Posts tagged Google Glasses

What To Expect In 2015 For Wearables

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2014 finished with a bang, at least if you call USA and North Korea bickering over a Seth Rogen satire movie a bang. Besides that, 2014 was a year of smartwatches, bigger phones, and flat design at its finest. The new line of iPhones was released, with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus making headlines for their giant size (by Apple’s standards).  iOS 8 was released on September 17th, and Android even hopped on the software wave when they announced Android Lollipop at their recent Google I/O conference. The internet suffered many different hacks, leaks and viruses starting with Heartbleed and the NSA leak, and finishing with the Sony Playstation and Xbox hacks.  And offsetting the ever-growing smartphone size, smaller smartwatches are starting to take off in popularity, with Android Wear OS released alongside many new Android smartwatches from a variety of manufacturers.

The Smartwatches Of 2015

And that leads me to the biggest smartwatch announcement: Apple Watch. Last year I said Apple Watch would be a big highlight for this year, and it was. Well, at least the announcement was. Set to be designed in three styles, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch, and Apple Watch Edition, the Apple Watch wasn’t actually released, despite all the press and hype even from a year back. The only promise Apple gave us was a public release of “Early 2015”, which promises to be a big event whenever it happens. As great as the release of the smartwatch will be, the first time Apple will be branching into a new vertical since Steve Jobs’ death, there will be some unavoidable consequences. For instance, there have been many smaller smartwatches makers, most prominently the “Kickstarted” Pebble, along Samsung and the Android gang’s watches. Some of the less well-funded makers will likely need to sell or potentially go out of business.

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The fact is that consumers tend to favor sticking with their native tech ecosystem, , just as the product companies desire. It’s just easier. But also, with so much more money and development resources, Apple is hard to beat in terms of quality of hardware and software. It’s a little sad, as some of these startups and smaller watches were actually not that bad, but will still likely fall prey to Apple’s enormity.

More Wearables

So far in the progression of wearables, smartwatches have been the only successful niche. Smart glasses, such as Google Glass, were a lot like the segway. There was a lot of hype, but no actual use in daily life. For instance, Google Glass was a highlight of Google’s I/O conference, a special restricted public testing called the Explorer Program. With the I/O announcement, and the Explorer Program, the excitement level was high for the public release in the beginning of 2014. Unfortunately, when the public release did come, nothing really happened. Partly, this was because of all the controversy of Glass’ pretty much secret filming capability, leading to it being banned in many places. But also, the whole concept was to make a device that can seamlessly let you access the internet without pulling out your phone, but the execution of that idea lacked. First of all, the glasses looked geeky. I can’t lie, when you wear something like that you’re kind of throwing your  style out the window for technology. Also, the main control of the device is speaking, which doesn’t really work when in public, not because of the sound quality, but because you just look weird talking to no one, while staring blankly into space.

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So, what comes next? As I’ve argued, smartwatches will become big whether the product is significantly useful out of the gate or not.  As the line of products grows, just as it did with iPhones way back when, their usefulness and quality will increase dramatically.  The key to a successful wearable is that it’s both novel and useful. Most wearables that have failed to succeed lost their battles because they weren’t useful enough, such as (most notably) Google Glass, some Kickstarter gadgets, and early smartwatches. Many concepts simply didn’t have enough features and interaction with the outside world to make a dent in our daily lives.  So it’s pretty hard to predict exactly what type of wearable will find the most success this year, though CES featured a few “out of the box” products that start to hint at what types of products might come out of blue in 2015: for example, mind reading.

Mind Reading

Ok, ok, maybe not exactly mind reading, but products like Thync, a small device you wear on your head that changes your mood using electrical pulses, and Mellow Mind, another headpiece that measures your state of relaxation and with music teaches you to relax, hint at a new branch of technologies working to understand, read, and even manipulate your mind. However whimsical, the popular neural-controlled cat-eared Necomimi may show a direction that consumer and lifestyle products are headed. As much of human existence has been focused on interacting with the world through our fingers, direct interaction via the brain is quite exciting. Not just for consumers, to see what will be made from them to use and marvel over, but also for entrepreneurs, companies and scientists, as a world of possibilities opens up. We often see technologies interacting with brains in sci-fi, whether it’s operating your home, high-tech simulated worlds, or much more, it really is amazing that we are already staring to go in that direction with CES 2015.  As scientists and engineers become more adept in their understanding of direct interaction via neurons and electrical pulses, we will hopefully reach a stage where all this practical interaction with technology will be possible, and sci-fi will become real once again.

