If you watch a vintage science-fiction movie, you’ll notice that everyone from the ‘future’ wears skin-tight silver suits and drives around in hovercrafts. Whilst this may seem farfetched at the moment, if Google’s new creation is anything to judge by, hovercrafts and robots may not be far off.
Image source how-do-it.info via Pinterest
The ‘Google Glass’ is a pair of glasses offering the wearer a view of an augmented reality. It is ultimately a hands-free digital experience like no other. Consider the vast array of gadgets available to us to aid us in telling the time, connecting with friends, making memories and even navigating the roads: cameras, clocks, phones, sat navs. Now imagine all these technologies in one, hands-free device entirely activated by speech. On the surface, this seems like a fairly simple concept when considering the technologically innovative creation of smart phones and tablets.
However, as we take a closer look at the ‘Google Glass’ it becomes clear that a simple concept makes for a complex, multifarious device to revolutionise the way we use digital technology.
How exactly does it work?
The Google Glass supports a compact computer system to host all of the device’s features, including Wi-Fi, microphone, speakers, Bluetooth, a 720 pixel camera and a touchpad, all held in a lightweight frame. With the microphone, the user is able to say “Okay Glass” followed by a command to launch a search through ‘Google Now’ connected to the search engine. Using an integrated digital display, the answer or action is then displayed in front of the viewer’s eyes as though it is part of the visual reality they see. For example, the user could simply say “take a photo” and the device would take a photo of the scene viewed through the Glass. When used as a GPS device, the user can easily navigate their surroundings, blurring the connection between reality and digital technology. The world around them is then labelled and facts provided on an automatic display in front of their eyes as though they are a character in their very own video game.
All these functions are available in a lightweight, sturdy frame which can be flexed and twisted to fit. Although the device is called ‘Google Glass’ there are no lenses attached to the frame. It consists of a metal, wraparound narrow frame with attached nosepads and the plastic device on one arm of the frame. This design has since been developed with a visor-shaped tinted lens for a sunglasses version of the device. Look out for a variety of customisable options, including colour variations and apps.
As with many new devices, the Google Glass is not currently readily available to the public. For a chance to own a pair, applicants sent responses to an #ifihadglass topic for a chance to be a ‘Glass Explorer’. However, judging by the immediate success of the devices, including a wide celebrity following, it is hoped that the Google Glass will soon be released to the general public.
Victoria writes for a glasses direct retailer, Direct Sight.