May 17 2011
Glass, its founders- everybody, has been ransacked! Nothing’s left. We miss them, kind of. It was actually a pretty cool product they built. That didn’t happen to catch on.
Ever since the invention of the internet it’s been a source of information as well as interaction. What began as static web pages has evolved to dynamic applications that allow us to browse, buy, chat, view video, have video conversations, and a number of other interesting things. Despite all the progress the web has made it’s time to admit something. The web is officially becoming boring.
By boring I mean there’s nothing really new. Sure Facebook is a bit better than Myspace which was a bit better than Friendster. But at the end of the day they’re all social networks where you can meet up with friends. On yesterdays web we used AOL or Hotmail and today we use Yahoo or Gmail. The latter are better to be sure, but it’s still kind of the same thing. Whereas before we could upload a picture to the web and people could ooh and ah at it, not we can upload it, tag our fiends so a few more people can do the same thing. The progress is great, but it’s still just a picture.
Into this expanding desert of mildly interesting technological advances, comes Glass. Glass, (found at writeonglass.com), is a new way to browse the web that revolutionizes your browsing experience. It comes to us from our friends at Border Stylo and puts the spark back in that special relationship between our computers and those we connect to with them.
Glass is an in browser chat and sharing tool. It works as follows. If I browse to a website and find something interesting I can open up a Glass window and share my thoughts with others right there on the screen. Specifically I can leave a comment, inline picture, or video so that they can later view it when they go to that page. Perhaps it’s best described by the brief intro video above.
The extra dimension glass provides is immediately apparent. By sharing something with a friend we can experience the web in a new way. For instance if I find an article that’s interesting in a Glass-less world I would IM or email the link to them, and carry on a conversation offline. With glass it makes sharing and discussing content on the web much easier and much more relevant. I share a comment, image, or video with them directly on the screen. They in turn will be notified and then find it on their screen as well allowing us to chat in real time about it.
In order to accomplish this Glass comes to us as a free browser plugin. It’s currently available for Chrome and Firefox. Once installed you’ll see a Glass icon in your toolbar. When clicked it brings up three options- New Slide, Feed, and Contacts. By clicking on New Slide it opens up the aforementioned sharing widget. Feed is like your inbox of comments people have shared with you. You can click on any of them and navigate out to the pages people thought were interesting. If they’re still online you can converse with them, or they will see your comments next time they’re browsing the web. The Glass icon will notify you whenever someone has shared something new with you. Lastly, contacts are your friends within Glass’ network.
One of the cleverest parts of Glass is that you have full control of what you share with anyone. You can leave a comment and share it with five or your friends, all of them, or just an individual. Only the people you choose will be able to see and respond to your messages. True to their mantra, it is a virtual sheet of Glass that lies over the entire internet that’s yours to affect.
Really, Glass is like Instant Messanger 2.0. We’re all accomplished at chatting online. Heck, we’ve gotten so bored with it people have taken to using random chat platforms- anything to try to liven up the tired paradigms of yesterday’s internet. Glass takes us a step forward and allows us to have meaningful and relevant conversations with people online. It’s a creative and fun way to share and discuss content with your friends.