TOTW: What To Come In 2014 For Technology

2013 was a great year for technological breakthroughs. New iPhones, new iPads, curved screens and more are just some of the things that were developed in 2013. But there is one question that is still being asked: what does the new year hold for us? There have been many promises, leaks and hints throughout the end of last year, and we can only wait and see if they become true. But we can predict.

Happy-Horse-Year-2014

There are many things that are very likely to happen in 2014. One of which is the highly awaited public release of Google Glass. When Project Glass was released as a concept to developers back in Google I/O, the frenzy of publicity began. Everyone was completely memorized by the possibility of a computer on your glasses, and apps soon began popping up everywhere for every usage. These glasses and almost certainly being released on the early 2014 Google I/O. Of course, millions and billions of people will learn about these glasses and become intrigued enough to buy one, and Google Glasses will soon be seen everywhere. This will certainly cause some controversy, but will probably blow over soon enough.

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We can’t forget Apple, though. At the 2014 WWDC, we can reasonably expect a new iPhone 6, which will probably be 50% percent lighter and 30% thinner. The retina will be better, and all the other stats will be much improved. The new Macbooks and iPads will most likely come at the later Apple conference, since at the last conference they were updated. After the release of the iPhone 5C, there is a chance that Apple will go down the color path with their other devices, especially the iPad Minis, which would definitely be a big surprise and a hit with the younger generation.

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iPad Mini “C” Concept Webpage

There has been one Apple product that I have been skirting around, but will now address. The iWatch. Samsung have already released their smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, but the early version was slightly disappointing. First of all, it is not a stand-alone product, but only works if paired to a Galaxy smartphone. The functions of the watch itself is limited to answering call, which you then have to get you phone out to answer, checking social and SMS notifications, and using Samsungs 70 third-party app like Path, Evernote, Runkeeper and more. The design is not fantastic and somewhat slow if you are used to Apple products, so we can hope that Apple improves on that. What Apple would do to make the iWatch significantly better is (1) make it faster and more reactive and (2) make it stand-alone from Apple’s other devices. If they do that, then it might justify Samsungs price of $300.

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A quite, may I say, interesting concept of what an iWatch may look like.

Smartglass will certainly take a leap in the new year. Transparent phones are already being prototyped without any software (so it’s useless for now), but it still has a few noticeable spots of chips, cameras and such visible. Since, as in Corning’s brilliant video, A Day Made Of Glass 1 and 2, smartglass will be everywhere in every shape and size in the future, we cannot hope too much for this coming trip around the sun. Although, significant progress will be made, and curved or curving glass will definitely be upgraded, almost to the point of public release.

A Day Made Of Glass 2, paused and explained by Corning

All in all 2014 is certainly going to be an interesting year. Breakthroughs will be made in not only technology, but science, physics, and almost any other field you can think of. The big events to look out for this year is the Google I/O, the Apple WWDC, the 2014 CES, Macworld/iWorld Expo, and more. Just as in 2013, at just these events thousands of products and concepts will be released and showcased, its amazing that all this could be accomplished in one year. But for now, all we have to do is wait and let the scientists and engineers work their magic.

AOTW: Glass Nest Gives You Easy Control Over The Temperature

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Someday, we will be able to control most everything with Google Glass. Or at least that’s what it seems like. Another app has been released that allows Glass owners to control the space around them. That app it Glass Nest, the unofficial Nest thermostat app.

A Screenshot Of Glass Nest

If you have a Nest, you know how useful it is. You can change the temperature from your phone so you don’t have to get up. Say you change the temperature to 65 degrees every day at 7:30. Then, Nest will learn what you like and automatically change it for you. Also, if you leave your house with your phone, Nest will turn off to not waste money. That’s a smart thermostat if I’ve ever heard of one.

The Commands

What does the Glass app do? Well, pretty much everything the regular app does. You can find out the temp, change the temp, set it to away mode and take it off of away mode. To do that, the developer took advantage of the awesome “OK Glass” feature All you have to do is say something like “OK Glass, 75 degrees” (full list above) and it will set the taget temp to 75 degrees. Or if you are leaving home, you can say “Ok Glass, heading/going out” and it will set it to away mode. Made by a 22 year old engineer, Glass Nest has only caught the first wave of Glass apps along with Twitter, Path, Bulletproof and more. When Glass comes out in Q4, so many apps and app-making tools will have come out that the possibilities will be infinate. It’s just a matter of the developers creativity.

FastNews: “OK Google”, Isn’t That Copying Google Glass?

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The Google I/O is finally here! There has been many interesting releases so far, many about Google Maps. But, one of the announcements was actually not that surprising, yet very helpful. It was the information that Google will be adding a hands-free search option to their search app. This means that you can use voice search without tapping a botton to activate it. All you have to do is say a phrase. Can you guess what it is? If you said “Ok Google”, you were right. But where have we heard this before?

