Google Glass : New technologies for future
Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin affords WSJ's Spencer Ante an exclusive look at Google's new Internet-enabled glasses. Google Glass proposes to create a hands-free user experience for most smart phone and computer functions.
Google plans to release a beginning version early next year for the hardcore fans who shelled out $1,500 on pre-order, merely Google Glass will continue a novelty item as long as the price tag stays that high.
Google will figure all that out, I'm sure, as it has a track record for showing continuing improvements to many of its products. The company has even hired several of the investigators who worked with Steve Mann, who's considered the godfather of wearable computing, to assist develop the glass technology.
We have seen to it Google Glass trotted around more than a few times at present on the faces of plenty of Google employees and even on a handful of models, but information on how the device functions and what its capabilities are beyond photography have been highly difficult to come by.
We have previously only had a few hints as to how Google Glass will be controlled, but Spencer Ante explains that he could say "OK, Glass" to open up a menu with options like taking a phone call, record a video, take a picture, or use Google Maps. Ante also only had to say "take a photo" to photograph whatever he was seeing at, and was notified by an icon in the heads-up show. No information is revealed regarding the patented touch controls that we've previously seen used by Sergey Brin, but it's clear that there are ways to use the device without shouting out at it.
"Take a photo."
A couple of other pieces of functionality were also revealed: as shown in the video below, Ante is placed into a virtual fact scene at one point, in which he is able to walk around a 360-degree panorama. Additionally, Sergey Brin talked about a time-lapse mode that he uses to take photos automatically while playing with his kids — allowing him to avoid any interruptions.
Finally, however, it sounds like Google Glass is as much of a prototype as you would imagine. The hardware is still as solid and light as when our own Joshua Topolsky tried out a pair at Google I/O, but Ante describes the software as "balky." It turns out that key features like messaging notifications, telephone calls, and Maps aren't functional yet. That's to be expected — Glass is from the Google X laboratory and is still being developed — but considering the slow trickle of information about how the glasses will work, we're starting to wonder just how very far the $1,500 Explorer Edition glasses will be from that original ambitious concept video when they ship early next year.
Project Glass has already given adrenaline junkies a POV view of a skydiver's freefall, and now Google's giving fashionistas a similar rush with a new film about New York Fashion Week. It was shot entirely with Glass by various folks at the DVB show, including Diane von Furstenberg herself, who also provided the video's narration. Looking for a pre-show pep talk from one of the fashion industry's true titans and some behind the scenes footage of runway beauties? Perhaps you just wanna know what it's like to stroll the catwalk and be bathed in the flashbulbs of hundreds of paparazzi? Your bliss awaits in the four-minute clip after the break.
Google Glass early luxury brand pricing appears to have put it in beneficial stead, with the elite at New York's Fashion Week getting an early close-up look at Google's wearable camera future. Diane von Furstenberg, who's no stranger to a tech tie-in, has added the lightweight frames to her latest show, using them to make a documentary about fashion's creative process. The project is set to appear on von Furstenberg's Google+ page later this week, but if you're not a world-renowned fashion designer (or model), we would pay more attention to that two-year wait.
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