The slim, stylish appearance of Google’s newest product, Google Glass, aims to bring sci-fi technology into the everyday world. Since May 2012, the company famous for its white background search engine and Doodles has tested eyeglasses with smartphone capabilities in an invitation-only Explorer program.
“It can do anything my phone can do but it’s hands-free,” says Andrew Heil, an Evansville resident who participated in Explorer and has owned a pair since summer 2013. “I don’t have to be down here on my phone.”
When the wearer initially puts on the glasses, a sensor pad located on the side of the lightweight frame activates a small screen in front of the right eye. From there, the user can connect to Wi-Fi using a phone as a hot spot or as a data source and use the glasses just like a smartphone. Apps are available through MyGlass using Google Glassware programs, and all media taken with the Glass is automatically backed up to the user’s Google+ account, which offers different privacy settings.
Heil uses Google Hangouts at his job in IT at the Ariens Company in Evansville for interoffice chat, with messages going straight to the device’s screen. Work email and social media sites are also easily accessible with the device. Voice commands such as “OK Glass” and “Take a Picture” are currently how the technology works and the sensor pad allows the wearer to swipe and click to different screens or apps.
The device is now available for general purchase on the Google Glass website for $1,500. The frames, lenses, and accessories are all customizable.
“Is it worth it? That’s yet to be determined,” says Heil. “Everyone didn’t jump on the iPhone when it came out but it has the potential to pay off.”
The eyewear device is compatible with iPhone- and Android-based phones. The device comes with 12 gigabytes of usable memory.
For more information on Google Glass, visit google.com/glass/start.