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Seeing through Google Glass

Created date

August 25th, 2014
Google Glass
Google Glass

A new trend popping up in the tech world is the idea of “wearable” technology. Smart watches were the first gadgets to gain mainstream popularity. These watches can sync with phones, monitor heart rate, and even take photos. 

This year the most anticipated and criticized wearable device is Google Glass. Glass is essentially a mini-computer worn as glasses and controlled by voice commands. These frames display data and have many of the same functions as current smartphones. 

How does Glass work?

At this time, Google Glass offers a limited selection of apps. However, it does have a number of clever hands-free uses, and future possibilities seem to be endless. For example, exercise enthusiasts can use the Strava app to track runs or bike rides using Glass’s Bluetooth and GPS. Users can log speed, elevation, and power to help them train more efficiently. Golfers might also find that Google Glass can improve their game. Apps GolfSight and SwingByte are the ultimate virtual caddy. These apps can tell you the exact distance of your ball from the pin. The app is also capable of monitoring swing data such as speed and trajectory. 

Google Glass is also ideal for those who like to travel. World Lens, an app that has been formatted for Glass, can translate foreign text in an instant with just a glance. Photos can be snapped, while directions and traffic information can be viewed, all without taking your hands off the wheel.

Where can I get Glass?

Google Glass is still in a beta-testing phase called the “Explorer” program. However, it is available to the public if you are over 18 and have $1,500 to spend. The high price of Glass is expected to decrease to that of the average smartphone in the years following the official release. Glass comes in a myriad of frame styles and colors. Even major fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg has been commissioned to design a line of high-end frames. 

Are there risks?

Glass is a major pioneer in the growing trend of wearable technology. As with most new technologies, there are some fears and security concerns. Critics of Glass are worried about social privacy. For instance, it will be difficult to tell if someone is using Glass to film others around them. Businesses, such as restaurants and movie theaters, have already begun to ban Glass. Another concern is that no password is needed to access information stored in the device, so personal data is at risk, even if the device is not lost or stolen. 

What is the bottom line?

Google Glass is only the first  product out of the “Smart Glasses” gate, but other companies are following close behind. Samsung, Sony, and Apple are three major brands that intend to have their own version out within the next couple of years. The bottom line? While the possibilities for this new technology seem endless, manufacturers are not quite there yet.