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Google Glass Explorer Stories reflect product values by focusing on people, not tech

Liam Spradlin

For a while now, the Glass team has been sharing "Explorer Story" videos, highlighting individual Glass Explorers using Glass in their own lives, and how the technology has helped them, nascent though it may be.

Today, a new video joined the lineup in time for Earth day, focusing on a Nepalese researcher using Glass to track tiger and rhino populations.

Besides compelling narratives and Google's now-signature soft focus heartfelt approach to video production, the videos are a more important message for Glass than they appear at first blush.

If you pay attention, all the Explorer Stories focus not solely on Glass, but on the people featured in the videos, with Glass added as a layer over their success, a piece of tech that takes things as simple as writing notes or finding directions out of your hands and into the space around you. It's easier, quicker, and allows for focus on your actual objective.

Better yet, it's a user experience beyond pencils and paper, beyond maps, and even beyond other electronics. You don't have to touch anything to get the job done (this is part of the reason I don't find smart watches entirely compelling, but that argument is for another day). That means you can fiddle with a camera sensor, make your way through a burning house, or simply have an awesome camping trip seamlessly. The tech is there to help you, but it isn't interrupting your physical experience.

The videos may seem like fluff at first glance, but they're telling a more compelling story below the surface about technology's ability to augment our experiences in helpful ways without being in the way.