Google Glass Prescription Frames: First Step in making the tech seem invisible

I recently ordered my prescription frames from Google (Titanium Bold) which arrived today. For the past 7 months as an Explorer, my preference was to use the clip on shades with Glass versus Glassless headband especially since 99% of the time I wore Glass out on sunny day or swap between the clear and shade clip-on as needed. I particular found this frustrating and wished for prescription transition lenses to become available for Glass.

Insurance coverage thru VSP
My vision coverage is thru VSP so I found it interesting that VSP already includes an option to search for providers that service Google Glass.

Click the link below to find a doctor that are Glass certified.

https://www.vsp.com/find-doctor-results.html

Keep in mind that all VSP doctors are undergoing the certification process for Google Glass, however you can still go to one that’s not certified to get your lenses for Glass. Apparently, they all have access to the information via their central database. Or you can call the local VSP provider in your area to inquire to when they expect to be Google Glass certified.

If you’re covered by VSP, the Google frames can be use for out of network coverage. Essentially, you can file a claim to get a reimbursement of $47 for the Google frames. Depending on your coverage an eye exam $20 copayment and additional add-ons (transitions, anti-glare, & etc) will run you from $100- $150; totaling approximately $350 (frames + lenses). Not entirely a high price in comparison to my Ray Ban prescription glasses which cost me roughly $400.

iCloud Beta – Online Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Oh my!

I just got an invitation to participate into the iCloud Beta that includes iWork for iCloud, iWork for iCloud lets you create beautiful documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using Pages, Numbers, and Keynote in your browser on a Mac or PC. So far I’ve played around with Keynotes and Pages and really enjoy being able to create/edit documents in the browser. Now, when I’m using my Windows 8 machine I can edit files created using Pages and Keynote on my iPad.

Google Nexus 7 tablet – My First Impressions

A few days ago I received my Nexus 7 tablet pre-order. This is the tablet including Google’s latest Android operating system – Jelly Bean. And not only does it have the most up to date OS from Google. Not only is this thing equipped with a 1200 x 800 IPS screen, 1GB of RAM, quad-core processor, Tegra 3 graphics, 9 hour battery life, and front-facing 1.2 MP camera. It blows the current edition of the Kindle Fire out of the water spec wise. This device is as fast as the iPad if not faster then iPad 3 in browser the web. In fact, my tests found the Nexus 7 was 3 seconds faster then iPad 3 (both using the Chrome browser). Those are some of the pros. This device is seriously lacking in content in the Google Play store. The Google Books doesn’t compare to the Kindle app (Good thing I can load my Kindle app). The magazines, TV shows and movies are OK but nothing close to what Amazon has to offer.

A quick run-down of my pros and cons
My Pros:
  1. Nice form-factor to read, browse the web while laying back in bed or on a sofa.
  2. Just the right size for watching videos and playing casual games (not FPS for me on this form-factor).
  3. Connects up to all of Google’s offerings (GDrive, YouTube, GMail, Chrome, Maps, & etc).
  4. Is very fast. No slouch when it comes to speed. Everything just loads when seconds.
  5. Google Now (a Siri like feature) is an added touch.
My Cons:
  1. The form factor is too close to the 4 & 5 inch Android smartphones coming out to warrant a tablet like interface so the majority of apps will be smartphone apps.
  2. Viewing magazines, PDF documents and interactive books is not usable in this form factor. On a 7 inch screen your constantly zooming in and out to see the full page and read the text. Text view is pointless to me for magazine. This why I reserve magazine reading on my iPad via Newstand and the Kindle App and leave ebook reading to the Nexus 7.
  3. 8 GBs (or even 16 GB) is not enough storage space to make this device your stand-alone go-to tablet device. I have the 8GB version so I plan to stream most of my content (videos, music, & etc) or removing it once I’ve consumed it.
  4. No 3G/4G connectivity (WiFi Only)
  5. No accessories such as a cradle or charging station or ability to side load content via SD card (however you can via USB drive).
Overall I like the device for what it is. An advanced touch-enabled (lay back) experience tablet. Even though I wish there was one device that would suit my needs. I’ve come to the conclusion that one device will not suffice. For instance, my laptop is for the lean forward experience (sitting up in a chair); something I spend 8-10 hours out of my day doing. The iPad is the lean back (chilling in my chair or sofa) experience where I can lean back to experience the content in a more relaxed fashion. Finally,this leaves me with the one experience many people don’t talk about often- the Lay Down experience. This is where the The Nexus 7 fits the experience perfectly.  The iPad and all its glory is too big for laying down and bed to read or watch movies. 7 inches fits on one hand easily as well as my back pocket.
If your wondering which device to get – an iPad or 7 inch tablet like the Nexus 7, I would ask where do you plan to use the tablet mostly. If your answer is in bed or lying on the sofa, I’ll recommend you get the 7 inch. However, if you primarily plan to use a tablet as a semi-laptop replacement then get the iPad. Or in case your a gadget hound and find yourself using gadgets 24/7 then treat yourself to the Nexus 7 if you already have an iPad.

