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Entries in Google Glasses (7)

Saturday
May182013

Toddler Reviews Google Glass

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- We’ve seen Michele Bachmann and a half-naked blogger wear Google Glass over the last couple of weeks.

But those images don’t warm your heart like a two-year-old with the connected glasses on. The toddler's review of the hot new tech device might be one of the cutest things you'll see on the Internet this week.

Chris Angelini, a writer and editor at tech site Tom’s Hardware, decided to put the glasses on his two-year-old son, Lucas. The result is an adorable video of Lucas telling people to “Look at my cool glasses!” Lucas only wears the glasses for 2 minutes and 42 seconds in the video, but that’s long enough for him to document the experience of getting some watered-down apple juice, show off his Lego collection and play catch with his dad.

It’s long enough for him to point out some of the bad things about Glass too. The video, shot in a low-light room, is hard to see at times, and at the end he adds, “They’re hot!” It’s true, the glasses do get fairly warm on the right side after shooting more than a minute of video or providing GPS navigation.

The video is extremely cute, but it has also inspired some thoughtful comments from its 100,000-plus viewers, many of whom point out that Lucas’s generation will grow up with this new wearable technology. Google, however, does say that the glasses shouldn’t be worn by anyone younger than 13 since it could harm developing vision. Angelini, 33, said he doesn’t plan on allowing his son to wear the glasses at length and that when they were on, he made sure the boy was looking around and not at the small display.

But Angelini himself plans to wear them a lot and take lots of footage of his son. “As a dad, you don’t have to be passive in the child-rearing process. It allows you to be so much more active,” Angelini told ABC News. “People are trying to record every minute but they aren’t in the moment, that’s the killer app for Glass — being able to participate more in what he is doing.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May042013

Google Glass Highlights Tech World's Gender Disparity

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The marketing videos for Google’s Glass show a diverse group of people wearing the digital glasses. But a new website has popped up that points out that the first group of people wearing them might not exactly be so heterogeneous.

A new Tumblr page, White Men Wearing Google Glass, features a number of pictures of, yes, white men wearing the glasses. “In its favour, if Google Glass didn’t exist, all these Silicon Valley guys would be having affairs or buying unsuitable motorbikes,” the tagline of the blog reads.

The site, which is run by an anonymous author, has been shared thousands of times in the last few days on Twitter.

When reached by ABC News, Google would not comment on the ratio of male to female Google Glass explorers, which is the group of people who applied to test the first round of the product.

Google has begun testing the Explorer Edition of the glasses, which overlay digital information in the world, in the last few weeks with select application developers and early adopters. Yes, one of the men even tested them in the shower.

“Glass is designed by and for people from all walks of life and we hope everyone will have a chance to enjoy it down the road. Our next step is to make Glass available to participants of our #ifihadglass initiative, which was designed to bring a diverse group of people into the Explorer program,” Google said in a statement.

The #ifihadglass initiative opened up Glass availability to the public. The current wave of glasses are being given to those who signed up at the Google I/O developer conference last year when the glasses were first previewed. However, the #ifihadglass contest, which was launched this year, allowed anyone to submit their ideas of what they would do with the glasses.

But while Google might not be firing back at the Tumblr, another group is – women. In response to the original site, a new Tumblr called Women with Glass has popped up. The site was started by Christina Warren, a senior writer at Mashable.com, and a few other female technology journalists who have been testing Glass.

“I thought, ‘Why do we not have a women-with-Glass Tumblr? We aren’t unicorns!’” Warren told ABC News.

Warren admitted there are “considerably less women” Explorers, mostly because there are fewer female software developers.

“Most of the first females to have this are journalists,” Warren said. “Other than those at Google proper, there doesn’t seem to be that many female developers who have the Explorer Edition.

The underrepresentation of women in the tech world, especially the world of software developers and coders, is nothing new – though there has been a great effort to change that. Groups like Girls Who Code and Change the Ratio have been formed with the goals of recruiting and supporting more females in the technology world. In fact, Google will be holding a women in technology gathering at its upcoming Google I/O conference.

“When you are talking about developers, you are looking at a more lopsided gender ratio,” Rachel Sklar, the founder of Change the Ratio, told ABC News. “It highlights what we already know is an issue, which is that we have a very homogenous class of people with access to next-gen technology.”

