Google invites tech “explorers” to test its futuristic spectacles
On Wednesday, Google showed the world how it would feel to experience life while wearing the Google Glass headset, in a short video aptly named “How It Feels [through Glass]”.
The two-minute clip shows off voice recognition, navigation and other features of the upcoming device. Although the Glass project is far from being complete, the video gives potential customers a clear idea of what to expect.
Google has also announced the ‘Glass Explorer’ initiative which will give a few lucky individuals in the US a chance to put the clever headwear through its paces.
Last month, Google co-founder and leader of the ‘Google X’ project Sergey Brin was spotted wearing the experimental device on the New York subway.
Not much is known about the inner workings of the Glass project, but this much is certain: the device runs Android, features indirect bone-conduction speakers, will come in five colours (black, gray, blue, red or white) and will have removable shades.
Surprisingly, the video doesn’t show much of augmented reality, in the classic sense of the term. Instead, we are treated to a “lifestyle” advert where Glass is positioned as a cloud-based personal digital assistant.
The main features seen in the video are: voice-to-text messaging, video calls, access to Google’s search engine, GPS navigation and calendar. The device will also be able to take pictures and film video.
To activate Glass, users need to use the code phrase “OK Glass”, followed by one of pre-set commands. Besides voice control, the headset can also be operated through a small touchpad on the side, accompanied by a single button.
As for the Glass Explorer initiative, it will require early adopters to express in 50 words or less why they should be chosen to test the über-spectacles. The mini-essay will have to be accompanied by a 15-second video and five photographs taken by the applicant. If the application is successful, the user will also have to shell out around $1,500 for the device itself.
“We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass. We’d love to make everyone an Explorer, but we’re starting off a bit smaller,” the company said in a statement. “While we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft has put in a patent application that indicates it is working on its own set of high-tech shades.
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