Hands-on with Google Glass apps: in pictures

Google Glass is like a smartphone in your line of sight. While it may still in its infancy and early days of development, it still packs a lot of punch. Here's what it can do.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

In this gallery, we will take a look through the glass display prism that rests just above the wearer's line of sight, to give a first-hand perspective of what the wearable technology can do.

Image: Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive 

This is the third part in a five-part series on Google Glass. 

"OK Glass:" Find me directions

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You can ask Glass almost any question and if it is able to produce an "intelligent" response, it will display that. Failing that, it will display a web search result based on that query. 

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In this example, it knows who "Barack Obama" is and displays his photo and a short bio, while reading it aloud through the bone-conducting speaker that rests close to the user's right temple.

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By integrating with Google intelligent search results, Glass can translate real world text on the fly, seek out flight details based on your email inbox, check the weather in another country, and even read out the time. 


In this case, by simply asking "what time it is" in a certain place will read out a result through your bone-conducting speaker.

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Images: ZDNet 

"OK Glass:" Find me directions

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One of the most common features of Glass is being able to find directions by walking, public transit, or car. 

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Connecting to your smartphone's cellular connection and GPS but using its in-built compass, you can walk around almost anywhere and see from an aerial map view.

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Tell Glass your destination and it will tell you how long it will take and offer step-by-step directions. If you spin around, Glass will show you on the map which direction you are facing — which is particularly handy when exiting subway stations.


Images: ZDNet 

"OK Glass:" Translate this

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You can see in this example that swiping through the menu can take a few seconds. It is often easier to simply tap the arm of Google Glass and say, "OK Glass…" and then your query. 

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One of the available apps, called "glassware," is World Lens, which integrates well with the wearable technology, allowing users to translate text in the real world on the fly.

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"OK Glass… translate" brings up the camera, which focuses on translatable text. Depending on your language settings, it will in your prism-like display replace words in your native tongue. It has yet to be refined as it is currently more of a concept at this stage, but it works with enough accuracy to generally get the idea of what it's trying to say.

Images: ZDNet

"OK Glass:" Take a picture

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You can either tap the camera button just above your ear on the Glass headset, which takes an instant snap of whatever is in front of you. 

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Or alternatively, you can scroll through the menu like any other "glassware" app.

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In this example, a photo is taken and a "vignette" is created. A vignette allows users to take a photo while embedding a screenshot of what's on the display. The image can then be sent to phone and email contacts, or shared with social networks.

Images: ZDNet

"OK Glass:" Send a message

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Just like with your smartphone, sending a text message or email is relatively easy. But without any input controls, Glass wearers will have to dictate their messages regardless of where they are. 

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Either from the "OK Glass" command or by scrolling through your contacts, Glass will send your message by the best channel — either email or text message — depending on the available contact details

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Glass keeps a number of recent events in form of "cards" to the right-hand side of the "OK Glass" menu. You can see here one of these cards, which also states when it was sent in the bottom-right hand side of the display.

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Images: ZDNet

"OK Glass:" Listen to music

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As is the case with nearly every smartphone on the market, Glass brings more to the wearable gadget in form of a music player. 

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Synchronizing with Google Music over the cloud, newer device owners can plug in an earbud or listen through the bone-conducting speaker with relatively decent sound quality music from the cloud.

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From playlists to individual song tracks, it's basic in functionality but it's enough to bring a little entertainment to the tech-filled eyeglasses. All of your uploaded tracks and albums on Google Music are available over the cloud. 

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Images: ZDNet 

Unlocking Glass with screen-lock

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The latest Google Glass Explorer Edition software update (XE12) comes with a screen-lock mechanism, allowing the gadget's owner to swipe the arm in different combinations to gain access to the device.

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The screen lock is about as secure as a four-digit PIN code on a smartphone. This basic security feature allows data stored on the device to remain secure. 

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When the display is locked, a small circle appears on the bottom of the display, prompting the user to swipe the Glass arm away from you (the circle goes to the right) or towards you (to the left). This example shows the lock setup and the screen unlocking mechanism.

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Images: ZDNet 

"OK Glass:" Share and caption a photo

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There are two ways of uploading content you've created, such as photos and video, to your friends and contacts. There's sending, which allows the Glass owner to directly send content to contacts in the Google account's contacts, and there's sharing, which integrates with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. 

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Once you snap a photo, simply tap the Glass arm and you are given options to send or share.

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Here we can sharing the photo with the wider public on Google+. 

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Midway through the upload, the Glass user is prompted to add a caption using voice transcription.

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Images: ZDNet 

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