Intriguing way to travel – great for documentaries…
WSJ: What does Google’s wearable computer mean for travel? A trip to Puerto Rico that compares navigating via Glass, guidebooks and word-of-mouth provides some ideas
Later, I explored on my own to Casa Mar, a contemporary house that was a 15-minute walk away. I set off down a cobblestone hill. It was 95 degrees outside. “OK Glass, get directions to ice cream,” I tried. Inexplicably, Glass showed me a route to the Casablanca Hotel.
There happened to be a fro-yo shop on a nearby corner—an opportunity to test Glass’s translation skills. The Word Lens app will translate printed text right on the screen. You can also access Google Translate. “How do you say, ‘What kind of fruit is that?’ in Spanish?” I asked Glass. I had to repeat myself a few times, but eventually the translation appeared, and Glass spoke it aloud. I silently mouthed the sentence to myself a few times, only to discover that I didn’t need it. “The chocolate is ice cream, not yogurt,” the cashier said, in English. “Is that OK?”
I continued toward Casa Mar, pleased that I could shovel ice cream into my mouth and gaze at the old buildings painted lime green, mustard yellow and indigo blue, while Google gave me audio directions. No need to stop and consult a book or phone. (Though when the screen went blank, I didn’t know if Glass had fainted or was saving power.)
The device steered me down Avenida Ponce de León, a speedy thoroughfare lined with grand buildings, including the capitol, Carnegie Library and Ateneo Puertorriqueño, a cultural center that dates to the 19th century. Casa Mar, however, remained elusive. I eventually concluded that Field Trip had given me a random default location. On the bright side, I found a small, pleasant beach the old-fashioned way, by wandering around. I had to hopscotch across a two-lane highway to reach it, and the water was too warm to be refreshing, but still. Kinda nice.
Next up, a place for dinner. “Make a reservation nearby,” I instructed my eyewear. OpenTable offered up a series of cards containing the bare essentials—photo, restaurant name, rating. There was no way to even learn what sort of food a place served. Glass was designed to convey information in tiny bites, which means it is most useful for accomplishing narrow goals.
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