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Looking at the world through Google Glass

17 May 2013 / 19:05:01  GRReporter
5892 reads

Ivan Petkov

Google GLΛSS is an ultraportable computer built in a frame of glasses, to which a miniature display is attached. The glasses offer a miniature touchpad to manage the different features offered by the device. I suppose that for many people, this definition does not sound very clear: why would they put a computer in glasses and what does it do? What are these glasses without lenses?
Let's start from the beginning. Google GLΛSS is a project of a laboratory called Google X. It is specialized in the development of innovative products and it is managed by Sergey Brin, who is a co-founder of Google. The laboratory has developed projects such as the driverless Google car, the Space Escalator and the Artificial Neural Network, which is similar to that in the human brain.

The aim of the whole GLΛSS project is to create a product that will add a new perception of reality, or the so-called "augmented reality." The new layer is the one through which we will be able to perceive both the information from our surroundings (objects, people) and the information from different virtual sources. The layer will also allow us to send information from our surroundings to these sources (photos, video).

Here are some examples that clearly illustrate how the glasses will be used and what practical benefits they will bring to their owners:

1. A clock that is always in sight
2. Weather forecast
3. Making photos and videos and sharing them with friends
4. Phone calls
5. Video chat
6. Determining a location and navigation to an address
7. Recognizing objects and people and obtaining information about them

Voice commands control the glasses and call all the mentioned features.

And many other applications that are yet to be added by GLΛSS’ application developers. The short video below illustrates the various functionalities of the glasses:

If everything seems amazing and like fantasy to you, like something that will happen in the near future, you will probably be surprised to find out that the most eager 2,000 people have already received their technologically advanced eyewear, of course, against a fair price for this kind of innovative technology, namely $ 1,500.

Here are the technical specifications of Google GLΛSS:

- Durable and flexible framework that fits any face shape
- Additional supports for the nose in two sizes.

- High-resolution display, which is equivalent to 25 inches HD

- Pictures - 5 MP
- Video - 720 p

 - Wi-Fi - 802.11b / g
 - Bluetooth

- 12 GB of available memory, synchronized with Google’s cloud services. The entire capacity of the memory is 16 GB.

- Lasts all day when moderately used. Some applications, such as Hangouts and video recording, decharge the battery faster.

The application MyGlass, which will work in conjunction with the widget, has been launched in Google Play. Google has taken care to make diverse documentation available to developers in order for more and varied applications for GLΛSS to appear.

In addition to the WOW-effect, which the glasses cause, even with the very idea that such a product could exist, they pose very legitimate concerns about privacy. A similar product raises many ethical questions related to the fact that you know that someone is taking pictures of you. The current version of the glasses has no indicator of this action. We know that there are countries where it is against the law to turn off the sound that indicates that a mobile phone camera is being used. These measures were taken as a result of mass videos and photographs of unsuspecting people. In this regard, the glasses can be perceived as a sophisticated tool that violates privacy. It is popular news that even before the marketing of GLΛSS, an American bar has banned their use inside the establishment.

These kind of glasses cause some concerns related to personal safety, for example, while driving or performing activities that pose a risk to life and health. The glasses can distract the driver and cause an accident.

Last but not least, there are some warnings that GLΛSS can also cause health problems such as headaches, fatigue and eyestrain, and more. Accordingly, Google has been carrying out tests, which involve volunteers, to determine whether such concerns are grounded. The company did not want to launch on the market the 2,000 pairs of glasses previously mentioned, but has delivered them under pressure from users and developers.

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