Google’s project program for developing a line of hands-free, head-mounted intelligent devices that can be worn by users as “wearable computing” eyewear. The first product release from Project Glass, Google Glass, was available for beta testers (U.S. residents only) to purchase in 2013, for $1,500 plus tax.
Interactive Glass Features
Google Glasses look like a pair of eyeglasses, but the lens of the glasses are an interactive, smartphone-like display, with natural language voice command support as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Google Glass is powered by the Android mobile operating system and compatibility with both Android-powered mobile devices and Apple iOS-powered devices is expected.
Early Versions and Beta Testing
Early versions of Google Glass were titanium-framed glasses (that fit with your prescription or no prescription at all) to show communications from your smartphone or Google accounts in the display. Google Glass was designed to take phone calls, send texts and also take photos and video and deliver search results. The wearable computing device is also keyed to voice commands, for example to take a picture you simply say “take a picture” to capture what is in your view.
App developers, working with Google, are currently developing software that will be incorporated into the consumer version of Google Glass in 2014. Google also offers the “The Glass Explorer Program” for people who want to get involved early and help shape the future of Glass. The program is open to U.S. residents, over 18 years old, and the beta tester must purchase the eyewear.
Google Glass Criticism
Early reports from testers suggest users can expect “curious stares” from those around them and several incidents of fights and verbal disagreements have been reported between the Glass wearer and people around them who did not wish to be recorded in a public place. One person in particular, Sarah Slocum, alleged she was harassed and attacked for wearing Glass in a Lower Haight bar (Source: SF Gate). Since then, a number of bars and restaurants in San Francisco and other cities have implemented a “no Glass” policy to prevent customers from recording other patrons.
As the Glass devices receive some serious criticism, Google’s response was to offer this list of 10 Google Glass Myths to try to counter the concerns:
Myth 2: Glass is always on and recording everything: Just like your cell phone, the Glass screen is off by default. Video recording on Glass is set to last 10 seconds. People can record for longer, but Glass isn’t designed for or even capable of always-on recording (the battery won t last longer than 45 minutes before it needs to be charged). So next time you re tempted to ask an Explorer if he s recording you, ask yourself if you d be doing the same with your phone. Chances are your answers will be the same.