There are many advantages to having a boyfriend who works in high tech. One is that I’ve never seen the inside of a computer repair store or had to call the Geek Squad. When a thing breaks, he fixes it. Or he cobbles together a new thing out of the pile of spare parts for things in his office. The techie’s office is like a grease monkey’s garage – full of sacred junk that only he knows how to bring to life.
This flip side of this advantage, however, is that I never get to experience the Cool New Gadget. Until now:
Behold, the Glass.
Not mine. It’s the Russian lover’s, and it’s become his indispensible bionic appendage. And not because he’s taking stealth videos of the unsuspecting, but because he finds it genuinely useful for staying connected to his 24/7 work obligations; anyone who’s ever had a special bond with their Blackberry can probably relate. Except for the part where they’re attached by the thumbs.
What I’ve determined to be one of the best features of the Glass by far is the scrolling of email subject lines and text messages through the field of vision as they arrive. If you’re wearing the Glass, your companion sees only a faint red momentary glow in the prism by your right eye, and notices your glance drift for a second. If the message is unimportant or not urgent, you can simply carry on no more interrupted than if you briefly caught something interesting out of the corner of your eye. Compared to the constant checking a phone requires, the Glass is unobtrusive as a device; and lookswise, it’s no more offensive than the heavy frames favored by so many nearsighted hipsters these days.
The first night I went out with the Russian lover and the Glass, I was thrilled that he spent almost the entire evening looking up at me instead of pulling out his smartphone every ten minutes to scroll through email. For the partners of perpetually on-call professionals, the Glass is an intimacy restorer, giving your face time more face-to-face time.
For all my enthusasim about the Russian lover wearing the Glass during our time together, however, I was slightly less excited after I finally got to try them on for myself. The first time I put them on my expectations were stratospheric; in my mind, the Glass was the culmination of all the SciFi I had ever known. Wearing them was going to be like teleportation and warp speed and the holodeck all at once. I was prepared to orgasm.
And thus, as with the loss of my virginity, there was disppointment in realizing my imagination had created an experience far superior to the reality and a definite lack of orgasm.
But after a few turns wearing them I’ve gotten a feel for the technology and totally understand the appeal. Those of us who don’t work on the cutting-edge of science and technology, and instead wallow in the fantastical promises of science fiction to feel connected to the innovative forefront of our culture, are bound to be a little bit let down the first time we try new technology. The technologists who muddle around in the guts of code and silicon approach new devices with an appreciation for the current limitations.
In short, most of us buy the latest gadget and find ourselves vaguely annoyed that it doesn’t function like the perfect prop out of our futuristic SciFi-fueled fantasies; when techies buy the latest gadget, they are delighted and amazed to find that the damn thing works at all.