What is Google Glass?

And should my family get a pair?

© Erica Schroeder | Dreamstime.com

Google Glass is a wearable technology that comes in the form of eyeglass wear; think smart phone technology built into a pair of spectacles. Just about everything you do with your smart phone — take photos, take videos, make calls, send messages, search the Internet, look up weather — will be available on Google Glass through a simple voice command, keeping hands free and your gaze up instead of down.

How does it work?

Google Glass has the basics of a computer tucked neatly into the frame of the glasses, along with a microphone, speaker, battery, and GPS components. Similar to the Suri feature on an iPhone, the user interface for Google Glass promises to be a very easy-to-use voice command system. A simple tap on the side of the glass will signal the technology to start. Then, each voice request would start with a simple “OK Glass” followed by the command, such as “Take picture.”

How might a family use Google Glass?

Imagine taking a video of your child’s dance recital without holding up a camera, or making a quick call without having to put the baby down and fumble for the phone. The ability to access technology and communicate hands-free is certainly appealing to many parents. Like mobile phones, early users will likely innovate all kinds of ways the technology can be used. The following statement is prominent on the Google Glass website: “From moms to mountain climbers, Google Explorers are the first to make, to tinker, to create, and to help shape the future of Glass.”

So where can you get a pair?

The company is looking for “explorers” to try the gadgets and provide feedback as they prepare a commercial version of the glasses. While versions of the glasses can sell on eBay for more than $2,000, the cost to get a new pair from Google Glass Explorers is $1,500. If you’re not sure you’re ready to invest, you can sign up to get updates on the gadget’s progress through the company’s website.

What about… distractions while driving? Privacy issues? Security concerns? Many implications have yet to be worked out, such as the use of Google Glass in movie theaters, while driving a car, and areas where privacy would be a concern. Like mobile phones, laws, policies and social expectations will adjust as the technology becomes more mainstream.

Learn more at google.com/glass/start


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