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My view of Google Glass: half full

Last week, for one day, the world got the chance to get their hands on Google Glass. Of all the possibilities they represent, I’m looking most forward to better do-it-myself experiences.

We’ve just had the long Easter weekend here in the UK, with Friday and Monday off. And for many households, an extra day off means finally getting in that long-planned trip to IKEA — followed, of course, by a weekend of arguments and frustration as we discover our spatial recognition skills are sadly lacking.

Flat-packed furniture puts me in a cold sweat, fueled by painful memories of woodworking and metalworking classes (or "shop" as some of you might call them) at school. Whilst my mother still has (somewhere) the three-and-a-half-legged* giraffe I made, my only take-away was the memory of being told I couldn’t even hold a screwdriver correctly.

Well, my cold sweat days could soon(ish) be a thing of the past, thanks to augmented reality. And with almost perfect timing, Google made Google Glass available for general sale last week, even if for just one day.

What’s the connection between Google Glass and flat-packed furniture?

Augmented reality can provide hands-free guidance for the most complex of repairs and assembly tasks, as visitors to the booth for SAP (my employer) at Mobile World Congress this year will know. (This video does a great job of explaining, albeit in French with English subtitles, how Google Glass is so much better than a manual.) 

Whilst the SAP solution is initially aimed at industry, I’m sure it will only be a short time before we can do this at home — assuming Google will offer the glasses for sale again.

In the meantime, I’ll stick to imagining how that new furniture will look in my flat, thanks to IKEA’s augmented reality-enabled catalogue. (Here’s a video that explains and an article.)

* It should have been four-legged, but my over-enthusiastic use of a Bunsen burner to colour the wood unintentionally created a rather unique creature (and a small fire).