Google Glass Origins

Google has grown to be so much more than the most powerful and efficient search engine in the world. Riding the wave of innovation and development, the company has expanded their business into many different fields that define the internet today. Email has become synonymous with Gmail, Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, and Drive, Google’s entry in the cloud storage field, has been gaining market share and usage at a blistering pace.

All of this great success has encouraged Google to innovate and invest into next generation platforms that will define technology in the next decades. This is where the initial spark about Glass was ignited, in Google’s desire to push for the bleeding edge of technology.

Google Glass

What is Google Glass?

Google Glass is a wearable computing device that is meant to take all distractions that modern gadgets create away and let the user focus on human interactions with his environment. By putting the interface, the notifications and all of your information in a corner of your sight, you are free to go about your day without distractions. This is what Google had in mind when designing Glass. The device is made from a thin aluminum frame that houses all of the internal components in the side of the device, placing a small glass screen in front of your right eye.

What makes Glass unique?

The device itself is equipped with a bluetooth connection which enables it to talk to your smartphone in your pocket and push all important notifications to you. On the side of the device there is a touch sensitive area that can be used to control the interface, but the primary mean of using Glass is with your voice. Google has taken the excellent voice recognition software from Android and put it in Glass. The power of Google Search is right in front of your eyes. The way the device talks back to you is via a process called “bone transducer”, which sends sound waves directly to your inner ear, without making an outside noise.

Google Glass

Google Glass specifications

The display on Glass is a 640 x 360 high resolution display, which is the equivalent of a 25 inch HD screen when looked at from eight feet away. It has the usual 802.11b/g WiFi and bluetooth connectivity. Google claims that Glass features a battery that will last a one whole day, although it states that while using it for video conferencing with Hangouts on Google +, the battery life will drop slightly.

Google Glass camera specs

Glass is also equipped with a 5 megapixel camera capable of shooting 720p video. The photography community is very excited about Glass because it will give them the opportunity to take pictures at very unusual angles and perspectives. The ease of which pictures are taken with the phrase “Glass take a picture” is really something innovative and exciting.

Google Glass

Google Glass developer edition

Google has been working on Glass for several years, and they only recently announced that they will offer developer editions of Glass to a number of lucky individuals. To make sure that only those who really want to develop apps for the Glass platform, get a device, Google set up a competition called “If I had Glass” and encouraged people to use Twitter and Google+ to send their ideas under the hashtag #ifIhadGlass. The most innovative responses are eligible to purchase a developer edition of Google Glass.

Availability date

Google has maintained a notion that Glass will be available for purchase to the general public as early as the end of 2013. This device has all the makings of a truly revolutionary product that will fundamentally change the way we interact with tech and how we use it in our everyday lives.

Google Glass

Google Glass tech specs released

Full specs

Wireless LAN type 802.11b/g
Bluetooth Yes
Color of product White
Display resolution 640 x 360 pixel
Main camera resolution 5 MP, 720p Video
Internal storage capacity 12 GB

Google’s first foray into wearable technology is Google Glass. While it is yet to go mainstream, we have to admit that this is a really cool tech that everyone would like to try. So if you’re curious to find out what this device is packing inside its slim body, then take a look at the recently published spec sheet below.

Fit:

  • Adjustable nosepads and durable frame fits any face.
  • Extra nosepads in two sizes.

Display:

  • High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.

Camera:

  • Photos – 5 MP
  • Videos – 720p

Audio:

  • Bone Conduction Transducer

Connectivity:

  • WiFi – 802.11b/g
  • Bluetooth

Storage:

  • 12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.

Battery:

  • One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.

Charger:

  • Included Micro USB cable and charger.

While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind. Use it and preserve long and prosperous Glass use.

Compatibility:

  • Any Bluetooth-capable phone.
  • The MyGlass companion app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.

 

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.

Google Glass options Google Glass options

Google Glass uses display technology instead to put data in front (or at least, to the upper right) of your vision courtesy of a prism screen. This is designed to be easily seen without obstructing your view. According to Google the display is “the equivalent of a 25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away”. There’s no official word on native resolution, but 640 x 360 has been widely mooted.

Overlaying data into your vision has obvious benefits; many of which are already functional in Google Glass. Directions become more intuitive (although it sounds like there is no GPS on board so you will have to pair it with your phone), you can view real-time translations or transcriptions of what is being said, and you can scroll through and reply to messages – all on the fly.

Google Glass – certainly capturing plenty of attention Google Glass – certainly capturing plenty of attention

The embedded camera obviously does not need a viewfinder because it is simply recording your first-person perspective, allowing you to take snaps or footage of what you are actually seeing.

Any function that requires you to look at a screen could be put in front of you.

Controlling this data is the next neat trick. With a microphone and touchpad on one arm of the frame, you can select what you want to do with a brief gesture or by talking to the device, and Google Glass will interpret your commands.

Google Glass can also provide sound, with bone-induction technology confirmed. This vibrates your skull to create sound, which is both more grisly sounding and much less cumbersome than traditional headphones.

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 DNNresearch.

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.

Google Glass – another reason not to miss your flight Google Glass – another reason not to miss your flight

Other cool ideas include a air carrier’s suggestion that you could have flight flight details beamed to you while you are waiting at the airport. Basically, the sky’s the limit.

If you want to know if Google Glass is any good -TechRadar’s Alex Roth spent time with the device and said the following:

“Is Glass cool and entirely novel? Yes, it certainly is. Is it a device that will change the life of, or even just prove useful to, the average consumer? That’s doubtful.”

Leave a Reply or Message.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s