In the last century, a few innovations have metamorphosed the way we communicate. The humble desktop computer, the World Wide Web and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, are certainly part of this influential list.
Google Glass introduced by Google little over a year ago, can prove to become another such game changer.
Google Glass – How does it work?
Google Glass is the first of its kind wearable technology, with looks and functionalities that merge hitherto science fiction with reality.
Designed like reading glasses but without the lenses, Google Glass has a small prism on the right side that works like a computer screen. Driven solely by voice and gesture commands, Google Glass can be used to record and share live images as seen from the eye of the wearer, as well as view and search online information. The device connects via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to the MyGlass App on Android and iOS devices.
Google Glass literally has the potential to transform the way we view, access and share information. Here’s a look at some of its everyday uses -
- Imagine you are flying a plane and sharing the actual experience as you see it with your friends, with the visuals captured through Google Glass and streamed live via the internet;
- Read the menu in a foreign language and have it translated to your language. This feature would be incredibly handy for the average international traveller.
- A satellite navigation app on Google Glass could make it much easier and safer for the driver to see the route and drive at the same time.
- Purely from a perspective of improving human lives, facial recognition if enabled on Google Glass, could assist medical causes such as helping Alzheimer’s patients recollect faces.
The hands-free feature could render wide scale benefits for improving human productivity, enhancing workforce efficiencies, and improving day-to-day lives. Doctors being able to view patient statistics without having to take their eye off the operating table and using Google Glass view for conducting trainings are some of the ways in which the device can improve medical outcomes. In fact, Philips Healthcare and Accenture are already in the midst of using Google Glass technology for delivering efficient patient care.
How can you buy Google Glass?
While the possibilities for application development for this exciting technology are many, Google has not yet started mass selling the $1500 headsets. As per Google, the technology is still in the formative stages and therefore the device is as of now, only provided to a select group of people under Google’s ‘The Glass Explorer Program’. So far, 10000 men and women of the global development community have been allowed to buy it.
Google Glass application development
The Google Glass mobile application ecosystem is called ‘Glassware’.
In November this year, Google released the Glass Development Kit (GDK) opening up several Glass features allowing app developers to access sensors in the device, create voice commands, and install third party apps, which until now had been restricted.
While it is nearly impossible to test an app for Google Glass without owning the device, Google is encouraging mobile app developers to start developing mobile applications for the digital eyewear. Since 80 percent of the Google Glass code is Android based, the understanding from Google is that the android applications can be optimised post Glass’s consumer launch.
Rather than merely recreating the mobile device user experience on Glass, Google wants developers to build apps that truly add value to users.
Some of the interesting Google Glass mobile applications that have already been developed include:
- Allthecooks - allows you to flip through the pages of a recipe as you cook without using your hands.
- GolfSight - calculates distances and can be mighty handy for the avid golfer.
- Wordlens - not only translates the foreign language text but also replaces it with the language of your choice.
- The Fancy a high fashion and luxury goods store has developed a mobile app that allows users to click any image they see in the real world and matches it with a product that has similar design or colour.
Google Glass application development restrictions
However several aspects are holding back large scale Glass app development. Developers state that the caginess of Google in allowing complete access for Glass application development options (particularly software) restricts development of mainstream consumer applications essential to widen the device’s appeal.
In its bid to keep privacy advocates at bay, Google has restricted facial recognition apps. An intentional 10-minute delay in geo-tagging images, poor battery life, and absence of prescription lenses are some of the other concerns. More importantly, currently there is no business model for Google Glass app sales.
It is expected that Google will start selling Google Glass by 2014. Businesses that see themselves as pioneers must be ready with apps for this fascinating wearable device.
RSK Business Solutions offers application development services for both Android as well as iOS mobile devices. If you have an idea for building an app on Google Glass, our team of application development experts in London is available for ready consultation. All you need is to fill our contact form.