Google Glass, Tomorrow’s Technology Today

by Erica T
There are so many different technologies that are being developed in the modern world. We live in an age of technology. In our lifetime, we have seen cellphones emerge from the big Nextel bricks and large flip phones that used to exist, to the sleek iPhones, powerful Samsung S4s and powerful HTC Ones of today. There are so many incredible innovations being made to the world of technology, and all of these are developed using familiar processes that we have studied in CIS 311. The prototyping development method is especially useful in creating the technology of tomorrow. I chose one, in particular, to speak about today, and that is Google’s new Google Glass.

Google’s innovative new wearable computer, Google Glass, is classified as an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) and augmented reality device (ARD). It was taken on under Google X, the same branch of Google that develops other futuristic technologies such as driverless cars. The project lead for Google Glass is Babak Parviz. This new technology has been in development for years, but is currently finally under beta testing by so-called “Google Explorers”, individuals who can apply to be the trial market for Google Glass, and the final product is predicted to hit the mainstream market by the end of this year. Google’s chosen tagline for this new, forward-thinking product is “getting technology out of the way”. The main focus of Glass is to offer consumers technology that is seamlessly and effortlessly incorporated into their daily lives, making it easier for consumers to get the information they need, when they need it.

Google Glass was built to answer specific consumer desires and needs. According to Google, it provides “a lot of the same features as a mobile phone” (Bilton, NY Times). Glass provides a map function, to find directions on the fly, a seamless camera, and e-mail. Glass enables the consumer to get answers to everyday questions, no matter where they are.  It provides a method for consumers to record what they see—whether by snapshot or video—as they see it. It allows users to find various colors for a jacket or pair of shoes as they shop, and order it online. Google Glass even provides the consumer with coupons for various local restaurants and merchants as they’re out on the town, similar to Yelp. Glass can also provide guided tours for travelers in a new area, although consumers will have to be willing to deal with ads along the way. Another feature, built specifically for business users of Google Glass, is the facial recognition, which will match an individual that a consumer meets to a contact. This is especially convenient to help make sure that no one ever forgets an important name again. However, the other question is, will lit be professional to wear Google Glass at business events?

Throwaway prototyping has produced three different versions of Google Glass that are out for testing among the various “Google Explorers” chosen to test the product. The original Google Glass is a frame without a lens, sporting a small device on the right side, and thin wire nose rests to support the frame. It is modern, yet takes some getting used to when seen worn by a Google Explorer. The next version of Google Glass is the Google Explorer, created for the outdoorsy and adventurous Google Glass consumer. This version includes dark sunglasses attached to the Glass frame. Finally, the newest version of Google Glass is Google Glass Titanium Edition, theoretically for prescription lens wearers who would like to take advantage of Glass. This version of Glass provides lightweight titanium frames that can then be fitted for the consumer’s own particular prescription.

The biggest issue currently with Google Glass is that of privacy. Those who do not own Google Glass are worried that their daily movements and activities will be recorded by a consumer who owns Glass in their midst, since it’s impossible to tell whether or not an individual is taking a photo or recording an event. It is a valid issue, and Google has since released an almost-comical, but also serious list of “Do’s’ and Don’ts” for using Google Glass, to help avoid consumers becoming what has been dubbed “Glassholes”. This list includes tips like “ask someone before you take a photo or film them” and “don’t stand in a corner of a room and stare at everyone around you” or “don’t simply stand and stare up at the sky”. For the most part, Google Explorers are still learning how to fully incorporate Google Glass into their daily lives. Glass provides a lot of information in the consumer’s direct point of view all at once, and consumers will need some time to get used to the information flow. Critics say that Google Glass is simply “too much”, and that people do not need to be flooded with such an information overload.

