Student brings Google Glass to Roosevelt University, encourages others to explore

By Shawn Gakhal Google Glass Presentation - First Picture

Jake Counselbaum, senior integrated marketing communications student, held a Google Glass presentation April 8 at the Gage Building, where he explained how the technology works and the process of becoming a Google Explorer.

A crowd of about 20 filed into GB 507 to witness a piece of technology that a select few have access to. Armed with his Google Glass, Counselbaum thrilled the audience with the device’s abilities to instantly take pictures, surf the net and capture HD video of anything in the periphery — all in the blink of an eye.

Invited by a friend to join the program, Counselbaum talked about why he wanted to become a Google Explorer.

“Well, I’ve always been an early adopter in any sort of technology,” Counselbaum said. “I always have to have the first of everything, and I just had to have this. For what it does, which isn’t much, but what it can do is what I really got it for and its possibilities.”

Google X, a group inside Google that is devoted to the advancement of technology, created “Project Glass” a few years ago, with its first prototype released in the summer of 2011.

Google Glass is hailed as the future of technology, and Counselbaum’s presentation gave the crowd an augmented version of virtual reality that no other device on the market can offer.

Director of Instructional Technology Tyra Robertson was on hand to assist in the presentation and talked about how she was one of the organizers of the event.

“I first met [Counselbaum] last semester when he was in the labs, and he introduced himself,” Robertson said. “He had registered for my IMC 243 class, and he was wearing Google Glass that day, so I asked him about it. He was really friendly immediately, and his first question was ‘Do you want to try it on?’ … I got to take it for a spin, and I got to know him a little bit in class. … I was like ‘Are you interested in hosting this event where people can come test it out because you can’t test it out in stores?’ He was totally down. It seemed like a unique thing, too, that Roosevelt had this Google Glass Explorer.”

Throughout the presentation, he occasionally said “Ok glass,” which automatically brings up a list of available voice actions that allow the ability to snap pictures, record a video, get directions or even tweet on Twitter.

Counselbaum described his favorite aspects of Google Glass.

“I love the camera,” he said. “The point of view perspective is out of this world. It also has this application that I haven’t used yet, and it’s called Word Lens. Say you’re looking at a billboard, and it’s in Spanish, and you can’t read it. It will augment reality and change the billboard to English or whatever language you want it to be displayed in. So, that’s creepy but that’s the future. That’s where technology is going.”

Counselbaum talked about one of his most memorable moments while wearing Google Glass.

“It was very cool wearing it at Thanksgiving,” he said. “I had just gotten it a few weeks prior, and I wore it at Black Friday and just got some great pictures. People were pouring into these stores, but stopping to talk to me about it. … Wearing it at Thanksgiving dinner was really cool, just getting those perspective shots. You’re able to get really cool shots with it that you can’t get on any other camera.”

While Google Glass isn’t mainstream yet, it may be soon, as the tech giant recently partnered up with Luxottica, a company that owns Ray-Ban and Oakley.

After fielding a plethora of questions about Google Glass from the crowd, Counselbaum encouraged the audience to try it on and even take a few selfies.

“I think it’s a pretty smart device,” said Helena Yakubobich, an IMC graduate student. “Obviously, it’s not going to be in wide use in the near future, but it’s pretty cool and can be helpful for someone in the workplace.”

Not all in attendance were impressed, however.

“It was cool,” senior Leire Romera said. “I came just because I was very curious about what Google Glass was. I had heard about it so much, but I didn’t know what it was, in fact. I think Google is going to improve this. … I was a bit disappointed … wearing them, it was like this little, small screen, and I was hoping for something more spectacular. … Actually, it’s just like to have a little screen with you all the time. I don’t think I’m ready for that, but maybe it’s useful for some people.”

Counselbaum said that he plans to wear Google Glass later this spring for gradation.

“I’m looking forward to wearing it at graduation,” Counselbaum said. “I think that will really be its defining moment thus far for me.”

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