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The “Ok Google” Demo At The I/O

Google have set a new record. They have now managed to copy THEMSELVES. Their new Google X project, the wearable computer glasses Glass, uses the now-famous phrase “Ok Glass” as the main method of control. Even though the phrase has been declared “weird” at times by Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google. Obviously, they didn’t take this into account.

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The Voice Search On A Chromebook

Although “Ok Google” may have it’s flaws, it is still a big jump in Google’s goal to make everything hands-free. Google Glass and all these phrases are signs that much of Google X is dedicated to researching hands-free technologies. Hopefully they can come up with a good hands-free tech to make life much easier. “Ok Google”, you win this one. Just don’t expect me to say “Ok Nexus”.

TOTW: 4 New Mindblowing Google Glass Apps

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It just keeps on coming! Companies and small hackers are finally realizing that Google Glass is their biggest chance. Since nothing like Glass has been made before, all the coding has to be new. That means any developer with an app will probably be the first person to do it, it will get all the money. So, tons and tons of apps are being worked on, and many apps are already coming out. In fact, there are so many I decided to do a round-up of the 4 newest apps. Here they are:

Reddit Timeline

Following the release of the New York Times’ app, I guess Reddit didn’t want to be left out of the fun. Actually, though, Reddit Timeline wasn’t made by Reddit themselves, but by a hacker. Many Google Glasses apps will be by hackers, including all 3 I am writing about. Anyway, Reddit Timeline allows you to scroll through all your Reddit homepage articles. Those homepage articles update every minute, so you’ll always be busy. In fact, you can even upvote, downvote, or comment on any article. Made by Malcolm Nguyen, Reddit Timeline bring all the online Reddit features to go. (If you have a Glass and is interested, you can get the app here)

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A Preview Of Reddit Timeline On Glass

 

Bulletproof

Before now, Google Glass had no lock screen. All you had to do is touch the touchpad to wake it up. But, what would happen is you lost your 1 in 2000 high-tech first-of-it’s-kind Explorer Edition of Google Glass? Well, if someone picked it up, they would be able to easily use it. But, not if you have the unofficial lock screen app Bulletproof for Google Glass, made by hacker Mike DiGiovanni! Bulletproof allows you to make a intricate pattern of swipes on the touchpad and set it as your password. Then, when a stranger can’t use it and get into future apps that may hold important information. Just like a lock screen on a smartphone, it may be a hassle, but it is really useful.

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Fullscreen BEAM Screeenshot

 

 

Winky

Google Glass just got creepier. I mean, they’re still very cool and exiting, but if these things fall into the wrong hands…… Anyway, hacker Mike DiGiovanni(yes, the same one who made Bulletproof  wanted to make taking pictures with Glass easier. Saying “Ok glass, take a picture” may be awkward and out-of-context. Even tapping a button will make people suspicious. He needed something slight and subtle. So, he picked winking. You can wink in the middle of a conversation and now one will notice. This will probably bring up security issues, and Glass will probably have to make a sound or something like that to let the other person know you are taking a picture. Still, it is very cool and adds greatly to the hands-free objective of Project Glass.

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*Wink*

Fullscreen BEAM

Google Glass’ first YouTube app is here! Well, not exactly. Fullscreen BEAM allows you to upload videos to YouTube directly from Glass, not watch YouTube videos. Their whole purpose of the app is to be able to easily “share life’s moments”. All you have to do is set up a Fullscreen BEAM account, connect it to your Glass, and take a video. After you take a video, choose the share option and hit “Fullscreen BEAM”. That automatically sends your video right to YouTube. This means every hilarious incident caught on camera and immediately be uploaded to YouTube. Sooner or later, we will probably be able to watch these hilarious videos, but for now, we will just have to make them.

 

Google Glass is bursting a flavorful array of unique apps to enhance Glass. Most of the apps are in the social media, news, entertainment and utilities categories. And you have to admit, most of the apps on your phone are in those categories. All these apps are helping boost the budding technology wearable tech, while also making a great and extremely useful consumer product. Now all we have to do is wait and see what developers can make.

 

 

FastNews: Google Release Google Glass How-To Video

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Man, it seems like every second there is something new about Google Glass. Anyway, Google recently released a video on how to use Google Glass. That means that anyone – even YOU! – can go out of their mind with temptation and learn how the amazingly lucky Explorers use their Glasses. Still, gives us a lot of information, including some VERY interesting surprises. But I won’t give any more away. Here it is:

The first thing you probably thought when watching the video was “Google Glass has a Touchpad?!?” Yep, before now, only the explorers knew about the touchpad. We all though it has operated completely be voice. But, actually, the touchpad is a big part of glass. Still, the now-famous catchphrase “Ok glass” is used more than the touchpad, and is the most impressive feature in the whole thing (which is saying a lot). It may sound cool, but Google chairman Eric Schmidt admitted that talking out loud to Glass may be “weird” at times, such as in the bathroom.

