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The future of Google Glass

Thu, 05/16/2013 - 3:49pm
Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

There has been a lot of talk about Google Glass lately, mostly due to the prototype debut, but one interesting aspect of that public viewing is that developers –outside of GoogleLand—can take a crack at coming up with interesting uses for the technology. By allowing new voices into the conversation, the world is seeing even more possibilities for Google Glass.  

This must be pretty far into the future. The video depicts a man bicycling along a path when he gets a message “Change our meeting to 2pm?” He tells Google Glass to reply, “Sounds good.” And it does! That’s impressive right there, considering my phone can’t understand what I’m telling it in a sound proof room with just me and Siri occupying  the space. Clearly, this video is living in a dream world, but let’s discuss some of the other future Google Glass options.

They showcase some not-so-interesting options (paying for coffee, viewing videos)  before getting to one that piqued my interest: shopping cart scanning. Like most people, I enjoy eating, which means I occasionally have to do the dreaded grocery shopping. Unless I’m lucky enough to be living near a Wegmans, it’s not generally a pleasant task, so I’m in favor of anything that makes it go faster. The video highlights that the glasses could act as a scanner and final tally of all of your items. I imagine, because it’s connected to the internet, it could probably snag some pretty nice coupon deals without any effort on your end.

I also really like the idea of requesting a taxi, but that’s something that could pretty easily be done on a cellphone. Google Glass simply eliminates the bag-to-hand shuffle that happens when you try to grab your phone from your pocket with full hands.

One feature I hadn’t thought about was how Google Glass could help in emergency situations. Not only does the technology open a video chat with the 911 operator—this could be especially helpful when dealing with children—it also lists an estimated arrival time for help and provides CPR directions while you wait. The face-to-face interaction for a 911 operator is much more calming than just a voice, particularly if you’re the injured one.

The one program I have a problem with is watching the score of the game when you’re out with your friends. People have enough trouble focusing when a cellphone is simply on the table, let alone physically attached. This could really up the ante when it comes to unplugging.

All in all, I think Google Glass has great potential, but it could also have unintended consequences. For example, there is no way we’re getting away with wearing this and not damaging our eyesight. But, it’s always amazing to see the ingenuity and ideas of future programmers that could change society forever.

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