Despite the flaws in the current prototype, it seems that Google Glass, for the most part, has a solid future in the consumer market. In an age built around technology, people are hungry for new technologies to show off, to help make their lives easier, or to simply utilize in new and creative ways. There is a documentary, called Project 2×1, based in Brooklyn that was built solely around Google Glass, using Glass as an innovative new form of a “first-hand perspective” in the documentary. Google Glass will be a huge benefit for people who are constantly on the go, and do not necessarily want to deal with pulling out a cell phone or a GPS device to find directions, or simply need to know in a hurry when their next appointment is. With further testing by Google Explorers, I believe that Google Glass will be a successful new technology in the market.

 

 

Resources:

Cross, D. (2014, February 19). Google: How not to be a ‘Glasshole’. In CNN. Retrieved February 19, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/19/tech/mobile/google-glasshole/index.html?hpt=te_t1

Dignan, L. (2012, April 5). Google’s Project Glass: Envisioning the business boost. In CNET. Retrieved February 19, 2014, from http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57409781-76/googles-project-glass-envisioning-the-business-boost/

Hong, J. (2013, November). Considering privacy issues in the context of Google glass [Electronic version]. Communications of the ACM, 56(11), 10-11.

Kelly, H. (2013, December 12). Google Glass users fight privacy fears. In CNN. Retrieved February 19, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/10/tech/mobile/negative-google-glass-reactions/

Pederson, I., & Trueman, D. “Sergey Brin is Batman”: google’s project glass and the instigation of computer adoption in popular culture. CHI ’13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2089-2098. doi:10.1145/2468356.2468728

 

17 thoughts on “Google Glass, Tomorrow’s Technology Today

  • February 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm
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    Great article! It was really wear Google Glass myself, but ultimately the hype behind the product goes beyond it’s actual capabilities. For example, if you ask random people to describe what wearing Google Glass would be like, they typically describe stuff coming up right in front of your vision and flying across your eyes and whatnot. The reality is, you only see a small amount of data in the upper right hand of your vision. It doesn’t really “float” there like some describe, but more of is like a projection on that little clear rectangle that sticks out. It definitely is in a prototype phase as its usability seemed very primitive to me, but I am excited to see what a production version will be like!

  • February 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm
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    I agree with kiferris, this was one of the presentations that interested me because I thought about purchasing the Explorer edition. Even if Google Glass is unsucessful, i can easily interpret how a device like this will be used by billions in the future, to record lectures or movies or sports so that we will be able to capture moments that we would have never thought possible

  • March 4, 2014 at 11:33 pm
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    I always found the idea of Google Glass pretty god damn amazing but I never thought of how odd one would look as he/she is looking up at the sky all the time. I also see how it would create headaches with your vision only being focused on one spot all the time but what had me thinking is have they found a way to prevent glare from the sunlight as it is two separate glasses with a gap and it will create glare at the right angle and the time of day. On the other hand, Good job!

  • March 8, 2014 at 11:43 am
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    The implementation of Google Glass into our lives is inevitable, whether we need it or not. The tablet set the stage for this style of over adopting technology products. In many cases tablets were bought by consumers because they thought that concept was cool without having any real use for them. People had to find a place in their day to day lives for the device and I feel the glass is going to be along the same track. So I’d agree with the above comments that Glass is indeed over hyped given the actual capabilities however looking at the publics ability to over adopt technology I don’t see this product having any problem getting adopted by the general public.

  • March 8, 2014 at 4:52 pm
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    Great Article! I really enjoyed learning about google glass through out your presentation. I am suppressed how people are getting tickets driving wit google glass on its no more distracting than the big navigation display or your turn by turn directions shown on your phone. I do like the POV realtime features such as pictures and video display. Hopefully we will see these great inventions soon.

  • March 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm
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    I think it’s really amazing to see how far technology is taking us. Google Glass is so futuristic! I really like the idea that Google Glass can help aid the disabled like you showed in class. It was inspiring to see how the lady featured in the video clip was able to get part of her life back and enjoy doing the things she once loved using this gadget.

