Saturday, June 1, 2013

Google Glass

Image credit: Josh Miller/CNET

Google Glass is, simply put, Google on your face. The titanium-framed wearable computer has the ability to take the very most recent communications from your smartphone or Google accounts and show them to you in a head-up display.

Google Glass takes photos and videos, sends text messages, engages in FaceTime-like Google Hangouts, makes phone calls, searches Google, and gets turn-by-turn navigation with maps. It can show the weather, the time, and headlines from The New York Times that have been pushed to the device, with spoken headline summaries. [For now, anyway, that's about it].

The $1,500 test unit – the Explorer Edition, a quasi-prototype version of Google Glass – was distributed to select app developers and general consumers, known as ‘Explorers’.

Usability impressions of Google Glass are mostly positive; being described as a straightforward and intuitive device to operate. When the display is not active, a simple finger tap to the touch sensitive piece of Google Glass will activate the display unit (an upward tilt of the head will accomplish the same for 100% hands-free operation). After the display is active, interactions with Glass occur via voice commands.

Saying “OK Glass” will open a menu of possible options. The user can then command Glass to “Send a message to…” “Record a video,” “Give directions to…” or a number of other commands. Google appears to have already streamlined the operating side of Glass. This is quite encouraging for a product not officially slated to be released until 2014.

But Google Glass lacks cellular connectivity of its own. Instead, Glass is a supplementary device having to rely on a user’s smartphone cellular connection for all of its Internet connected functionality.

Still, it is one cool product to show off!

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