What is Google Glass?

By Bruce Harmon, Ph.D., University Program Director for Computer Science 

CTU Computer Science Degree - Google GlassGoogle Glass, aka Google Glasses, got plenty of hype at the recent SXSW 2013 event in Austin, TX and rightfully so. Just Google “Google Glasses” to read more about this revolutionary technology.

Google Glass is a smartphone product that you wear on your head as you would a pair of glasses. Just as you’ve seen in futuristic movies, a display shows your view of information and images. It has a video camera that you command by voice to record what you see, take a snapshot or both. You can stream the video you take or share photos in near real-time. With built-in wireless and GPS, you can display onscreen everything you would expect to access on your mobile computer. An army of developers has already created the Explorer Edition and is now busy making apps specifically for Glass.

Operated hands-free, there’s no need to touch the screen or mouse to command the computer. Simply saying commands like “okay Glass” followed by “start a video” gives it the directions to act. Google Glass’s presentation has been compared to the head-up display (HUD) found so useful in jet fighter aircraft.

You’ll find that this latest innovation from Google already has a strong following from technophiles who have had to apply for the privilege of paying $1500 for the Explorer Edition. Anonymous insiders say they expect the price for the commercial product to be around $750 when it goes on sale later this year.

However, some note the potential infringement of copyright, while many critics charge that the product will violate privacy laws and herald the coming of Big Brother. What’s to prevent Google or some agency from using the video for ill purposes?  Still others are concerned about the coming of “ADmented reality” with advertising pushing itself unwanted into your field of view.

On the lighter side, you could stream video of an event to anyone while you participate in it live, hands-free of a camera, just using your smartphone. Though it’s perhaps short on style, if the technology’s cool enough, who cares if we look like geeks wearing them, really? Consider the possibilities.

Do you think Google Glass will be highly successful or will it quickly fade from the limelight? Would you buy a pair?

CTU Faculty - Bruce HarmonBruce Harmon, Ph.D., is the University Doctoral Chair of Computer Science at Colorado Technical University. He earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from the University of Colorado and his M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University. He earned a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering at the United States Air Force Academy. After 9 years in the Air Force, he worked in defense and later at top-tier commercial companies for 17 years both in research and executive leadership positions. Learn why he’s IN.

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Image credit: Flickr/foreverdigital

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