Getting up to speed with Google Glass

Google Glass 3.jpg

What is Google Glass?

Google Glass is a wearable computer in the shape of a pair of glasses. Starting from Project Glass it combines many Google products into one single device that anyone can use. Technical specs for the device are currently as follows:

  • 5MP Camera (720p video)
  • Bluetooth + 802.11 b/g Wifi
  • 16GB Storage (12GB usable, Synced with Google Cloud storage)
  • Micro USB port + Charger
  • Full day Battery (Google Hangout + Video recording drains battery faster)
  • Bone conduction tranducer
  • Adjustable nosepads (one size fits all)
  • 640 x 360 pixel display (like 25-inch HD screen 2.4 meters away)

Awesome live demo of Google Glass at Google I/O 2012

What does it do?

Terminator HUD.jpg

See like the Terminator with Google Glass

It turns you into a Cyborg, or at least lets you see like one. While we're not sure what Google's main intentions for Google Glass are, it can do the following:

  • Project a HD video or image only you can see
  • Record 720p video
  • Shoot up to 5MP images
  • Connect to the Internet wirelessly
  • Stream or share Video or images
  • Search for whatever you want using Google Now
  • Translate languages
  • Send SMS messages (via Bluetooth connected Android smartphone)
  • Shows maps and directions in real-time
  • Automatically display related information based on what you're seeing

Google Glass in action in real-life

How does it work?


While it does have some automatic features, Google Glass works through voice commands and a select button that you can press on the side of the device. These are some of the current commands available:

Feature Voice activation text
Record video "ok, glass, record a video."
Take picture "ok, glass, take a picture."
Use Google Now "ok, glass, [question]."[39]
Start Google+ hangout "ok, glass, hang out with [person/circle]."
Search "ok, glass, google [search query]."
Search photos "ok, glass, google photos of [search query]."
Translate "ok, glass, say [text] in [language]."
Give directions "ok, glass, give directions to [place]."
Send message "ok, glass, send a message to [name]."
"ok, glass, send [name] that [message]."
"ok, glass, send [message] to [name]."
Display weather none/automatically (Google Now)
"ok, glass, how is the weather in [location]?"
"ok, glass, do I need an umbrella today?"
Give flight details none/automatically (Google Now)
"ok, glass, when does flight [flight number] depart from [airport]?"

What can it not do?


Get overlayed directions in real-time

Based on the tech specs, Google Glass is not a wearable smartphone as it cannot call out or send messages on its own. Rather than a smartphone, it would be more appropriate to call it a wearable tablet as it is more of a display device. While it can record video and images, it cannot create content in the same way you would normally use a computer. In the future you may be able to dictate messages and take down notes but so far, these features seem to be absent from the current Google Glass feature set.

When can I get one?

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Unfortunately, you can no longer get one. Google already held an early adopter contest back in February 2013 and Google Glass Explorer editions are on the way to these early adopters now. Developers wanting to create Google Glass apps can get the Google Glass Explorer edition for $1500 but Google have said that they will market a much more affordable version by the end of the year. While it doesn't say that you need LTE to use it (after all, it is only 802.11 b/g WiFi) the fact remains that you need a fast and stable Internet network in place to use most of the features. Technically you should be able to run it in Malaysia provided you're in LTE coverage areas but there is still no news when Google Glass will be available outside of the US.

Current news and the Future

Google Glass parody on how Guys would use it

Right now, debates are going on as to the privacy of having such a portable video recording device like Google Glass available. Already, some states in the US are banning Google Glass while many other media are showing negative parodies of Google Glass being used to cheat or do other negative things. One good news has surfaced though as Google have indicated that for now there will be no ads with Google Glass, clarified in the terms of Google Mirror, the API used to develop Google Glass apps. What would you want from Google Glass?