  • March 17, 2014 at 2:52 pm
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    I don’t particularly think that the Google glass is revolutionary but the way it processes information the amazing part. It has all the functionality of a phone but the way it gathers data based on what you are looking at and is able to give you back relevant information. I also don’t think that this is going to be a widespread product, it is going to have a more niche set of users. Additionally I also liked that you brought ethics into account which is a concern for any future technology along with all the information it gathers while in use.

  • March 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm
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    I think Google glass is too far ahead of its time. That’s one of the reasons why there’s a lot of criticism. A jump from a regular phone to this type of technology is just too big. People needs to be educated first and I bet in a few years or so this will be mainstream. I believe Google can pull this of. It just needs time and maybe a little bit of tweaking.

  • March 17, 2014 at 5:31 pm
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    I think Google Glass will become popular, but not for a few more years atleast. Like others have said, it’s just too far ahead of its time. People are not willing to part ways with their phones just yet. It’d be good to see some other version of an eyeglass that has some electrical functionality. If those were ever to become popular, I can see Google Glass being a big hit. Right now, Glass just looks like a smartphone you can use without your hands.

  • March 18, 2014 at 7:17 pm
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    Google Glass is amazing. I wish I could have the funds to purchase my own because I can only imagine what scenarios that the Google Glass can be perfect for. I just wish Google Glass can find a way where they can incorporate the entire glasses to provide a full range of neat facts about the world.

  • March 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm
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    Google Glass is the piece of technology to the future of concept of new way display and control information. From many of Japanese animation, such as AppleSeed, in this animation, you can see many people are using more advanced this piece of technology as cellphone, computer, and etc. just wearing a device like on ears. The display will show any information the user wants and requests, and execute it. However, after 5-10 years from now I hope I can see the industry can develop the technology build-in into both glass lens, so no need to wear heavy plugs on glasses. In the meantime, the display not only show at the corner of the user’s vision, but also fully surrounded like a part of your vision.

  • March 18, 2014 at 10:17 pm
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    After doing some reading on my own, the potential that this has is off the chart. This is a whole new platform for a whole new form of apps. Imaging what you can do in real-time with a device like this. Imagine the games that incorporate the person and their environment. I see this being the first step in human evolution to be honest, the amount of information readily available keeps becoming more readily available. Singularity is arriving faster and faster it seems. What would compliment Google Glass is some wholesome Wide Area Network coverage for cities. Ditch the SIM card and this thing grows wings.

  • March 19, 2014 at 12:00 am
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    This is a phenomenal idea, but way to hard to implement. I feel that the safety concerns that come with the nature of the glasses will always weigh this technology down regardless of how appealing it seems.

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:35 am
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    Google glass is great gadget to be used in today’s business world. I think it would be awesome if they started implementing Google glass technology in the military. I can only imagine how much of a difference it makes for our troops and what kind of results we can expect to see.

  • March 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm
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    I believe that wearable technology is the next step in mobile technology. It used to be the smartphone but I believe that smartphone technology is reaching a plateau and many tech companies are slowly starting to release wearable devices. I have mixed feelings about Google Glass. It is a very innovative and futuristic product but it does raise privacy concerns. Google is trying its best to combat privacy concerns. For example Google stated that facial recognition apps will be not be allowed on the product officially. However that won’t stop developers/hackers to implementing it unofficially. It is also very expensive and will be out of reach for a majority of the public. However I believe that Google is shifting their attention to smartwatches. They announced an operating system based on Android called Android Wearable and are working closely with OEM’s to build those watches such as the Moto 360.

  • March 19, 2014 at 7:48 pm
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    Google glass is a tremendous idea. It has the potential to stop so much crime as well as impacting the next wave of technology. I believe there was also a crime caught on camera that was later returned to the police and they caught the person involved.

  • March 21, 2014 at 12:18 am
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    Google is always pushing the boundaries when it comes to technology, however they are also seemingly pushing boundaries when it comes to privacy. The idea of Glass furthers people being able to have a connection to their technology at all times, and it is an extraordinary idea. Unfortunately the challenges dealing with privacy and data storage will be quite significant. It surely is the way of the future; the question is if we can properly manage the challenges that come with it.

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