Thursday, August 15, 2013

What's the Deal with Google Glass?

With an aesthetic design that only compares to things we’ve seen in ‘Zenon’ or ‘Back to the Future’, Google Glass is a technological advancement that, despite our tech-savvy society, is one that’s difficult to envision as an integral part of our lives. While we’ve been hearing a lot of buzz around Google Glass and its development, there are still many unknowns about this potentially lifestyle-changing device. But first, why all the hype around these rather un-stylish glasses; what is their purpose? 
Developed by Google in the ‘Project Glass’ project, the device has been in the works since 2011, and is intended to ‘free data from desktop computers and portable devices like phones and tablets, and place it right in front of the eyes of the viewer,’ according to Equipped with a glass lens, camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone, the device projects an image or information in the user’s upper right field of view so as not to obstruct vision.  Google Glass is controlled by the user via the small touchpad on the right or through voice commands. 

The devices alleged capabilities include: 
  • Basic Google search functionalities 
  • Built in Bluetooth and Wifi 
  • Photo capturing 
  • Video capturing 
  • Video conferencing 
  • Google Maps 
  • Message answering with Google’s voice-to-text functionality when tethered to your phone 
  • Language translation 
  • Third party/partner applications 

Additionally, it was announced in early 2013 that Google Glass users will be able to share their activity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What does this mean for content sharing on these platforms?

It’s hard to say at this point the degree to which Google Glass will impact social media, but a few early predictions have been made. It’s projected that the device’s capabilities will meld best with Twitter due to the instantaneous, spur of the moment content that drives the social media network.

Here’s what Google Glass will offer on the three networks:
  • Facebook: Users will be able to share images with captions, descriptions and locations tags through voice input. They can choose to share privately with selected friends or publicly with their entire network.
  • Twitter: Users can view their timeline and will be able to tweet and direct message using voice commands. When tweeting from Google Glass, a removable #ThroughGlass hashtag will appear.
  • Tumblr: Users can receive and adjust frequency of updates and notifications via their Tumblr dashboard. Simple uploading of photos, videos and text is also available, with the ability to edit and delete from the device.
Only when the $1500 device becomes available to consumers in late 2013 or early 2014 (note: Christmas or New Year’s present!) will we be able to truly see how Google Glass will affect social media sharing. All we can say is, we’ll be getting the most up-to-date content from a very personal vantage point!

We can’t discuss Google Glass without acknowledging it’s rather unattractive look. (I mean seriously, how are we supposed to pull those off without looking all ‘girl of the 21st Century’?) But wait, Google Glass is rumored to have partnered with Warby Parker to develop a fashion-forward, wearable design.

While making way for this new advancement might take some time for the masses, the fashion world has welcomed it with open arms. Vogue’s iconicSeptember issue features a 12-page spread with models sporting minimalist designs topped off with a pair of Google Glass. Now that’s functional fashion! 

By Emily Cleary, MDPR Social Media Director

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