Oh hey, remember this thing?
Perhaps not, the device didn’t have a long life in the consumer world. This is the Google Glass. A few years back as wearable technology was enjoying massive popularity, Google developed this headset that would allow users to access the internet and do things like check email and make phone calls all with a simple voice command: “Ok Glass”. Released originally as a beta product, a buzzing community of “Glass Explorers” was created to play with and test the device, developing apps and exploring ways in which the Glass could be useful. For various reasons (including the limited way in which one could get their hands on a pair), the device didn’t exactly take off, and the program fizzled out (fun fact – our very first Tech Talk Thursday blog post discussed the end of the Glass Explorers program if you’d like to read a little more). But what’s become of the Glass since then?
Welcome to our first monthly Tech Talk Thursday! On the first Thursday of each month, the health sciences library’s technology experts will update you on the latest happenings in the world of tech.
On January 15th Google announced that it was ending the Google Glass Explorers Edition program – we’ve talked about the program a little before in a previous blog post. The product had been released in limited fashion to the public in April 2013. Google Glass was billed as a hands-free solution that could get you through your day by helping you to navigate city streets, keep in communication with your friends, and stay updated with the latest news and information. People even filmed themselves skydiving with the devices. Controversy over Google Glass arose as well. For example, there were privacy concerns over the built-in camera which made people uncomfortable about the potential of being surreptitiously filmed. Businesses began to preemptively ban the devices even before they were in the hands (and on the faces) of the public at large.
Google stopped short of saying that the program was being cancelled; rather it was to be folded into another division within Google. Further Google Glass development will be moved from the Google X, where Google houses experimental projects, to its own division under the Nest division which is overseen by Tony Fadell, formerly of Apple, Inc. where he helped in the development of the original iPod. The aim is to take what was learned during the Google Glass Explorers Edition program and put that technology and knowledge to create new technology to enrich us on a daily basis.
To be sure, the wearables markets is in its infancy. There are tons of devices coming out that seek to make technology a more integral part of your everyday life such as Android Wear devices, Apple Watch, FitBit activity trackers, and the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift. Time will tell what will become a part of everyday life for millions and what will end up in a dusty drawer. And for now you will need to use GoPros to record your skydiving adventures.
What would you do with Google’s new augmented reality super-smart eyeglasses if you could get your hands on a pair? This Wednesday, Google announced that 8,000 pairs of its interactive glasses will be sold to the public for $1,500 a piece. Even if you were willing to part with that much money, in order to purchase a pair, you need to convince Google that you have a creative and unique use for them. Google’s contest asks participants to use Twitter or Google+ to compose a message with the hashtag #ifihadglass explaining what they would do with the glasses if chosen. Participants can also submit five photos or a 15-second video. The deadline to enter is February 28, 2013. Check out the Huffington Post site below to see what others have come up.
Find out more from Google HERE.
Read more at the Huffington Post HERE.
Read more at NPR HERE and HERE.