
  • Speak at some tech conferences / user groups
  • Continue to Automate more of my income
  • Pay off more debt
  • Develop another Shopify apps
  • Delegate more of my tasks (4 hour work week style)
  • Finish and publish my SEO book
  • De-clutter my life – Get rid of things that I rarely use
  • Continue body building – Stack on more muscle
  • Blog more about my experiences with tech and raising a son
  • Test a pair of Google glasses
  • Have a  conversation with Kevin Rose, and Timmothy Ferris
  • Promote my clothing line Wolves Clothing more

2012 Year In Review

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For the last few year I list the goals that I would like to achieve for the year (2012, 2011, 2010, 2009). With this post I’d like to take some time and see how many of my 2012 goals I managed to achieve.

  • Reduce the amount of “stuff” that I have. I need to make room for my new son (due in march!)

I think I’ve done an OK job at this. I converted my office into my sons room. During that process I got rid of a fair amount of stuff. The remainder of it is in the garage and the current office (formerly the spare bedroom). I need to stop hording things that I don’t use. I’ll give me self a #meh on this.

  • Delegate responsibilities and tasks better. I have too many projects and not enough time, I need to let other people take over a few things, (4-hour work week style of course)

This is a #Fail for me. I’ve actually managed to create more side work for myself and managed to lose an employee. I’ve got to get better at this if I’m going to live that 4-Hour Work week lifestyle

  • Automate more of my life (income / shipping / bill payments / etc)

This is an #epicWin for me. I’ve been able to create more passive income this year, and automate more of my bills. It feels like I’m starting to get the hang of this this stuff.

  • Launch a Shopify.com app

Another #epicWin, I’ve was able to launch two shopify apps (SEO Meta Manager & Order Lookup App), get them featured by Shopify. As a result, they have become some of the top rated apps in the Shopify App Store. I credit Gary Vanerchuk’s book, “The Thank You Economy” for a large portion of the success I’m seeing. NewLeaf Labs also became certified Shopify professionals… #LikeABoss

I’m some where between a #win and a #meh on this one. I was able to launch more shirt designs, strike some promotion deals and gain a wider awareness of the brand. I know 2013 will be a better year. I’ve made some pretty large goals for the company, and I need to see them through.

  • Launch my first iPad application and get my 10th iPhone app into the store

YES! totally a #Win. I was able to launch my 10th iOS application into the app store. It’s a universal app meaning that is runs on iPad and iPhones / iPod Touches. NewLeaf Labs knows iOS app development!

  • Continue to improve my fitness (strength & muscle mass)

2012 was a good time in the gym. At my peak during my bulking cycle I was 225lbs, I trimmed down to 190lbs and got to about 13% body fat. I can see a difference in the way my body responds to physical activity. It loves it! Having a baby in march, Jackson Highland, it was difficult to get to the gym as often as I would have liked. Having my lifting partner, @JustinGiese, switch to a graveyard shift schedule didn’t help either. All in all, its a marathon, not a sprint. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle not an activity. I have big plans for 2013. I’m going to hit it hard early on, bulking, then lean out for summer. I’m looking forward to it. #getBig #win

  • Move more of my projects / data to “the cloud”

I can give myself a #win on this. I moved my physical servers out of a co-located space, into a vitrualized environment on the cloud. So instead of just moving the apps and data to the cloud, I moved the servers! The future is here!

  • Improve my SEO skillz (nothing fancy, just gain a better knowledge of what I should be doing as best practices)

This is an #epicWin. One of my Shopify Apps is an SEO tool for managing meta and title tags. I did a lot of research on the subject of SEO. I also started writing an book on the subject. My book should be released in mid 2013. I need to make it happen.

  • Build an app that uses the instagram API

I did this early in 2012. I used the app to help promote the presence of my Straight Edge Clothing company, Wolves Clothing (XWolvesClothingX). It was a web based app. It was actually much easier to make then I thought it was going to be. However, I was doing some things that fell into a gray area of their terms of service. Instead of having my account killed, I decided to disable the app. I do plan on re-working the app and using it again, for fun and profit!

This was a #fail on my part. I need to do a better of of this. This is one of my favorite business ideas that I have helped grow. Don’t get me wrong, the business is doing well, but I think it can really be pushed harder. Our designs are awesome and a great bargain for bands and clothing companies looking for high quality designs at reasonable rates.

  • Contribute more to charitable causes

This is a #win. I continued to contributing time and energy to We Still Believe, a non-profit group in Orange County aimed at helping the less fortunate. My Straight Edge Clothing Company, Wolves Clothing, was a sponsor at “Mosh-4-Food 2”, an annual canned food drive that was able to generate several tons of food for a local food bank. I also participated in a We Still Believe event at Disneyland for adults with special needs. Giving back is awesome and I want to do more of it.

2012 was a life changing year. I’m looking forward to what 2013 holds.

iTunes 11 – Bring Back the Old iTunes Look

iTunes 11 sports an all new interface and thats great, but if you are like me, you just want to use the features that you’ve become used to. I’ve figured out how to get most of the old features turned back on in iTunes 11.

  • Get the sidebar back by clicking the button in the upper left corner, and then click “Show Menu Bar” on Windows. Then select View > Show Sidebar.
  • Get the status bar back by clicking View > Show Status Bar.
  • Click Songs in the top bar, and sort by Artist for the traditional list view.

Now, iTunes 11 should look close to iTunes 10. I have found that I need to use the album view to show artwork. The Song view no longer shows album art.