CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The future and the past are becoming more and more integrated in downtown Charleston. Chase Hendley, with Fuel Interactive is a member of the growing tech community here in the Lowcountry, but he's getting a leg up on some new technology before it hits the market. Hendley is a Google Glass Explorer. He was the first person in South Carolina to get this next generation of wearable technology and he's been wearing his for almost a year.
"It's been great being able to go through the process and help them debug things and let them know what I think is working and what doesn't work" says Hendley.
He uses it about nine to ten hours a day to do everything from checking email or social media accounts to taking a picture or finding directions. Google Glass hasn't hit the mainstream market yet, but Google did sell these "Explorer Editions" one day in April for $1500. Hendley was lucky enough to get his for free.
Google held a contest on twitter to find its first explorers. Users had to tweet a message using the hashtag, #ifihadglass. Hoping to get his hands on this new technology, Hendley used a Sci-Fi reference and it worked.
His tweet: "#ifihadglass I would pretend I was Geordi Laforge and I would explore the Earth as the final frontier."
"This is life imitating art.," Hendley said. "It had to start somewhere in the minds of someone like Gene Roddenberry with Star Trek."
Since he's one of the only people using Google Glass in South Carolina, he says he does get funny looks from time to time. He says people are curious and often have plenty of questions. Hendley says the first thing everyone asks about is facial recognition technology, which he says Google Glass does not have.
Hendley expects wearable technology like Google Glass to be popular in time, but says people will have to get over the culture shock first. Google has already entered a partnership with the owners of Ray-Ban and Oakley to design new frames and make Google Glass more appealing. Prices comparable to smart phones will also make Google Glass more consumer friendly. By then, Hendley's year old headband will become another historical artifact in the Holy City.