Google Glass breaks in summer heat as tiny air bubbles fill the screen

Google Glass is breaking right before my eye, and I'm not the only one seeing tiny air bubbles distort the augmented reality screen.

This little-known bubble effect has led to a different sort of Google Glass headache for Explorer Edition owners who spent $1,500 (£1,000, about AU$1,597) on the prototype.

A mirror inside Google Glass is supposed to reflect an image from an internal projector and perpendicularly beam it to the eye, but its surface is crinkling like it's tinfoil.

Now, the air bubbles simulate a distracting shattered look when peering through the glass prism, even though the basic functionality of Google Glass remains unchanged.

Not safe for summer?

The defect happened to me when Google's wearable computer aptly captured my morning horseback ride through Solvang, Calif. countryside.

Because holding onto the saddle for dear life requires two hands, Google Glass provided me convenient pictures and video, all taken with the sound of my voice.

I wouldn't have been able to capture this unique first-person perspective otherwise. But I also noticed the air bubbles within a few hours.

Strangely, the temperatures weren't excessive, pushing 85°F (29°C) during the day. Sweat has been an issue for some users, but I can't say that it was so hot that I was sweating onto Glass.

Furthermore, the Google Glass help page and FAQ doesn't mention maximum or minimum temperatures. It just says don't get it wet.

Explorers aren't out of luck

Google is aware of the air bubble troubleshooting within its Glass community and, in every case we have seen online, replaced the device.

My Google Glass is currently going through an evaluation process in which I must take photos of the broken Explorer Edition.

From there, the company's dedicated support hotline for all Glass owners promises to "find a solution." Its media relations department has remained silent during the entire process.

That means I couldn't find out if the latest Google Glass upgrade, which doubles the memory to 2GB of RAM, also fixes the mirror defect.

Still, it's good to know that Google has been replacing faulty devices. Heat and humidity are no match for the Explorer Edition wearable. It remains very much a prototype.

Matt Swider