Among the prospective hi-tech wearable products, the most exciting and the much awaited one is Google’s ‘Google Glass’. Glass, as it is simply called, is a wearable technological product that users can wear like spectacles in front of their eyes. It can be visualised as a mini computer sitting on a person’s nose. It has a small mounted display which acts as a screen to view.
With its computing power, it can perform many tasks that a user needs. One of its most distinguishing features is that, users can operate it without using their fingers. Glass can be activated to perform many tasks by just saying ‘OK google’ verbally and then can be given commands. Alternatively a user can tap the side of the rim of the spectacle and ask glass to perform tasks for you.
Glass offers many advantages. The most distinguishing character that makes this technology unique is that, it can record videos and transmit them, hands free in real time from the camera attached to it. This particular feature can be used in many novel ways. Virgin airline is using the glass in an innovative way: providing hospitality to its customers. The employee of the airline wearing the glass transmits the video of the arriving traveller to a hospitality centre which sends back information about that traveller on to the employee’s glass’ screen. This enables the employee to interact with the customer in a much more engaging and customised way.
Similarly Glass has many more useful applications: it can schedule meetings, show directions on a map, recommend nearby restaurants and even warn us about traffic and weather. Google glass has unlimited possibilities which are just being realised. Many Application (App) developers are creating customized Apps for glass using its unique features. Many cyber experts believe that wearable technologies will define the digital era in the next decade. And google glass will be the first and most important step in that direction.
Potential applications of glass are seen in varied sectors like security where personnel can transmit live feed in emergency situation. Glass can also help police to record evidence in real time and can contact and receive information and directions from command centre. Doctors are already using it to record and transmit the surgeries they are performing: this gives others the perspective of the doctor.
However there are some concerns about its negative applications. It can affect privacy: glass could be used to film people without their consent or knowledge. There are also studies about the adverse effects of glass on those who wear them: people’s socializing behaviour could change because it would be difficult for them not to be distracted by a computer in front of their eyes while having a conversation; this could also lead to accidents if users use it while driving.