Google's Glass Developer Kit, video streaming on deck

Timothy Jordan, senior developer advocate at Google for Project Glass, noted new developer tools as it builds the Google Glass ecosystem on the fly.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Google is working on a Glass Development Kit (GDK) that is likely to include the ability for offline service use. This GDK will arrive "at some point in the future." Google Glass will also allow for video streaming for broadcasting.

During a talk at Google IO, Timothy Jordan, senior developer advocate at Google for Project Glass, did a walkthrough of developing for Google Glass. Judging from the overflow crowd at Jordan's talk---doors were locked as the room reached capacity and another location packed for a live stream---there's a wee bit of interest for creating Glass applications.

Also: I/O 2013: Google's location APIs likely to fuel Google Glass apps

Among the new developments:

  • Jordan said the video streaming will be a URL attachment to Glass and Google will handle the processing. There's no timeline for this developer feature, but Jordan said it will be added to the documentation soon.
  • The GDK, which will have a native API, is a work in progress. Jordan outlined what the GDK would do roughly, noted that the "conversation is ongoing" as it is being built and asked developers to "tell us what your dreams are for Glass."
  • Glass apps are starting to build up via partners ranging from Facebook to The New York Times to Evernote to CNN and Elle. "Twitter and Glass just work well together," noted Jordan. 
  • Google is working through how Glass customers will ultimately discover apps. "A healthy ecosystem revolves at some point around discover," said Jordan, who noted that Glass is still in developer preview so details around third party app distribution are to come. "We're definitely going to have something," said Jordan. 

The big takeaway here is that the Glass Explorer program is really about creating the ecosystem for Glass and the tools to make applications on the fly. Glass is a work in progress.



Jordan's talk walked through best practices such as making sure apps are tested on Glass, don't get in the way of the user and keep things simple. "Never send a notification telling someone that they didn't respond. They should be able to ignore the notification and your service keeps running," said Jordan.

Use cases for Glass today include content distribution, navigation and photos. Going forward, Google, which is pushing Google Hangout as a good Glass use, is counting on developers to create what would be a killer app. But first Google needs to get the developer tools in the field. The GDK is going to be a big help.

"Examples are really important right now. We're building up best practices and finding the best experience for Glass," said Jordan.

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