Just as people in Myanmar were getting acquainted with smartphones in the country, another device – one far more rare and technologically-advanced – has come their way: Google Glass.
Earlier in January, American filmmaker Josh Kim brought the device to Myanmar as part of a documentary project in which he loaned Google Glass to people working in professions he found intriguing. Through the project, Josh is looking to document what life is like through the eyes of ordinary Myanmar citizens.
The project has now taken shape and can be found on his website Google Glass Diaries.
The project description reads: Google Glass Diaries is a series documenting the lives of people around the world in short video form. It started from the idea of being able to experience life from the POV of another person. Videos are shot using Google Glass and interviews are recorded separately.
Josh has already posted half a dozen video clips on the webpage and told Wall Street Journal that he hopes the project will eventually include 100 short, one-minute videos from around the globe. Mr. Kim says his goal is to show people slices of life from a viewpoint that is far different from their own.
Among some of the normal Myanmar folks Josh loaned the Google Glass to included a vendor who sells sugarcane juice and a pay phone operator.
The shoot with the pay phone operator Shwe Thint Yi shed some interesting insights into the local lives.
She used to do brisk business charging people on the street to use her telephone, but in the past 2-3 years she’s seen a sharp decline in customers, with the rise of cell phone ownerships. She is currently looking for a new job.
So far Josh has been to Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan since embarking on his glasses diary in January. He also has plans to take the device to the U.S. to work on a similar concept there.
In Thailand, Josh met Pracha, who has been boxing since he was 9 years old. For him, learning about Muay Thai was also learning about how to become a man. Beginners earn maybe 200 or 500 baht (or $6-15) per match. But Pracha, A.K.A. The Hitman, holds the belt of Thailand. Fight fees and prize money, he says, net him on average 500,000 baht (or $15,000) a month.
Josh told Wall Street Journal that unlike the U.S., where the glasses have caused an uproar, no one was particularly excited by Google’s hottest new tech toy.
“They just assumed it was something they did not have, but was pretty common across the rest of the world,” said Josh. When people interacted with those wearing the glasses, he added, they “thought this was a new fashion statement.”
Google Glass Diaries is definitely interesting and we will keep our eyes on its progress. Finally someone is doing something interesting with Google Glass.