Given Google’s tight clutch on prototypes of its futuristic eyewear, known as Google Glass, Greg Geilman may be the first real estate agent to test the device.
His finding? The smart glasses, which allow users to perform many smartphone functions, offer a unique “awesome” user experience. And thankfully, he “did not feel like an idiot” sporting them in public.
“People were like, ‘Oh my god, is that really Google Glass?’ Some people look at you a little weird, but I didn’t get any bad reactions,” he said. “I’m really excited about it. It was very comfortable to use. I got used to it right away.”
But as with many devices still in beta testing, Glass could still use some tweaks, he said.
Google has said that it aims to release the product by the end of 2013. Recently, thousands of “explorers” who won Google’s #ifihadglass contest received prototypes of the next-generation smart wear, transforming a legion of techies into walking spectacles and heightening awareness of the product.
Geilman, the managing director for Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based South Bay Residential, said he borrowed the glasses from a friend who attended Google’s annual developer-focused tech conference, Google I/O, and as a result, was able to nab a pair. The Realtor said he enjoyed performing different tasks with the device using hand motions and dictation — two ways Glass processes commands.
“You’re looking into this little block of glass, and it projects stuff,” he said speaking of the overlays that appear in a user’s field of vision, like text messages. “It’s very, very responsive to voice commands.”
Dictation allowed him to do things such as snap photos, browse the Internet, send text messages, shoot video, and even share live video. The last feature is what Geilman believes could be a real draw for Realtors.
Professionals could use video sharing, which functions using Google Hangouts on Google Plus, to do live walkthroughs of properties for clients, he said.
“If I’m in a pinch, and I’ve got a client who wants to see a house right away, I might just throw on Google Glass,” he said. “It would be very efficient.”
But when Geilman did a walkthrough with Glass he encountered some hiccups. Though he thoroughly enjoyed transmitting video of the property to his client hands-free, he said the video was blurry at times, and that the setup process was cumbersome due to involved steps that stem from the feature’s reliance on Google Plus.
“Overall, it wasn’t as seamless as I would need it be (mostly due to the setup), so I’ll stick to Apple’s FaceTime for live videos to show properties when clients cannot be there in person,” he wrote in a blog post. “However, for prerecorded videos, Glass is a great tool and creates a nice, realistic walkthrough of a home.”
In addition to enabling live, point-of-view walkthroughs, the feature could also help Realtors assist buyers and sellers who encounter difficulties when navigating through paperwork, Geilman said.
“I could be looking at the same pieces of paper that they’re looking at and I could point to different lines in the contract,” he said.
For now, Geilman is most impressed with Glass’s ease of use, along with the freedom and anonymity it provides. Unlike with smartphones, Glass makes it easy to discreetly manage a schedule and handle calls and text messages, he said.
“You don’t have to have your phone make a noise telling you you have a meeting coming up in 15 minutes,” he said. “It’ll just pop up inconspicuously on your Google Glass letting you know you have a meeting.”
Contact people mentioned in this story: Greg Geilman
What are some creative ways you would use Google Glass to serve your clients?