Tech is always changing and evolving; devices seen as futuristic only a few years ago are now mainstream and in everyday use. And one of the more outlandish tech devices of the past year has been Google's augmented reality project Google Glass. This device has had some impressive media coverage, with many wondering how exactly it will work. Now that the first, limited edition has been released, we can finally answer that question...kind of.
Google recently posted a video on YouTube giving a quick run-through of how to use Glass. Before we go over how users will interact with this new tech, here's a brief overview of the project.
What is Glass? Project Glass was introduced by Google in early 2012, and is essentially a wearable computer (running a version of Android) you wear on your head like glasses. Indeed, the shape of the device at first glance resembles a pair of spectacles: there are the usual two arms along with nose grips. However, instead of glass, there is a mini screen or HUD (Head Up Display) that sits just above your right eye. The HUD displays information much like a smartphone screen, and you can interact with the computer and the Internet using voice commands.
Currently, wearer's with prescription glasses can't actually use the device, but Google has confirmed that the device, if you can call it that, will eventually have lenses much like a normal pair of glasses.
So, how does it work? The video (watch it here), uploaded by Google, sheds a little light on how a user will interact with this device. For example there is a touch-sensitive area on the arm of the device which extends from your temple to just above your right ear. Tapping this will wake it from sleep mode, and display a clock on the screen which sits just above your right eye.
The clock is your home screen, and looks similar to the clock on the lock screen of almost every Android device. You can scroll to the left (by touching the pad near your ear and moving it towards your ear. This will display upcoming information like the weather, flights, or events.
Touching the pad and swiping towards your eye will display information from previous uses like messages, pictures and videos. Tapping on the screen will activate that relevant information. For example, if you are looking at a brief overview of an event, you can tap the device to bring up more information.
One of Google's previous videos showed how you can also interact with Glass by using voice commands. Saying, "Ok glass, take a picture." Will take bring up the camera and take a picture of what you're looking at. You can also ask questions to have glass search Google Now by saying something like, "Ok Glass, What is the traffic like?" To bring up a Google Map with the latest traffic highlighted.
Will it be useful for business? While this is undoubtedly one of the coolest products of the past couple of years, the actual usefulness of the device for business remains to be seen. For now, this device will likely be the domain of app developers and extreme early adopters. But this device, like the smartphone, will likely be incredibly disruptive when it's launched for the masses.
What do you think of Google Glass? Would you buy one if you had the opportunity? Let us know.