As skepticism and excitement build around Google Glass, more consumers and tech developers are wondering what these smart-glasses actually do and how they might integrate into everyday society. Early versions of Google Glass, deemed the Explorer Series, are expected to be shipped to developers, investors and winners of the ‘If I Had Glass’ campaign within the next month.
So, given all the tools, games, cameras and mobile apps already available to smartphone and tablet users, what makes Google Glass so special? The answer to this question revolves around Google Glass’ close integration with the human body. Even though Google Glass will offer tools already common to many smart devices, smart-glass changes the game by taking the interface out of your hands and fusing it with your sense of sight. Short of injecting nanotechnology into your bloodstream or physically linking a machine to your optical nerves, Google Glass may be the closest thing we have seen to biotechnology entering mainstream culture.
The essential difference Google wishes to highlight between Glass and other smart technologies is its seamless integration with the human body. Whereas smartphones, tablets and smart-watches require the use of your hands and peripheral vision, Google Glass allows you to perform regular tasks, with all your limbs, while maintaining a centered field of vision. Although this hands-free device allows you to perform many tasks with your voice alone, this smart-glass technology may prove to be too obtrusive for people who would rather use a concealable, handheld smartphone.
Prefaced by the phrase “OK Glass,” users can command Google Glass to perform various multimedia tasks. Although voice recognition technology has been around for quite some time, smart-glass changes the game by removing other physical actions from the equation.
With options to live-stream video and record in 720p HD, Google Glass introduces an unprecedented point-of-view (POV) camera feature. Whereas many POV devices in the past involved heavyweight helmet-cameras or shoulder-mounted rigs, Google Glass presents the closest thing we’ve seen to a lightweight, actual point-of-view device. With reactions ranging from excitement to dystopian skepticism, most have viewed the possibilities for this technology as either exciting or downright terrifying.
By saying, “OK Glass, take a picture,” Google Glass will take a photograph from your current point-of-view. Although details are still foggy, it is generally assumed Google Glass’ camera will come with features common to most digital cameras and smartphones.
Virtual Directions and GPS
Tying in with Google Maps and Google Earth, the new Google Glass makes global positioning as easy as speaking a few words. By overlaying your field-of-vision with graphically displayed maps and other information, Google Glass can illustrate driving and walking directions directly in front of you.
Text and Voice Messaging
Simply by speaking to Google Glass, you can send messages to any available recipient. Although this may be disorienting for people in the same physical area as you, this messaging service can be much easier than manually typing a message into a smartphone.
Prefaced by the phrase “OK Glass,” users can command Google Glass to perform various multimedia tasks. For example, say you are looking for an internet provider in Califonia. You could say, “OK Glass, Google CLEAR internet in Pasadena”. Afterwhich it would bring up your search results for internet in Pasadena, California. Although voice recognition technology has been around for quite some time, smart-glass changes the game by removing other physical actions from the equation.
Paired with Google Translate, you can ask Google Glass how to say a word or phrase in a particular language. This feature can come in handy for international travelers who happen to be carrying luggage or doing something else with their hands.
With customized updates, you can program Google Glass to automatically display information about the weather, train-schedules, airport departure times, stock quotes, subway trains and a variety of other information.