As someone who recently had LASIK surgery, and has been happily living life without glasses, I find myself in awe and willing to once again wear a pair of glasses after seeing the awesomeness of Google Glass.
Put simply, the idea of the Glass device, at its most basic level, is wearable technology that lets you see and interact with the world around you without disconnecting from it.
The Glass headset is designed to be out of the way so it doesn’t interfere with your activities. According to Google, it weighs less than most pairs of sunglasses. On the side is a touch pad for control, on top is a button for shooting photos and videos with the built-in camera, and there’s a small information display positioned above the eye out of the line of sight.
The actual details about the specs that have been released are pretty light, other than to say the Explorer Edition has a camera, multiple radios for data communication, a speaker and a mic, and a gyroscope so Glass can tell your position and orientation at all times.
The core of Google Glass is its tiny prism display which sits not in your eyeline, but a little above it. You can see what is on the display by glancing up. Going by its FCC filing this includes a Broadcom 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi radio and Bluetooth 4.0 as well as bone-conduction speakers, which would keep your ears open to your surroundings, an embedded camera and a GPS.
Voice control is used to control the device; you say ‘ok glass’ to get a range of options including taking pictures, videos, send messages using speech to text, ‘hang out’ with people or get directions to somewhere. You access these options by saying them out loud.
Most of this functionality is self explanatory; hang out is Google’s video conferencing technology and allows you to talk to a people over web cam, and stream them what you are seeing and the directions use Google Maps and the inbuilt GPS to help you find your way.
The results are displayed on the prism – essentially putting data into your view like a head up display (HUD). It’s potentially incredibly handy. Also rather nifty is the potential for automatic voice and speech recognition – and Google has given its Glass project a big boost by snapping up specialists DNNresearch.
The applications for such a device are never-ending, from doctors and engineers working remotely out in the field diagnosing patients or repairing machinery and devices, to online learning and education, law enforcement and of course military applications.
The fact that this cool new device has come from a tech giant that ISN’T Apple, and the reality that many of the new smartphones are better and more innovative than the current Apple offering of late, may suggest that the death knell for Apple is tolling. One thing is for sure though….the maps function on these bad boys will DEFINITELY not get you lost!
The only thing I am doubting is the ability to stream live video from an aerobatic plane, as depicted in the video. That, for now, is still pie in the sky.