Google Glass is undoubtedly the most talked about gadget of the year. As a technology company that has developed applications used by more than 10 million people, AWH prides itself on staying two to three years ahead of the digital curve. So after one of our developers, Johannes Setiabdui, attended Google I/O in May, we jumped at the chance to become part of the Glass developer community.
Wearable technology has been gaining traction in the media since the concept for Google Glass was released back in April 2012 on Google+. While Google is the leader in the field of wearable technology, Apple is rumored to also be working on a wrist device codenamed iWatch. Watch Apple CEO Tim Cook speak about wearable technology at the recent All Things D conference.
Our team has been living with Google Glass in the office for about a week now, taking turns using it both at work and in our personal lives. We’ve been exploring taking pictures, recording videos, surfing the Web and getting directions. We’ve also been figuring out how to connect Glass to networks and other devices.
The team’s experience so far has illustrated how wearable technology devices, such as Glass, are poised to become game changers. But is that always a good thing?
Glass does a fantastic job of allowing hands-free recording and sharing of what you are seeing in real time. It’s easy to take pictures and record videos– and the quality of both is quite good. Given that Google is behind Glass, the device interfaces and shares content with Google+ intuitively and easily. Anyone with a Google account can also participate in a Google Hangout simply and quickly. And, just like prescription glasses that become part of your daily life, after wearing Glass for a while, you become accustomed to effortlessly interacting with the functionality and content.
One of the usability curves with Glass will undoubtedly be learning to interact with an interface that doesn’t have a screen. Users will have to use their fingers to touch objects–buttons, screens, pages, etc.– that exist virtually in their line of sight. Think of a heads-up display in a car, but actually interacting with it. The value of interacting with applications and information without having to physically hold a device will shorten the learning curve. The hands-free nature of Glass is, and will be, its most significant value.
However, as we outlined in a previous column, we believe every company should prioritize the effective use of technology as a core discipline. Although wearable technology is just being introduced, signs indicate that it will be disruptive– companies should be preparing for how they will leverage and incorporate the new aspects of engagement provided by Glass.
As for us, augmented reality application development for our clients is a major interest and key priority. Being able to engage with content on Glass will provide users with the sense that the experience is occurring naturally. At AWH, we are excited to continue to use and develop on new devices, always leveraging the newest technology for our clients.