The future is here, and how! What seemed like elements of popular science fiction are now becoming reality thanks to the exploration of technological concepts never attempted before by a few intrepid adventurers on the tech landscape. Among several jaw-dropping inventions that seem to define modern life by the day, stands this small and yet powerful instrument, called the Google Glass. So what does a web giant like Google have to do with a pair of spectacles?
Well, a well-known yet highly secret division of Google, called Google X, set up specifically to create technology of the future, came up with the vision (pardon the pun) of creating a wearable computer in the form of a head-mounted display on a spectacle frame in 2011. Though the prototype weighed a spine-bending 8 lbs., the new and improved version, called the Explorer Edition, weighs less than an average pair of sunglasses.
So what can Google Glass do? Ever wondered, as you’re driving down a highway, and your GPS system isn’t working, and there are no signs to guide you, how you’re going to find your way? If that seems far-fetched, consider this: you’re driving down a road to a destination you’ve never been to before, and you need a quick visual on the route by which you can get there, and voila! Google Glass can show you a route projection that you can look at and follow right while driving! Thus, you’d see:
What else can you do with this futuristic gadget? Well, you can record any situation with the touch of a button, and get the best style of recorded video, one that has everything that appeals to you. You can take high resolution snaps, and app developers have even developed apps using which you can take a picture using voice commands like ‘Okay Glass, take a picture’ or even by winking! I can’t imagine that a person seemingly randomly winking at different objects or people would be seen as entirely sane or safe by others, but well, that’s the kind of futuristic technology we’re talking about.
We all need to keep reminders nowadays as there are just too many things to remember. But with Google Glass, the advantage is that now a reminder will literally beam in front of your eye, making it impossible for you to forget the task that needs to be done.
Besides this, you can see weather information, circle updates from your Google+ account, phone calls, photos and more. Android app developers, and even iOS ones, are developing apps for the Glass, including those providing news updates, facial recognition abilities, photo manipulation, translation, sharing to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Here are some images of views through the Google Glass.
Image source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EvNxWhskf8
Image source: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/google-glass/
Image source: http://glass-apps.org/gps-google-glass-app
So what does the Glass comprise of? It has a touchpad, a camera and a display. The touchpad allows you to see a timeline where you can see phone calls, weather information, circle updates, etc. The camera has the ability to record 720p HD video, and the LED display provides clean images easily readable by the retina.
In spite of its futuristic looks and handsfree computer-like capabilities, Google Glass still seems like something that was designed not for the common man but for tech specialists, as well as those in fields like medicine. There is a documented case of a doctor who recorded an important operation for future study and analysis by wearing Google Glass while performing it. Notwithstanding such benefits, the very steep price tag of $1500, coupled with the fact that most features that you can enjoy today on an Android device are missing, make this device a miss for the layman. Google has come out with an improved version of the Explorer Edition of the Glass, called Google Glass 2, that included new accessories and made prescription glasses compatible with the frames. Google is slated to launch an Consumer Edition of the Glass sometime late this year. Let’s see what new improvements are in store and whether this becomes the next tech phenomenon to become part of our regular lives.