Google Glass: What You Need to Know

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The new Google Glass, though not available to everyone as of now, has been generating waves of intrigue about it everywhere since it debuted at the Google I/O conference in June last year.

It was only in February that a few of the developers got their pieces and started pondering as to what they could do with it. Google Glass is currently priced at $1500 (RM 4,500) and in reality is just a prototype intended for developers to make it better.

The first edition of Google Glass, which is a part of the company’s Project Glass is called the Google Glass Explorer. Plainly speaking, the gadget is something that would let you stay connected to the world as you perform some basic activities that you would otherwise do on your smartphone.

Specs of Google Glass

Google claims that the device weighs less than your normal pair of sunglasses. On the side of the glass is a touchpad for control. On top, there is a button to shoot videos and photos through built-in camera. It also has a small display that gives out information away from the line of your sight.

The Explorer Edition, apart from the camera, has multiple radios to enable data communication, mic and speaker. The glass also has a gyroscope to inform you about your orientation and position all the time. Google claims that the gadget has bone-conduction speaker, which allows keeping your ears open to the surroundings. It also includes Broadcom 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi radio along with Bluetooth 4.0.

The Feel and Functionality

Google Glass is designed to obey your voice commands. All you have to say is “Ok, Glass,” and then say whatever you want the glass to do like “take a picture.” This seems more like something coming out of a cyborg movie but it is true. To know the exact feel, watch the video we featured at the top of the article.

The experience is almost similar to using Google Now on your Android with Jelly Bean. In fact, Google Now is well integrated with the device. It gives you directions and even gives you a list of nearby restaurants at dinnertime. You can also interact with screen; for instance, if you tap on the current weather, it will give you a weather forecast or if you tap on a restaurant listed, you can get directions to it.

It also has some apps designed specifically, most notable of which is New York Times app. Whenever there is breaking news, it lets you know about it but you cannot read about the news in full detail. It also has Google Search, which can come quite handy if you are looking for quick information on the go. You can also share pictures and videos, and get translations using the gadget.

Navigation: This is among the best features of Google Glass. You can just speak an address or turn to Google Now suggestions. You will get a very accurate turn-by-turn direction with this feature. Once you select a destination on your phone, you can even transfer it to Google Glass if you have the MyGlass app. The experience of navigation is more or less the same as it is with your smartphone using Google Navigation. You would be disappointed if you were expecting a 3D arrow guiding you at a distance.

Messaging: When you get an email or a text, Google Glass tell you about it with a chime. To view the message, all you need to do is tilt your head up and you would be able to see the first few words of the text. You can then decide whether to go through the entire message or ignore it. If you choose to go through it, you will have to tap to get the menu and tap again to select “read more.” You can then swipe to read the entire mail. You can also do a reply all, reply, or archive the message. All the responses must be performed through voice, which is a hit or miss most of the times.


Video calling: Even though the person you speak to would not be able to see your face, it is a nice way to experience a video call where you do not have to hold your smartphone or tablet up so that it can capture your face. The usability though can be quite limited by the quality of connection. If you are hoping for a good-quality video and audio, you would need a strong wireless broadband signal, like 4G LTE. Since the device is Wi-Fi enabled you can make use of it if available.

See More: What is 4G LTE?

Camera: Google Glass has a 5 megapixel camera currently and can capture 720 p video. The quality of the photos largely depends on the light conditions. There is no view finder and what you are looking at is not exactly what the camera captures all the time. With the video, you get a continuous view of what is being recorded and the quality is generally good; again, this is dependent on the availability of light.

Is the World Ready for Google Glasses?

Many consider Google Glass to be the next stage in consumer gadgetry, and there is a lot of truth in it. You might see people throwing commands at their glasses as we go forward.  Maybe we are broaching a world, sharing commonalities with Star Trek. But some question whether it is taking technology too close into our lives. Having your vision completely engaged in a gadget all the time is something many people may not appreciate.

For people who view this as a convenient gadget that can replace smartphones, it is a totally different story. All we can say is that we are currently at a stage where “mobile technology” is booming and Google Glass could be the next solid step into “wearable technology.”

You can visit their website for more info about Glass.

See more: Japan’s Version of Google Glass – Telepathy

What do you think about Google Glass.  Share your thoughts in the comments below.  Also, stay in touch with us by registering for our  free e-newsletter here.

Photo Credit: Google Glass



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