Google Glass is finally here, at least for early adopters willing to shell out $1,500 for the prototype shades and agree to serve as test subjects for the next few months. Through a series of processors, sensors and communication devices, Google Glass connects users with others in their social circles, provides instant information, augments reality and records events. Google Glass clearly signals where the future of mobile computing seems to be heading: Wearable computers.
Although Google’s video demonstrations of its new product were designed to highlight live streaming of adrenaline-fueled feats of extreme sports such as skydiving, there are many other implications to think about once Google Glass becomes as popular as a fashion accessory. From business to education and from shopping to navigation, high-tech wearable computers like Google Glass are bound to change and improve our lives.
Google Glass enhances many of the functions that advanced smartphones and tablets already perform, such as conducting business meetings, serving as navigation devices, retrieving information, and connecting to social networks. The advantage that Google Glass has over a modern, high-performance mobile device is that it creates a hands-free experience that is more natural. The fact that Google Glass is worn instead of carried has a lot to do with its unique user experience.
The possibilities are endless; a fashionable young woman visiting her favorite chic boutique can get her friends’ instant feedback on her miniskirt. She can also take a picture of the miniskirt and look up similar items and different prices by using simple voice commands and touch gestures. In this sense, Google Glass could be disruptive for the retail shopping experience, but it will also prompt store owners to think of ways to accommodate customers who wear smart devices. One way would be to encourage Google Glass wearers to glance at a QR code poster so that they can see special discounts.
Business meetings enhanced by Google Glass also come to mind, especially meetings in which some members are present and others are at remote locations. Virtual assistants will probably see demand for their services increase thanks to Google Glass, and they are bound to get busier since it will be far easier for their bosses to instantly contact them.
In essence, if technology like the mp3 audio format revolutionized various industries and changed our lives, it is not hard to envision how Google Glass will transform mobile computing.
Feature image courtesy of Flickr user Max Braun