'OK Glass' was almost 'pew pew pew', says Google Glass hotword creator

The Google Glass team's hotword suggestions of 'Clap on' and 'Glassicus' ended up being beaten by an idea from the product's marketing manager, it's been revealed.
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

'OK Glass' is the oft-parodied phrase that wearers of Google Glass use to wake up their networked spectacles. But it could have been very different.

According to Amanda Rosenberg, Google's marketing manager for Glass, users almost had to say 'pew pew pew' to activate their headsets.

In a post on Google+ on Tuesday, Rosenberg revealed how the phrase 'OK Glass' beat a number of suggestions, including a few daft options, to become Glass' hotword – the spoken command that brings up the device's menu.

The discussion over the choice of hotword began when Rosenberg went for dinner with Glass product manager Mat Balez. When Balez asked Rosenberg for her suggestions, only 'OK Glass' surfaced.

"When I got home, I tried my best to think of something else, anything else so that I could at least have a few options to send to Mat. Alas, I could not think of any others. I've been fortunately cursed with a one-track mind. So, I decided to put all my Glass eggs in one basket and send over a rationale for 'OK Glass'," she wrote.

That rationale, according to an email Rosenberg sent Balez, went something like this:

"Glass is something that needs to be activated by voice on a constant basis and mostly in public. It's also an extremely personal product (literally, for your eyes only), almost like an (un)natural extension of yourself. [...]

"'OK' - the most frequently used word on the planet. Denotes approval acceptance, agreement, assent, or acknowledgement, but is also a frequent expression used for transitions in conversation."

Rosenberg's 'OK Glass' suggestion got the nod shortly after.

But it wasn't the only idea in contention: the Glass team had been coming up with a few ideas of their own, including:

  • Listen up Glass
  • Hear me now
  • Let me use Glass to
  • Go Go Glass
  • Clap on
  • Device, please
  • 3, 2, 1...
  • Glassicus
  • Glass alive
  • Pew pew pew

"It's hugely exciting to hear 'OK Glass' being used today. That said, 'Device, please' is growing on me," Rosenberg said.

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