But while it might not be the norm, there are some female software developers out there not only wearing Glass but making apps for it. Macy Kuang, 25, ordered her pair last year at Google I/O and received them last week.

“I started working on a bike-sharing app last night. I want to be able to use them to find where a nearby bike station is,” Kuang told ABC News.  ”I don’t have any plans to make other apps, but there are a lot of possibilities.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Google Glass: What You Can and Can't Do with Google's Wearable Computer

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Some people whisper, "I think that's Google Glass." Others stop and ask, "How do you like it? How does it even work?" And then some just pull out their phones and snap a picture.

They all have something in common, though. They want to know what it is like to be looking through the other side of the glass -- Google Glass, that is.

For close to a year, Google has been teasing its connected glasses, which overlays digital information in the real world. And earlier this week, ABC News Tech Editor Joanna Stern finally got a pair. Here are her first impressions and answers to some frequently asked questions:

How do they work?
First, let's talk about the contraption that's been drawing all that attention. The glasses, as you can clearly see, are not like your typical spectacles. Inside the right arm are the parts of a smartphone-- a processor, 16GB of storage, a Bluetooth radio, a small battery and more.

On the front, you have that star of the show -- a small little glass square. That's the screen, and when you put the glasses on you can adjust them so that it sits slightly above the top of your right eye. If worn right it really doesn't obscure your line of vision. No, I haven't been walking into walls. In fact, when I picked up my Glass, a Google employee (or Glass Guide) fit me for them and showed me how to slightly glance up to see the screen. You can also adjust or swivel that screen when you have it on to bring it closer in or out from your eye.

(If you're a leftie and wondering why everything is on the right side, it's a good question. Google doesn't have plans at the moment to make a left-sided pair; it says most people are right-eye dominant.)

The glasses pair with your Android phone to get connectivity and using the MyGlass app you can configure the connection. iPhone support is coming, though Google wouldn't give me a firm timeframe on when. You pair them with your phone via Bluetooth and if you have Bluetooth tethering you can use your phone's 3G or 4G connection. If you don't, you can connect both the Glass and the phone to WiFi. Without connectivity, you can still take photos and video, though.

To the right of that glass box is a 5-megapixel camera. There's a button on the top of the glasses for taking photos, but the easiest way to control that camera is with your voice.

How do you control them?
And your voice is one of the two modes of controlling Glass. You can navigate the screen either through voice commands or by using the trackpad on the right arm of the glass. That entire arm is touch-sensitive: sliding your finger on it allows you to move through the Glass interface and tapping once on it lets you make selections.

You also have two choices of how you can wake up the glasses: you can tap on that arm or you can tilt your head back. Tipping your head back looks incredibly awkward but it's one of the easiest ways to get the glasses' attention.

Similarly, it looks very odd when you talk to the glasses or yourself, but it is one of the easiest ways to get to some of the basic functions. All you have to say is "Ok Glass, take a picture" aloud for the glasses to snap a photo. "Ok Glass, Google ABC News" and it will give you some basic news results on the screen.

What can you do with them?
That gets us into the main things you can do with Glass right now. When you look into Glass you get a very basic interface. It works like a carousel; you can swipe to the left or right to see features and your history -- what you searched for, what you took photos of, etc. Right now there are three main things you can do or see through Glass.

Take photos and video. Sure, it might seem like any wearable camera, but not having to fumble for your phone to snap a photo is a very convenient trick. That said, you will still want to grab your phone. Or at least I have wanted to -- the 5-megapixel camera doesn't take very impressive photos and you can only share them on Google Plus for now. No Twitter, Instagram or Facebook sharing yet.

Get notifications and e-mails. You can view your Gmail messages, text messages and incoming calls. And then you can even respond to them by swiping through with the touchpad, tapping and hitting reply. Then say your response outloud and Glass will convert your speech to text. In my experience it has been quite accurate.

Many have asked if those notifications are distracting. They're really not. The notifications don't pop up when Glass is off; it's only once you turn them on and swipe through to other screens that you can see them. When I did get a call though it rang in my ear.

