IT’S fair to say I got a few funny looks after donning a pair of Google Glass.

“What IS that?” was the general response, with others reluctant to pass any comment at all on my unusual eyewear, in case I was wearing it for ‘medical reasons’.

Up until a few months ago, I’d never even heard of Google Glass. Now, I’m addicted, although whether I’m prepared to part with £1,000 for some is another matter.

Google Glass is a tiny computer that you wear like a pair of glasses. It is turned on by tilting your head up and controlled either by using your voice or swiping the side of the frame.

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You can read text messages, emails, check the weather, watch a music video – anything really – and the transparent ‘screen’ floats just above your eye, allowing you to carry on doing whatever you’re doing while multi-tasking on a grand scale.

Admittedly it feels weird to begin with, although the glass is light and comfortable to wear. Walking along the street talking to it did make me feel a bit daft, so I tried whispering instead, but you need to speak clearly for the glass to ‘understand’. You can, however, take photographs simply by winking your eye – very clever.

After syncing it to a smartphone or connecting to Wi-Fi, “OK Glass” is the first thing to say to get things started. This brings you to the main menu where you can choose from a series of options, such as ‘take a picture, ‘record video’, ‘send message to’, ‘Google’, or ‘Get directions to’. Using it soon becomes second nature.

Google Glass (or, as my father-in-law says, ‘those computer spectacles’) may look a bit geeky at the moment, but rumour has it that Google are already in talks with the likes of Rayban to develop stylish eyewear that incorporates the glass.

There are pitfalls, of course. They needed recharging more than I expected and taking pictures and recording and sharing videos is so easy and inconspicuous that it could present very real privacy issues in the future.

Even scarier that this, however, is that Google really is turning into Big Brother. Not the second-rate TV show, but the more sinister figure from George Orwell’s 1984. It remembers everything you do and search for and can track where you go - something which potentially could lead to tailored advertising that is so subtle you won’t even realise you’re being targeted.

But you can’t argue with how astounding the technology is and it is a lot of fun to use. It could revolutionise travel, for example. Not only can your voice commands check live information such as weather, flight times and currency exchange, you can also ask for language translation – very useful if you want the odd word or phrase translated in a hurry.

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I found it most useful for answering all of the endless questions that young children ask. My four-year-old in particular comes out with some gems: “Where do clouds come from?”, “How big is the moon?” and “How many teeth does a Tyrannosaurus Rex have?” to name just a few. 

Instead of making it up or changing the subject, I simply repeated the question to the glass, then responded so comprehensively that he was probably sorry he asked.

While they are still so rare, I am tempted to do the pub quiz circuit - although this may turn me into a 'glasshole', the term used for people who don't observe Google Glass etiquette.

They would also work really well when cooking – find any recipe on Google and follow it without taking your eye off the ball, or cluttering up your kitchen with recipe books.

Overall, getting directions from wherever you are in the world is one of the handiest features. Although driving with Google Glass could potentially be dangerous by having the distraction of emails or social media apps in your line of vision, a ‘Drive Safe’ App is being developed to prevent drivers from falling asleep at the wheel, something which causes a lot of accidents on the roads and is very hard to monitor.

Tempted? Anyone with a Gmail account, a UK address and a debit/credit card can purchase Google Glass, although stock levels are limited. Visit for more details.

Catherine’s Google Glass were supplied by

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