I can still remember the first time I watched a documentary that highlighted the new "heads-up" display that our fighter pilots were using that automatically flashed flight data to their helmet viewer, so they could focus less on the instruments, and more on dogfighting. Watching them engage other fighters in a mock fight with this new technology was just too cool for only military usage. Or so I thought. Years have passed. . . and I have waited for it. . . it has arrived!
Glass is a technology that will rate right up there in the same category as the personal computer, smartphone, and other life-changing technological developments that have totally reshaped not only our culture here in the U.S., but also internationally. We now have the means of accessing and exchanging information in a real-time posture, with industry and the public benefiting tremendously from it.
The glasses are far less obtrusive than our original scenario had envisioned, and a pair of Glass weighs less than an average pair of sunglasses, can be worn comfortably, and actually has a touch of fashion value as well.
Keep in mind that the interface is voice driven. You begin by saying, "Okay glass" followed by what you want it to do. You will see possible choices in the heads up display. You can adjust the menu by manipulating a control on the side on the frame. Glass audio uses bone conduction technology which is a technology similar to the way a hearing aid works. The sound is not audible to others standing nearby.
The various ways that Glass can be used are only limited by one's imagination. However, here is just a handful of obvious ones.
- Taking photos or video of family events without tying up your hand(s). You can be much more involved in a photo or video production, whether it be with friends or family.
- It's totally compatible with Bluetooth. You can pair it with your cell phone and use it as you would a Bluetooth device.
- Glass had Cloud capability for accessing data. You can save it to the Cloud and access it with Glass. This opens up endless possibilities for accessing just about any data you need when you need it.
- You're traveling and need to find a specific location. You can engage the GPS search function and it will find the location for you and display it.
- You're at a store and the ad item you saw earlier that week does not have a price marked. You can do a query and download the ad information and price.
Various industries can benefit from Glass as well. Here is just a small sampling of some usages:
- Surgeons operating on a patient and need real-time data on the patient history or an important surgical step can be queried by the surgeon and get data quickly on the heads-up display.
- Any educator, college professor, or teacher that needs quick information about their lecture can quickly access the information that they require and pass it on to their students.
- Service personnel such as a computer technician or auto specialist that requires additional information about a particular PC or auto can quickly access the data required to successfully troubleshoot or repair.
- People with various seeing or hearing disabilities can quickly access data they need to interact properly in various situations that would be difficult for them to do without the Glass.
- Gamers may chuck the idea of "virtual reality", with Glass closing the gap between "virtual" and real. This aspect may seem a bit creepy, although many gamers will embrace this opportunity with joy.
Initial reports about Google Glass being available this year through Best Buy Stores has been officially denied from a reliable source. The realistic timeframe won't be until 2014 and the price is uncertain at this point. As with all new technology, the initial offerings will not be cheap. With a perceived large base of professional and personal users, many are certain this technology's success is assured. It will be a little slow going until the price point drops to a manageable level for most people's budget, although certain industries will invest early once this is available. This is one technology you will be able to enjoy and not have to be a fighter pilot.