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Saturday Night Live's Fred Armisen tries out Google Glass for real (video)

Tim Stevens
05.14.13
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There's a good chance that you, like us, enjoyed a certain Saturday Night Live sketch recently in which Weekend Update's newly branded tech correspondent Randall Meeks gave his raw impressions of Google Glass -- using a prop made of plastic and attached to a pair of sunglasses. There was a lot of shouting, twitching and, for us at least, laughing. Meeks is played by the incredibly talented Fred Armisen, also well-known for IFC's surreally hilarious Portlandia. In reality, we learned, Armisen had never used Google Glass. That was a situation we were happy to fix.

Gallery: SNL's Fred Armisen with Google Glass | 51 Photos

The sketch, written by Seth Meyers and the SNL Weekend Update staff, shows Armisen telling Glass with increasing volume to search for Italian food. Instead, he succeeds in changing the language settings on the device to Italian. We didn't encounter that problem in real life, but Armisen definitely had issues with voice recognition. Learning exactly what you can and can't say to Glass takes some time, and I struggled to teach him the commands because the headset was constantly listening to me, sitting next to him.

There were some other issues with this early, prototype Explorer Edition of the Glass headset, like an incompatibility with his prescription frames and an inability to get directions to Iceland. Still, Armisen was excited by the concept and thinks there's plenty of potential for professional use of Glass. "Maybe for regular people having a coffee it might not be ideal, but for a worker working on something, or someone driving, it probably is something that could be helpful." What sort of work? Check out the video to see his suggestions -- some practical, others less-so.

Ben Harrison and Zach Honig contributed to this report.

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