Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Application Ideas for Google Glass

What is it?
In case you have missed the news and hype that has come in waves and once agained surged when released to developers early this year, Google Glass (or just GLASS) is the wearable computer and reality augmenter that sits on your face much like a pair of spectacles. The magic device then has a viewable area that displays inside part of the glasses, enabling real-time interaction with the system in conjunction with your real-world experience.

Recently Google held a mini-campaign in which they asked the world, via Google+ and Twitter, to submit ideas on what they would like to use the GLASS system for. In doing so, developers and researchers might get access to early development kits for GLASS (at a heftly price tag of $1,500). From what I can tell, there was an overwhelming number of responses and the campaign was, thus successful.

Throwing My Hat In
I never submitted anything, so I thought I would open a dialog to both predict and, perhaps, seed the next killer app for the GLASS system. Being a software engineer myself, I often look at systems (both in the IT sense as well as the organizational sense) and think of ways that a touch of technology could improve things. I have had my eye on wearable computing and augmented reality systems for a while and this seems like a prime opportunity to actually consider what would make these as imperative to my daily routine as my iPhone (or substitute that for any number of top-ranked smartphones).

So, without further ado, I present...

The List
  1. Life Recorder (productivity) - Ever have a moment pass you by and wish you could play it back? I don't know how many times I have been in the middle of a special event with my daughter only to realize that I was so wrapped up in the "now" to remember to hit "record" so my parents or other family could experience the moment as it was when they couldn't be there. If I had, in essence, DVR for my experiences I wouldn't have to worry about it again. This app would feature:
    • Real-time recording and streaming to the cloud at high quality
    • Periodic archiving of recorded streams to lower-quality files so nothing is lost altogether, just maybe not as high fidelity
    • Timestamping of events and tagging with geographic information for easily finding those moment days later when you get a chance to edit something together (if you are into that sort of thing)
    • Easy posting to social media (Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  2. Quorum (social) - From concerts to political events, being able to see an indicator as simple as a green/yellow/red light system above people that indicate their response to what is going on. Taken a step further, the venue or person of interest could look at a crowd and quickly make a decision on hw to proceed or just gain some amazing insight in real-time on the response. Think of a DJ in a booth seeing that the crowd is only so-so on the current mix and calling an audible on whether to speed things up or slow things down for the next song. Some crazy features might be:
    • Easy gesture recognition (literal thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumb to the side) that translates into equivalent indication online
    • Decisions could be put to a vote for a geo-fenced area or worldwide and repsonses fed back in via GLASS gestures as well as aggregated social media response
    • Could be an overly high-tech solution to the "coworkers standing around trying to decide where to go to lunch" conundrum
  3. Games (gaming) - Take the best of geocaching, online gaming (especially first-person shooters), and the role playing genre and blend them together. A multitude of options exist that either would see an extension to the GLASS platform as an additional input/output channel, but what is remarkable are the number of ways the platform could enable games that weren't reasonable to play before. Features that could be mashed-up into a killer game platform:
    • Real-time geographic landmarks or waypoints served up in GLASS augmented reality style
    • Over-the-head markers that indicate friendly, enemy, or mystery player types of other GLASS users allow the marker system of games like Battlefield and Call of Duty to exist in the augmented real world
    • Live-action games such as KAOS can enjoy "kill confirmations" and target acquisition that would normally have to be coordinated using secret keys or trust
  4. Porn (adult) - I can only imagine that this particular industry will see some rapid uses for the technology from their current "POV" systems (literally holding the camera at the often-male protagonists face to simulate the viewer being in the video. (See my update below)
    • Hands-free POV system allows an even more realistic experience
    • Recording the "choose your own adventure" interactive systems would be that much easier and realistic
    • Higher demand for Windex on the set (I couldn't resist)
  5. Film (general) - As I think back on the few films that I have had the pleasure to work on locally, I am reminded of the good times we had on the set as well as the tough times. We always wish we could have captured some moments and the role of documenting the behind-the-scenes always seems to be a little painful - especially in very small productions. GLASS would allow nearly anyone to serve the rol moving forward. Unprecedented (and automatic) documentation of what it is like to literally be behind the camera would be available to the public.
    • Behind the scenes views easier than ever before
    • Multiple sets could be recorded and time-synchronized for a plethora of angles that can be edited together or allow interactive experiences for viewers
    • Being able to quickly captured the directors "vision" could change the way things are done
So, there you have it: 5 quick hits that are fairly obvious (in my opinion). My question now: what can you come up with?

1/22/2014 Update: I was quite pleased (as always) to find myself right on one of these points. Mashable brings us this story of my #4 prediction (porn) coming to life. Read on here.

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