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The Touchpad

What exactly does the touchpad control? Well, it controls the previously unknown timeline. The timeline is where you get all your helpful information in slides like what time it is, the weather, past photos, texts and probably where apps will go. And of course, like a timeline, any slide to the right is happened earlier, and any slide to the left is coming up or now like the weather or a plane flight. To control the timeline, just swipe left or right on the touchpad to go through slides. To interact with the slide (sharing photos ect.), just touch while on the slide. To go back to the page before, just swipe down. And when you’re done using Glass, you just navigate to the home page and swipe down, and it will go into stand-by mode.

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A Projection Of What The Timeline Is Like

The announcing of the timeline really opens our eyes to Google Glass. Before now, it was like if Apple said, “Hey guys! We are making a super-cool new iPhone 6. The best feature is blah blah blah. That’s all we can tell you. Sorry.” Now that we know the platform, it personally makes me want Google Glass more. With the timeline, you can easily access all your past and future information. The timeline doesn’t just bring your future to you, it IS the future.

FastNews: Twitter App For Google Glasses?

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We all knew this was coming. Twitter has started work on a Twitter app for Google Glasses. Or have they? Twitter user Shivster Muddler has supposedly taken a picture using Google Glass and posted it on Twitter. The Tweet had the caption: Just shared a photo #throughglass. Here it is:

It is very mysterious, though. Since then, Shivster’s account has been deleted, so I had to use a Tweet showing Shivster’s original Tweet. Sounds fishy, doesn’t it? It could have easily been set up, but we do have some evidence. Venture capitalist John Doerr has alluded to Twitter making their predicted Google Glass app. Still, there is no solid proof.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass

Twitter is only starting the social media-on-Google Glass craze. There will surely be many more to follow, such as Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+(already built in), Facebook, and more. Of course, we all definitely need to be able to Tweet a picture without anyone knowing. Still, whether good or bad, we can pretty much assume Twitter will be coming out with an app for Glass.

 

AOTW: The New York Times’ New Google Glass App

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This AOTW is New York Times’ new Google Glasses app. It may not be a very popular platform now, but you just wait……

Google Glass is the future. Whether you like it or not, Google will surely win the battle for the best smart eyewear. At the 2012 Google I/O, Google announced that it will be out for the public in Q4. But, a lucky group of people choose through Twitter got to join the Explorer Program, or Beta testers, and get to have their own Google Glass. This raised a lot of publicity. So, now that almost everyone knows about Glass, some big companies are seizing their chance and making Google Glass apps. The latest company to announce work on an apps has been the New York Times.

Someone Wearing Google Glasses

At the 2013 SXSW, the NYT previewed their new app. The app will provide hourly updates and breaking news by speaking it in your ear, which many (hopelessly lost) people will need. Also, you can browse New York Times articles and photos by just tilting your head up. This is probably the most important part of the app. It will allow anyone to easily look through articles, even while doing something else. Nothing like this has been invented before. One problem may be that you have to shake your head to much to make it work. It has to be very subtle, so subtle that anyone who was talking to you wouldn’t notice. Still, this feature is an amazing step in Glass programming and will surely be seen in other apps.

Colors Of Google Glasses

Colors Of Google Glasses

Overall, the release of New York Times’ app is a very big event. The future of news may be revolutionized. You can get news in an instant, and the breaking news feature will be especially useful. Everything about any important events will be at your fingertips (or eyetips, whatever). I mean, who doesn’t think news isn’t interesting, and who doesn’t like it fast?

FastNews: Google Glasses Contest

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At the 2012 Google I/O, Google introduced their new augmented reality glasses Google Glasses. See my other article to read more.

 

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Come on, you know you want one. Now, Google are giving anyone in the USA a chance to get an early pair of Google Glasses as part of their program, Glass Explorer Program. All you have to do is go on your Google+ or Twitter account and post what you would do with your pair of Glasses. *REMEMBER*, you have to put the hashtag #ifihadglass, or they will not read your submission.

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Unfortunately, there are some rules. As I said before, you have to be in the USA. Also, you have to be 18 or over, which may be a problem young developers. But, if you fit the requirements, I completely recommend submitting. Google Glasses are just plain awesome. Good Luck!

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