Use Google stuff. Then there are all of Google's goodies. You can see the weather, search Google and get mapping directions. As you can see in the video, all you have to say is "Okay Glass, get directions to New Jersey," and it will show you the route right on the screen. The coolest part might be asking Google to translate something. "Okay Glass, Google how do you say coffee in Italian," and you will then hear the answer in your ear -- caffe.

What you can't do with them.
Of course, there are a number of things you can't yet do with Glass. Sure, you can't do a lot of pie-in-the-sky thing -- like look into the future -- but there are some things I expected them to do that they simply can't.

You can't look at something and have them search. No, you can't simply look at the subway and have the glasses recognize it. You can look at something and tell it to search for it, but that's about it.
You can't e-mail a photo. You have to share the photo on Google Plus right now.

You can't wear them all day long. Well, you can, but they will just be a funny-looking accessory since the battery doesn't last more than 3.5 hours right now.

You can't wear regular glasses or sunglasses with them. While Google makes a clip-on sunglass frame, you can't put these over a pair of regular glasses right now. They just don't fit well.

You can't easily connect. Setting up Glass on a home and open wireless network is easy, but when you move beyond that things get complicated. You can't connect to a wireless network that requires you to sign on via a webpage. You also can't use 4G or LTE if you're Android phone doesn't support Bluetooth tethering.

You can't buy or afford them. I paid $1,500 for my Glass. That's what Google is charging for the limited Explorer Edition, which it has promised to a couple of thousand early adopters. Google isn't selling them to the public right now, but says they plan to sell them either later this year or early next year for a more affordable price. But as they stand now, $1,500 is way too much for the limited functionality.

But all those can'ts are all part of this being something brand new. Google is calling these the Explorer Edition for a reason -- they want people to explore life behind a screen and think up new ideas and apps for the non-explorers. See, no matter how many questions I answer, there will be a lot more coming soon.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio.

Monday
Sep102012

Google Glasses at New York Fashion Week

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google Inc., and designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Image(NEW YORK) -- The models who walked the runway at Diane von Furstenberg’s show at New York Fashion week Sunday didn’t only get to wear the latest from the designer’s spring 2013 line. They got to wear one of the most anticipated gadgets — Google’s Glass.

A group of models walked the catwalk while wearing Google’s high-tech glasses, which have a camera and screen built into them. If you haven’t seen the demo, the glasses really function like a wearable computer, overlaying digital information in the real world.

But Glass isn’t just a fashion accessory this week. Diane von Furstenberg’s team has been wearing the glasses for the last week and capturing behind-the-scenes photos. “I am so excited to introduce Glass to the fashion world and use this revolutionary technology to give everyone a unique perspective into fashion,” Diane von Furstenberg said in a statement.

On Sept. 13 Google and Diane von Furstenberg will premiere a short film called DVF through Glass that will show footage from the week that has been captured with the glasses.

There’s no word on whether the particular glasses given to the models and DVF team can do more than snap photos, but it’s clear that Google’s co-founder is excited about making Glass as fashionable as possible. “Beauty, style and comfort are as important to Glass as the latest technology. We are delighted to bring Glass to the runway together with DVF,” Sergey Brin said in a statement.

The first set of the glasses are expected to ship to developers, who pre-ordered them for $1,500, in early 2013.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun282012

Google Glasses: Project Glass Prototypes for Sale 

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Google's futuristic, Internet-connected glasses, known as Project Glass, are now real enough that prototypes will be sold to developers for $1,500, company co-founder Sergey Brin said on Wednesday.

"This is new technology and we really want you to shape it," Brin said at the Google I/O conference for computer programmers in San Francisco.  "We want to get it out into the hands of passionate people as soon as possible."  They are not ready for sale to the public.

The glasses, which are comprised of a tiny camera, display screen and processor that fit over the upper corner of a pair of glasses, are meant to display information literally before a user's eyes.  The camera would allow people to transmit video or still images of what they're seeing to others wirelessly, allowing them to see your world as you live it.

Google said it had been quietly working on Project Glass for two years.  But until now, the outside world had only seen fanciful versions of what the glasses might be able to do.  On Wednesday, Google said, they're far enough along that programmers are invited to try them out -- and come up with all sorts of ideas for how they might be used.

"Obviously capturing images and video is only one of the things a wearable computer can do," said Brin.

