Google Glass Interviews

As an experiment I took Erik’s Google Glass to Wikimania. I used it to interview several people there. We wanted to see if it was possible to quickly make engaging interviews using Glass. We were inspired by the excellent documentary Fog of War where the subject Robert McNamara looks directly at the viewer and wanted to recreate this simply using Glass. We’re happy with the results but want to know if you want to see more of this from us? Do you think this is something we should be doing?

About the use of Glass:


It was easy to make the videos.

  • Glass is very portable and so there is less equipment to carry.
  • The interview set up takes a minute.
  • Audio was surprisingly good.
  • We think that the videos are more engaging than other video because the interviewee is looking straight at the viewer.
  • Looking for interview subjects and moving about is much simpler because of Glass.


  • Because people don’t know you are recording, bystanders talk or walk through your videos.
  • Uploading and backing up the video was difficult due to the conference WiFi. Speaking from experience this problem will always occur.
  • The Glass only lets you record for 15 minutes or so of video. We made the clips short in order to offset this.
  • The battery life of the Glass is sapped very quickly when recording video.

Best practices

  • It is difficult to keep your head still when listening to someone talk. Concentrate on doing this.
  • Inside the conference hall itself is almost always a terrible location for video. Lighting and noise make people difficult to see and hear.
  • Go outside.
  • Don’t let people play with your Glass because they will delete videos.
  • Ask for and interview people during non busy periods at stands or events. Seems like a super obvious suggestion but people will say Yes to an interview and then be distracted.
  • Clearly explain the goal and what you want people to say.
  • In Google+ there is this Rotate button above your video. You may out of curiosity want to click it. Don’t. This transforms your video and significantly degrades the video and audio quality. Also it takes hours.

The first video we will be sharing is a short two minute segment with Nick Shockey, the Director of Programs and Engagement of SPARC. SPARC, is “the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communication. SPARC believes that faster and wider sharing of the outputs of the scholarly research process increases the impact of research, fuels the advancement of knowledge, and increases the return on research investments.” A laudable goal certainly!