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Geeking out on Google Glass

Geeking out on Google Glass
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Google’s Glass Project is one of the biggest stories of 2013. The first units of the innovative, smartphone-connected, heads-up display are starting to make it to the lucky few who pre-ordered Glass a year ago during the Google I/O developer conference.

Google Glass is the next step in computing. A transparent heads-up display in the form of a pair of eyeglasses (which will eventually work with prescription lenses), Glass pumps audio directly to the user’s inner ear using pulses through bones in the skull.

It’s a platform with unlimited potential. Currently, Glass can be used to navigate and explore one’s surroundings, shoot HD video and photos, and share information. The sky is the limit once developers create applications to maximize what this device can do.

I see Glass as the future of mobile computing; it’s the perfect handsfree way to interact with the pocket computers that our smartphones have evolved into. With products like Glass, we’re putting the best that technology has to offer at our disposal. Smartphone technology powers the glasses and provides access to data, GPS location information, storage, and all the applications used for communication and interaction.

Glass also uses cloud computing since a lot of the heavy lifting happens on remote servers. Cloud computing powers the augmented reality engines that Google relies on to update location information, push news and social media update, as well as manage realtime video conference and video streaming right from the user’s point of view.

Google Glass is designed to be controlled by voice. Much like Siri and Google Now, Glass can run searches, check sports scores, begin recording HD video or take snapshots. Voice also allows users to make calls, send text messages, and access the language translation application.

Each industry can find ways to use Glass. As a reporter, I see Glass as the best possible event coverage tool. When I have to liveblog an event, I am usually typing a post, tweeting the big announcements, and taking photos when possible.

With Glass, I can take pictures simply by winking and upload those to my blog post in real time, leaving my hands free to type. I can also capture videos of product demos and give viewers a real !rst-person perspective of what I am looking at. It’s extremely geeky but the benefits can’t be denied.

Interviews can also be shot in this first-person perspective and quickly shared or even streamed live.

We can already do all this, but the amount of equipment to carry it out is staggering. With Glass, all you need are the glasses, a smartphone, and a 4G/LTE connection and you’re in business.

Other applications of Google Glass run the gamut. For medicine, being able to record or transmit live footage of procedures and operations while a panel of experts watches on could save lives. There are also military, police, sports applications. And the list goes on.

There’s a flipside to technology like Google Glass, though. People could abuse it. Eyeglasses that record videos and take pictures can be misused in a variety of ways, especially since it is connected to the ’net. Some would say it is a problem waiting to happen. What would the paparazzi do with Google Glass? I dread to think.

Privacy watchdogs and paranoid people will likely frown upon anyone wearing Glass or will be extra cautious that they are being recorded. This is all inevitable; the same thing happened when smartphones started sporting digital cameras.

As with any new and innovative technology, there’s potential for good as well as for bad. In the case of Google Glass, I still think we should all be excited that this technology is available in our lifetime and will quite possibly become mainstream in a matter of years.

Words Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

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