My Experience as a Google Glass Explorer…

I read about Google Glass in Wired Magazine before the actual product was available to beta testers. I was intrigued. Anything to do with tech gets me excited. It looked so cool. I knew at that point that I would try to get a pair to beta test!

There was a Twitter contest, “IfIHadGlass.” I entered. I heard nothing. My entry was, “#IfIHadGlass I would wear to the Diva Half Marathon.” Boring!

I ran the Diva Half with my friend Marti and that was it. I started to see that others were getting their Google Glass. I started tweeting, almost every day, “I want my Google Glass more than my MTV!” Within a couple of days, I was selected.

I thought I won a million dollars! I was so excited.

I scheduled my appointment to pick up Glass in New York City in July 2013. It was the hottest day (and I’m not exaggerating) of the year! The temperature outside was 105 degrees! Beads of sweat poured down my neck, my back, my arms, my legs. I never felt this warm in my life.

When I walked into Google with my two friends and my husband, I felt as if I had entered another dimension. Deep Space Nine, here I come! Gordi La Forge, where are you?

I took Glass home with me and played with it for a while. I loved the ease of it. I loved the look of it. I was just in love!

After the novelty wore off, I thought, now what? Here I have an opportunity, how will I use this to conquer new business for my public relations firm?

At a staff meeting, my executive VP suggested a reality show and we all loved the idea. That’s how Glasslandia was born. Glasslandia, a takeoff of Portlandia and Islandia, was the first Google Glass reality show on Youtube. We used portions of Glass and spliced it with video of our firm.

At the same time we were filming Glasslandia, another opportunity knocked on my door. The Beaches of Ft. Myer and Sanibel invited me to attend a Google Glass exploration. Their goal was to build tourism in the area by selecting influential Explorers to take video and photos and share with their community.

I decided to do it because it was such an amazing opportunity. And, boy was I glad I went. I met four of the most incredible Google Glass Explorers – Jeris from Seattle, Loki from New Orleans, Eva from Los Angeles and Keith from New York.

The five of us toured around the Island and went on five different challenges – kayaking, Parasailing, cooking shrimp tacos, photographing sunsets and even exploring the Thomas Edison Mansion!

We had a friendly competition going. But our ultimate goal was to share so much content that we could come back for free! As a result of our activities, more than 70 million impressions were counted within the first few weeks. Tourism increased in the area and the word was out that Fort Myers and Sanibel is a gorgeous part of Florida and worth exploring.

When I got back to Long Island, my staff and I finished filming Glasslandia and went into post-production. We created a six episode series, about nothing but it got incredible accolades from our community. We generated more than 50 million impressions both online and offline.

We created so much buzz that when I went to Los Angeles a couple of months ago and met, Cecilia, the first woman to get a speeding ticket wearing Google Glass, I ran up to her and said, “it is so nice to finally meet you. You are my hero! Everyone’s talking about you!”

She turned to me and said, “Me? Everyone’s talking about you and Glasslandia!”

That made me feel really good. Here, a person who I was so impressed with was impressed by me?

After Glasslandia, my HJMT team and I decided to create a Wearable On Air show that would get top names in the wearable field and interview them. We’ve had four shows to date and we’ve provided a lot of insight and knowledge to the community about wearable tech. To date we have had, the business development person from Vuzix who talked about its competitive product to Google Glass and their forefront into augmented reality. I’ve also interviewed app developer Cecilia Abodie of FitLinx, Google Glass Pioneer and advisor, Jeris Miller and Sean Ebersold who invited a solar watch to charge mobile devices, including Glass.

Why do I do it? It’s interesting to me. I love being able to educate people and I enjoy being an early adopter.

  • Jeanne Grunert

    Hilary, I love how excited you are by the product, but more importantly, I love how creative you’ve been with the content marketing for the google glass. Fascinating! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • http://www.hjmt.com Hilary JM Topper, MPA

      thank you!

  • http://www.cloriskylie.com/ Cloris Kylie

    What a journey! And I feel I’ve been on it from the start; from learning about Google Glass, to Glasslandia, to the super interesting interviews you’ve recently done. CONGRATULATIONS, Hilary!

    • http://www.hjmt.com Hilary JM Topper, MPA

      Thanks!