Touring Israel with Google Glass – Technology Meets Tradition #throughglass

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I just returned from leading a ten day trip to Israel. While there, we spent time in Tel Aviv, made our way up to the Golan Heights (we even looked into Syria), and then spend time in Jerusalem. I captured much of the trip #throughglass and… I’m impressed with the quality of the images and videos. Here’s a look.

Despite Judie and I both owning the Rev 2 version of Google Glass, it remains a Beta or even pre-Beta device. Moreover, it is still not available to the public and requires an invitation in order to purchase. I was, in fact, not initially planning to use my invitation. But then I saw Judie’s in Aruba and thought to myself, “Self, these would be an amazing way to document my upcoming trip to Israel.” I bought a pair, and I have been more impressed than I expected to be.

I love the way Glass is able to keep me updated on the go. I am even more impressed with the voice note integration. It lets me speak and then, if Glass is paired with an Android phone, it transcribes the voice note in real time and sends it to my Evernote account. This is truly impressive when you first see it in action. For my Israel trip however, I was most interested in using Glass to take pictures and capture video; it served me quite well!

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I didn’t use Glass the entire ten days in Israel, but rather I pulled them out when I knew there was something I was going to want to capture. Each time I did put them on, and I mean each and every time, I was stopped by someone who either said, “Wow, is that Glass??” or, more commonly, “What the heck is that??”

Each time I I was asked about them, I took Glass off, put them on the person making the inquiry, and showed them how to use Glass to take a picture. The result, much to my surprise when I just offloaded all the pictures to my Mac, were pictures like this…

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This shot was taken by a shopkeep in Sefat, the center of Jewish mysticism. He stopped me as I walked down the street and excitedly explained to his mother what Google Glass is all about.

And while those images were a surprise to me, these were all taken by me, on purpose, as we toured the country and I tried to document the journey #throughglass.

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 All of these were captured using Google Glass

I know this is an awful lot of pictures, but I wanted to give you a flavor for just how easy Google Glass was to use when documenting a serious period of travel. Believe it or not, this is just a small selection; there were TONS more. Each place we went I was able to use Glass to capture a picture by winking, speaking, or pressing a button. Seconds later Glass had captured whatever I was actually seeing. And while this could certainly be done with a traditional camera, Glass meant I was able to keep both hands free and gets a “Dan’s-eye-view” picture of whatever looked interesting at the moment. And then there are the videos. Yes, as you will see in an upcoming video of climbing Masada and walking through Jerusalem, Glass made capturing video amazingly simple as well.

At $1500, Google Glass isn’t a worthwhile expense for someone looking to take pictures and shoot video. No, for that money you could get a much better camera. But pictures and video aren’t the only reason anyone would want Glass at the moment; Google Glass is all about the future of wearable computing. Still, my travels proved to me that not only is the future of computing here today, but that the future of computing also takes some pretty amazing pictures as you look at the world #throughglass.


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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.