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Business

May 12, 2013

Google Glass a hit with early adopters

Back when she was in college, software developer Monica Wilkinson says, she used to dream of “being able to carry a computer in my head,” instead of lugging her books and laptop all over campus.

As she tried out her new Google Glass recently, Wilkinson said, it felt like that fanciful idea had become real.

Dan McLaughlin, an engineer and photography buff, has been using his new Glass to take pictures without fumbling for his camera. Tech business consultant Lisa Oshima said she likes hearing turn-by-turn directions from Glass as she walks to client meetings in downtown Palo Alto, Calif. Startup executive Brandon Allgood, meanwhile, has learned to remove his Glass headset before sitting down to dinner with his wife.

The four San Francisco Bay Area tech workers are among the first non-Google employees to get their own early model of Glass, after paying $1,500 for the visor-like, wearable computer that’s already got critics fretting over potential violations of privacy and etiquette — even as enthusiasts proclaim it could change the way people interact with technology.

“The human body has a lot of limitations. I see this as a way to enhance our bodies,” said Wilkinson, 36, who is head of engineering at San Francisco startup Crushpath.

“The future can sometimes be a little bit scary,” she added, conceding that some people are uncomfortable with the new technology. “But I see Glass as a way to stay connected, to capture more moments and get answers more quickly.”

Glass resembles a pair of high-tech eyeglasses, but without lenses: Its lightweight frame rests on the ears and nose, suspending a small prism in the upper right corner of a wearer’s field of vision. The prism displays pictures, video or text, including emails, directions from Google’s navigation service and answers to Internet search queries.

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