#ProjectGlass and GW: How It All Started

IMG_1977Earlier this year, Google announced its #ProjectGlass program, whereby technology enthusiasts were invited to share ideas over Twitter and Google+ explaining what they would do #ifihadglass for a chance to obtain a coveted pair of Google Glass.  Google’s plan was to run a promotion that effectively drummed up interest in the wearable technology amongst the press, crowdsourced application ideas over social media, and designated enough people to serve as customers that would be invited to buy Glass and serve as beta testers.

Naturally, the MBAA jumped on board, and in partnership with the GW School of Business Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE), Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 11.23.16 AMwe began our mission to bring Google Glass to GWU. Though we were pretty confident the GW community would generate some cool ideas for the Twitter campaign, we knew because of Glass’s limited availability that obtaining a pair would be a challenge.

The MBAA and CFEE were genuinely impressed with the ideas that came out of our campaign, but as Google began rolling out invites I was starting to lose faith that Glass would come to GW.

Then it happened.  One random night in March, Lindsay Murphy – a student working toward her Master’s in Strategic Public Relations – received the message we all were waiting for. She had been selected as a Google Glass Explorer. Then, a few days later, Hugo Scheckter – an undergraduate business student – sent word that he too received an invite.  This was cause for celebration!

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Though Google has been reasonably tight-lipped about the hardware capacities and its future plans for them, the MBAA and CFEE saw tremendous opportunity.  I myself felt that Glass presented a true alternative to hand held mobile computing.  The mere idea that the user could simply interact online without having to type on a keyboard seemed to substantially cut the distance between the human mind and the internet.  We really didn’t know what to think, but we were sure of the potential.

IMG_1987In June, Lindsay and I traveled to Google’s offices in New York City to acquire Glass and receive a personal tutorial on its capabilities. For more on that adventure, read Getting Glass.