Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Google Glass

Google Glass, the cool new wearable computer, isn't out quiet yet but the library has managed to get a pair and you can borrow them to see how they work. So, how do they work? Simple. Just put them on like you would any normal pair of glasses. Adjust them so the clear prizm is just above your line of sight. Most of the time while wearing them the screen is off so it doesn't distract you. There are two ways to turn it on. Either tap the touch pad on the side of the glasses or tilt your head up 40 degrees (a built in accelerometer senses the movement and turns on the screen). The first thing you'll see on the screen is the time and the phrase "OK Glass" under it. Here is where the magic happens. Interacting with Glass can happen a few different ways. Using the touch pad on the side allows you to scroll through a series of slides. Scroll to the right to see things that have happened like pictures you've taken, text messages, news articles, or past google searches. Scroll to the left to see active slides like current sports scores, weather, or Glass settings. If you want to interact with a slide simply tap the touch pad. Depending on the slide there are several things you can do. Share a photo with contacts via email or text, respond to a text, or open a webpage from a google search just to name a few. To get out of a slide swipe down on the touch pad. Swiping down is like the back button on a computer. Swiping down enough times will get you back to the time screen and then turn off the screen.
The next way of interacting with Glass is definitely the most fun and really the main way that you'll get it to do anything. First go to the time screen either by tapping the side or tilting your head up. From here just say the phrase "OK Glass" and you'll get a list of suggestions.   
Then just say what you want and it shall be done. Say "take a picture" and it will. Say "google small dog breeds" and it will. Say "get direction to Disney World" and you'll be on your way. All the built in suggestions are basic but work well. It seems that every day third party developers are finding new ways to use and adapt Glass. The translate app is one of my favorites. Tell Glass to translate from Spanish to English and anything you see written in Spanish will be translated before your eyes. Pretty cool!
Although Glass has built in WiFi you'll need to connect it to a phone to gain access to some of the features like directions and messaging. This is a small price to pay since most people who use them will be carrying their phone anyway.
They have a ways to go convincing everyone that they need these and the exorbitant price tag is worth it but Google is definitely on their way.

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