What is Google Glass?
Google Glass is an attempt to free data from desktop computers and portable devices like phones and tablets, and place it right in front of your eyes.
Essentially, Google Glass is a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone built into spectacle frames so that you can perch a display in your field of vision, film, take pictures, search and translate on the go.
The principle is one that has been around for years in science fiction, and more recently it’s become a slightly clunky reality. In fact, the “heads-up display” putting data in your field of vision became a reality as early as 1900 when the reflector sight was invented.
What can Google Glass do?
As well as Google’s own list of features, the early apps for Google Glass provide a neat glimpse into the potential of the headset.
As well as photos and film – which require no explanation – you can use the Google hangout software to video conference with your friends and show them what you’re looking at.
You’ll also be able to use Google Maps to get directions, although with GPS absent from the spec list, you’ll need to tether Glass to your phone.
To do that, Google offers the MyGlass app. This pairs your headset with an Android phone. As well as sharing GPS data, this means messages can be received, viewed on the display, and answered using the microphone and Google’s voice-to-text functionality.
Google has given its Glass project a big boost by snapping up voice specialists DNN research.
That functionality will also bring the ability to translate the words being spoken to you into your own language on the display. Obviously you’ll need a WiFi connection or a hefty data plan if you’re in another country, but it’s certainly a neat trick if it works.
Third parties are also already developing some rather cool/scary apps for Google Glass – including one that allows you to identify your friends in a crowd, and another that allows you to dictate an email.
The New York Times app gives an idea how news will be displayed when it’s asked for: a headline, byline, appropriate image and number of hours since the article was published are displayed.
What Do You Think of Google Glass? Will Magherafelt be embracing this new technology?