If you don’t follow the world of new technology, your extent of knowledge about Google Glass might be best summarized by Adrien Chen in his article for Gawker: “a wearable computer eye piece, which allows you to snap photos, read the news and do Google searches all while looking like an extra from the dance club scene in The Matrix.” You might also assume that this stylish privilege comes with a hefty price tag. And you would assume correctly: on April 15th, for one day only, Google Glass will be available for the low, low price of $1,500. Needless to say, there are still a number of constraints that are standing in the way of Google Glass breaking through to the mainstream market.
According to Clint Remedios, our Software Developer here at NGX, Google Glass is just going through an early awkward phase, much like the cinderblock-sized cell phones of the 80s and early 90s. “Google Glass is still in its infancy at this point,” says Remedios, “They’re definitely not cheap enough to be mainstream, but they’ll likely catch on when the price drops… and when they look classier.”
Remedios admits that he would probably only wear Google Glass under certain circumstances, but he can already envision the infinite number of applications that are possible with this kind of technology. “Even for something as simple as way-finding, you could experience an augmented reality version of Google Maps,” says Remedios. “And the potential for advertising is huge – you could look at a building when you’re navigating, and an ad for that business might pop up.” Games are another area that could really take off if Google Glass catches on. “I can see games like Geocaching virtual objects in real world locations becoming popular”, says Remedios. Google Glass even goes beyond fun and games and into the operating room: doctors are already using Google Glass during surgeries and medical training.
Of course, being in the digital interactive industry here at NGX, we can’t help but consider what Google Glass could have in store for interactive exhibits at museums and interpretive centres. “I can definitely see Google Glass being used for virtual tours of museums,” says Remedios. “You might come across a painting you really like and as you’re looking at it, information could pop up if you want to learn more about it.” Exhibits have already started to take advantage of Google Glass and the wealth of creative potential it offers: David Datuna’s “Portrait of America” recently became the first public art installation to utilize this technology. In Datuna’s piece, small portraits of iconic Americans are placed beneath a layer of eyeglass lenses. When visitors wearing Google Glass direct their gaze at these portraits, video or audio clips related to that iconic person start playing.
So where will Google Glass be 10 or 20 years from now? Will we all be walking around wearing Google Glass, just like how we all walk around today looking at our smartphones? It’s definitely a possibility. “We’ll probably see Google Glass more miniaturized, more portable, and even more multi-faceted,” says Remedios. Even though Google Glass has yet to reach a mainstream audience, we’re already seeing it infiltrate many different areas of our lives, from art galleries and games, to maps and operating tables, so it’s not a stretch to imagine its widespread use in the future. And as for the awkward look of the glasses, just keep in mind that it was only 20 years ago that cell phones looked like this:
– Jason Clarke, Content Strategist & Clint Remedios, Software Developer