10 things about Google Glass: Could this be Google's iPad?

10 things about Google Glass: Could this be Google's iPad?

Summary: Here are 10 things to know about the Google Glass program for developers, consumers, businesses and everyone interested in the search giant's next big thing.


Google has officially released specifications and application programming interfaces for its Glass Explorer editions, a beta program designed to generate developer interest, apps, buzz and improvements for a broader rollout. Naturally, this Glass kickoff, which will probably ramp until Google I/O next month, brings a lot of documentation to digest. 


Here are 10 things to know about the Google Glass program for developers, consumers, businesses and everyone interested in the search giant's next big thing. Earlier: Google Glass is finally here: Tech specs released, first units shipped | Google publishes Glass' Mirror API preview for developers

What can you do with Google Glass? Check here (images)

  • Glass apps will use Java and Python to write applications. According to Google's Mirror API, developers can use either language for a quick start project. The aim of the quick start is to create a Glass app and modify it. Play around, but first you'll need a Google App Engine instance.
  • Google is keeping a lid on what developers can do. For now, Google's developer terms of service mean no advertisements in Glass clients, no data can be used for ads or data and you can't collect payments. Google Glass apps must use official Google distribution channels. The moves are the opposite of the Wild West ways of Android. On the surface, this makes sense. Why? Glasses are more personal from a device perspective. Google doesn't want any horror stories with Glass.
  • Google Glass will be a big business, though. It's a bit hard to believe that Glass could not be a big business. Google has partnered with big-name venture capitalists, has an ad network that pays the bills and is going to get a treasure trove of data. Monetization will follow for sure.
  • The devices will be controlled via an Android app on Google Play. This app will manage the glasses and configure them.
  • Specifications for Google Glass are interesting. Google will have 12 GB of usable memory synced with Google cloud storage and 16GB Flash memory total. Battery should last a full day, but an app like Google Hangouts, which will probably be popular, will drain the charge.
  • You can't resell Google Glass. Google specifically notes that you can give them as a gift, but there will be no black market for them. I give that five minutes once Google Glass actually ships.
  • Consumer Google accounts can be connected to Google Glass. No corporate connections yet. The real interesting connection for enterprises would be service-oriented businesses and Google Glass. For now, Google Glass is all about individual accounts. Google Apps access will certainly follow at some point.
  • The business implications for Google Glass will appear later. Google Glass could become a productivity tool. Presentations, location data, sales information and real-time information on the go could be handy. You could also picture a person on an oil rig giving a real-time, real-world view of a product to a manager in Dubai.
  • Google Glass is an ecosystem play. The connections to other Google services are everywhere you turn with Google Glass. Glass really is a Web application in many respects. You're tied into Google's cloud and data more than ever. That reality is likely to cause a few privacy concerns.
  • With the Google Glass program, the search giant could finally become the hardware player it wants to be. Forget the Chromebook. Motorola Mobility? Chromebox? Nexus devices? Also let's stop pretending smart watches will matter. Google's hardware efforts are really just a warm-up act to Google Glass. If successful — and Google has the ecosystem, buzz and resources to stick with it — Glass will be the first original hardware made by the search giant that can capture the public's imagination. Google Glass could be Google's iPad or iPhone.

Topics: Google, Mobility, Bring Your Own Device

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  • 10 things about Google Glass: Could this be Google's iPad?

    That's an easy question to answer: No!
    • wrong.

      It could be. We'll see how the market goes.
      • The Douchbag Factor

        Biggest hurdle to Glass adoption: when you wear it, you look like a douchebag. Even a bigger douchbag than when you wear a BlueTooth earpiece. This is what killed the Segway. It's a marvel of technology that makes the rider look like a complete f---ing tool. Who's sitting at home thinking, "You know, if only there was some way I could look more like Geordi LaForge from Star Trek ..."
        • zOMG!

          Who *isn't* sitting at home thinking "if only there was some way I could look more like Geordi LaForge from Star Trek ..."?
          Adam S
          • Almost every person isn't.

          • They look nothing like Geordi's visor...

            That's not to say they won't suck. There's a whole mess of things that could go wrong (privacy concerns, annoying ads, etc) and you might no like how they look, but they don't look like Geordi's visor.
        • That's only the first generation device...

          Sure, the current Google Glass is clunky and makes you look like a cyborg. Eventually we will have similar devices that just look like eyeglasses. But to get there we need people to work with the glasses we know how to build now, and to figure out what kinds of applications work and don't work on the platform.
          • Privacy...

            This is is where I see the biggest issue coming into play. If Google Glasses (or similar technology) ever get to the point that they look just like regular glasses, I can envision a day where places will say no one with glasses are allowed.