iPad 3 or iPad HD – What the iPad won’t be for many people – Revolutionary

Many reports and rumors about iPad are just ridiculous. Whether Apple calls the next generation iPad – iPad 3 or iPad HD it will not make a difference. There will always be three camps – 1) Those who will upgrade because they must have the latest and greatest gadget, 2) Those who like to wait and see how the wind blows, and 3) Those who either hate Apple products or don’t want to considered mainstream (we all know they do). When it comes to gadgets, I’m typically in the first camp. However I do jump between 1 & 2 more than people think. Back to the iPad. Now everyone can expect the iPad will have a quad core processor, 4G LTE, retina display, and a better camera (hopefully HD rear camera). Us Geeks however will salvate at the specs in all its goodness and say I gotta have one of those. Yet, besides the specs the majority of people with iPad 2s will fall in camp 2 which leaves a huge number of people who didn’t upgrade to iPad 2 or never had an iPad (but secretly wanted one *cough Android tablet users*) wanting the so called iPad 3/HD right. Wrong! To everyone’s surprise, the next generation iPad won’t be revolutionary. Yes of course everyone (people in Camp 1) will go crazy and stand in extraordinarily long lines to get their hands on the next iPad. Consequently, as soon as the dust settles and the announcement buzz has worn off, everyone will be thinking what will the next iPad (iPad 4) will be like (more rumors – 8in iPad in the Fall). A handful of Camp 2ers will come to the realization that the iPad 3 isn’t all what’s it cut out to be. Maybe I should wait until iPad 4 (or see what this iPad mini is like).  Camp 3 will bash iPad 3 and shout how it barely compares to the Google Ice Cream Sandwich Android tablets coming out this spring.

In any case, I enjoy watching the sheep. Maybe, just maybe I’ll be a sheep too. 🙂

My Tech Predictions for 2012

CES starts January 10 and will likely showcase tech products that may launch in 2012. Here’s my prediction of technological innovations and evolutions which will come to past in 2012:
  1. We’ll see Siri like voice recognition functionality included in nearly all electronics such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices.
  2. iPad 3 in April will not see a dramatic change in form factor but will sport a 4G LTE, quad core processor, more RAM, longer battery life and better front/rear cameras.
  3. Microsoft will launch Windows 8 convertible tablets and slates in late 2012.
  4. And in late 2012, Amazon will launch two new Kindle tablets: 1) improved 7 inch Kindle Fire touting a front-facing camera, and 1 GB of RAM and 2) 10 inch Kindle tablet with a front and rear facing camera.
  5. Versons of Xbox Kinect devices will become available for PCs as attachable units that will allow users to be the controller for their PCs vs. keyboard/mouse – Think Minority Report.
  6.  iPhone 5 will sport a new sleek design, 4G LTE, improved Siri artificial intelligence, FaceTime over 3G, and enhanced, more robust Notification Center (widgets).
  7. Internet-connected/augmented reality eyewear will be available in 2012 with head up display (HUD) and Siri like voice recognition functionality.
  8. Self-driving cars in 2012 will come to fruition later this year.
  9. Google+ will gain momentum in 2012 in particular businesses, celebrities, & politicians will use Google+ more to connect with their audience using Google Pages/Hangouts.
  10. Robotics in the home will become a reality for some individuals in 2012 and go mainstream in 5 years.