To make the point, Google had parachutists jump out of a blimp over San Francisco, wearing the glasses.  The 6,000 programmers and reporters at the meeting saw a live video feed from the skydivers' glasses as they descended, landing on top of the Moscone Center where the I/O conference was taking place.  The applause when the skydivers walked into the convention center was thunderous.

Google this spring had shown a video of Project Glass, suggesting what might be possible.  Look up at the sky, and a weather forecast will appear on the little screen over your eyebrow.  Head down the stairs into the subway, and the glasses will show you whether trains are on time.  Walk down the street and get turn-by-turn directions.  See something you'd like to share with friends, and the images your glasses shoot will go to their Google+ social-media accounts.

Brin said that's just the beginning.  Programmers can place orders at this week's meeting, he said, and get a pair early next year.  The company is counting on them to come up with new uses for a wearable computer before the glasses are sold generally.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr062012

Project Glass: Will You Want Google Tracking Your Eyes?

Google(NEW YORK) -- The world was stunned by the first real look at Google’s Project Glass.  In a video released by the search giant, we got a captivating look at how its glasses could help you get a weather forecast by looking up at the sky, or find out about subway delays just by standing outside the station.

But while many were blown away at the video Google released Wednesday, others started to ponder what Google could ultimately do with the technology.

One of those people was Jonathan McIntosh, who calls himself a pop culture hacker and transformative storyteller.

“To be honest, when I first saw the Google Glasses video I thought that was really cool,” he said.  “But a moment later, I thought, ‘Oh God, there are some very serious implications in terms of privacy and data mining.’”

Google has, of course, been collecting data for a long time.  They know what you search, who you email (if you use its Gmail), what you watch on YouTube, and where you’re going if you use Google Maps.  It uses that information to provide more personalized search results as well as more targeted advertising.

That advertising part is a big piece of the puzzle.  It’s ultimately how the company makes money.  The Internet giant states in its policy that it “makes money without doing evil” with your personal data.

“Google’s an ad company.  I think it’s something people should be mindful of and critical of, especially in the frame of these awesome new glasses,” McIntosh said.

A former Google exec, James Whittaker, recently wrote about how Google’s mission was becoming too focused on ads and competing with Facebook’s targeted ads.  He left to go work at Microsoft.   Additionally, on March 1, Google’s privacy policy was changed to allow the data collected from your activity to be shared across its services.

Peter Swire, a privacy and cybersecurity expert and professor at Ohio State, has similar worries when it comes to the glasses. 

“Advertising won’t skip this platform, but there will be ongoing battles about how pervasive the ads will be and how users will turn them off,” he said.

Swine also brings up the tracking issue of the glasses and the fact that Google’s Android software does not give the user a choice about location tracking for each app; it’s a system-wide setting.

“Will Google Glasses use the same all-or-nothing approach?” Swine asked.  “We have got ‘Do not Call’ and ‘Do not Track;’ we will see if we get ‘Do not See.’”

It is too early to tell what Google will do with the glasses.  The company wouldn’t comment on advertising in Project Glass.  It has said the glasses are merely prototypes right now, although it does plan to start testing them in public this summer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr042012

‘Google Glasses’: The Sneak Preview

Google(WASHINGTON) -- As walking-while-Web-surfing and driving-while-texting leads to more crowded emergency rooms around the modern world, dozens of technology companies are racing to harness the kind of hands-free augmented reality we’ve craved since The Terminator. On Wednesday, Google provided the first glimpse of their effort, called Project Glass.

Instead of peering into smartphone screens to learn or communicate, the Internet giant imagines a future where people wear bifocal frames (with or without prescription glass) containing a built-in camera, speaker, microphone and tiny monitor. According to the conceptual video accompanying the design photos, you might be able to check the weather forecast by simply gazing at the sky, get directions by following a virtual path or see the floating face of a friend the moment they ring your cell.

While Zeal Optics is already selling ski goggles with similar capabilities, Google admits that this is an “early stage project, not the promise of a product at this point.”

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” Google said in its release. “So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.”

Project Glass is the latest evidence of Google(x), a top-secret California laboratory where the company has a select group of engineers working on everything from alternative energy sources to space elevators. Last week they unveiled video of a blind man taking a spin in their driverless car.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







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