            Don't believe me? Let's think about it, there are already many places that don't allow cell phones (especially smart phones) due to the camera, microphone and GPS in them and privacy concerns (or security concerns in some cases). There are places that are already banning Google Glasses and they haven't even officially been made public yet.

            This doesn't even factor in safety concerns, for example how would airline attendants ensure that they are turned off or in airplane mode?

            So, no I don't see them looking like regular glasses.
          • Privacy won't be the main issue, as big as that one is.

            It's going to be the ads!

            No commercially viable number of people is going to pay anywhere near a break-even price on what this hardware costs, so the only way this product survives is on advertising. And the advertising will be unrelenting in it's pervasiveness, it has to be to generate the money it needs for subsidy. I'm not sure how long the general public will like the idea of looking weird in public while being served ads based on every place you go and everything you look at.
          • says who?

            "No commercially viable number of people is going to pay anywhere near a break-even price on what this hardware costs"

            If its cool enough they will.. Look at the iPad its over priced and they buy tons of them. People will buy things even if you say they won't.
          • The last article I read on Google glasses, said they were going to cost

            between $1500.00 to $2000.00 (U.S.) minimum. you can buy a few Ipads at that cost. The only people that will be buying them are those that make $100,000.+ annual/yr.

            Lower and Middleclass are struggling to make ends meet. The Ipad is viewed by a lot of them as a PC replacement.

            GoogleGlass may be seen as a cool item, but it will be out of a lot of people's reach, unless the price drops.

          • maybe

            google don't want broke people buying their glasses, just like Apple don't want broke people buying their iPad.
          • banning doesn't work

            Nobody enforces it. They ban cell phone in gym locker rooms. But every time I'm in the locker room I see people texting away. All the FAA pressure to change in flight gadget rules are already being modified to "get with the program" of modern day life. So I don't see this as a factor.
          • banning will woirk

            I'd like to see how you deal with a judge in a courtroom if he sees you wearing these. or the bouncers at a casino or the cop pulling you over for wearing them, or an official from Homeland security at the airport checkin or the lawsuit for taking video of a hot woman at the gym and posting it on you tube. How about trying to record a movie. I don't actually think you'll have enough battery life to record a 90 minute 720p full length movie. How about the teacher at college as you attmpt to record class? How about being picked up for spying if you are close to a military installation. I gues that these google devices will be targeted even more than cell phones cuz the cell phone is not a dedicated recording device where as google glass is about the only thing it can be used for.
          • It will be an issue.

            As I read the article, I was think about how I would feel when the person standing in front of me was point a video camera in their glasses at me. I suspect my reaction would be the same one my wife gives me when i point a camcorder at her-- "Please turn that thing off!"
          • Logos and Switches

            As long as they don't make the glasses uncomfortable, you could have the airplane mode switch on the outside (physical) and show the flight attendant which mode it is in. Also, google could include a logo on the side, to tell apart from regular glasses.
            Tristan Murray
          • Eye spy

            With nano tech going the way it is - contact lens monitors and button-hole cams instead of glasses can't be far off.
          • Well, lots of issues.

            What about people who already wear glasses. Last I checked, an iPad works fine for people with glasses...will these Google goggles be the same?

            What will these things really do? What will they cost? How well will they work? Indeed, what will the final version look like?

            Here are some quite possible answers:

            They may really not end up doing that much for the wearer. They may just cost way too much for what they do in the end. This kind of thing seems to often not work as seamlessly as one gets to hoping when you see what x-ray goggles do in the movies. If they look good enough to pass for normal glasses and not leave you looking like a complete nerdling, it wont be long before some idiot has them on while driving and kills someone due to distraction. So they either have to leave you looking like an oddball or there will end up being people who wear then where they should not be.

            This whole thing is just a bit much. Google goggles, iWatches....Borg implants, oops! Sorry. Thats next week.

            Just what we need in the world, more and more ways for people to impinge on our privacy through any means possible. Smartphones and tracking capabilities were not sufficient enough for anyone to try getting hold of you at a seconds notice, now you will be getting told to put on your Google goggles when you go out so Mr. "X" can track everything your looking at. He dosnt like it when your wasting time by looking at things that arnt important to his life.

            Is there anyone left who can recall being able to say "Sorry, I didnt know you were trying to get hold of me, I was out and I dont own an answering machine".

            Ahh. The good old days. Not perfect, just good.
          • It'll probably be cheap and work good.

            Google does a good job of subsidizing its products to get their spyware into people's hands. They tend to offer a good product for cheap in return for the right to constantly monitor and profile you.
        • LOL

          That comment totally made my day. LOL Thanks!!