As we have become a society more prone to using our smartphones for a number of reasons such as accessing email, searching for something on the Internet, and navigating to destinations via GPS there has also been a growing need for wearable, hands-free technology. Â This technology allows one to do much of what can be done using a smartphone only without requiring one to use hands. Â This can be a much needed advantage for those who may use their smartphone while driving, exercising, and doing other tasks that would be great and safer to do without the need to look at a smartphone. Â In comes the Google Glass device, which has been created for this purpose. Â
On its second version, Google Glass 2, this cool device can be worn as glasses while allowing you to access information that you would generally access via the use of a smartphone. Â Starting with an “Ok Glass” home screen, it will allow you to give the device certain voice commands such as taking a picture, recording a video, getting directions to your destination, or even making a call. Â It can also connect to WiFi and be paired with your smartphone. One setback that has been mentioned in various reviews of this device is the poor battery life, which generally gets drained only after a few hours of general usage. Â The camera, at 5 megapixels, also isn’t the greatest when compared to that of many smartphones. Â Additionally, the design of it requires you to focus one eye on the screen and some have said this may cause slight headaches to new users who are still trying to adjust to wearing it. Â So it has been recommended to not wear it for more than a few hours the first couple of days of wearing it. Â But it does have a very cool, futuristic design that is a definite head-turner. Â I have been fortunate enough to try out the device myself and found it to be very lightweight and surprisingly not awkward to wear. Â It is currently only available to select users, though, mainly consisting of beta testers and developers who can help to improve the user experience of this device. Â It also currently comes at a hefty price of approximately $1,500 (ouch!). Â But as more people find out about this device and the demand for it increases I’m sure that only in a short matter of time Google Glass will be made available for all to purchase.
Since the Google Glass device is still fairly new, it does not currently come with many apps at all. Â Under 50 “official” apps are available for the device while there are a growing number of “unofficial” apps available for it. Â Those identified as official were developed internally by Google for this device while the unofficial apps were developed by third-party companies. Â Some official apps available for the Google Glass device include those that provide directions to your destination with the turn of your head as well as one that will search through your Gmail account for important emails such as flight updates sent to you. Â With the Glass app, you can get information such as weather and sports updates. Â But there are some really cool third-party apps available for this device, too, such as DriveSafe4Glass, which can detect when you are falling asleep while driving and keep you alert while directing you to the nearest rest stop. Â There’s also a cool app for students calledÂ Homework for Glass that helps one keep track of assignments due eliminating the need to carry around a syllabus (less paper to keep up with!). Other cool apps for Google Glass allow you to look up recipes to follow while preparing them without the need to pick up your smartphone or cookbook, those that act as a fitness companion tracking your workout progress and allowing you to continue your workout hands-free, and even an app that allows you to interact with Facebook by sharing posts to your timeline and responding to other Facebook users. These apps and more can be found on the unofficial Google Glass app page here. Â In addition to the availability of cool apps, the Google Glass device also has some cool accessories available for it such as ear buds and even sunglasses that lock into the device’s nose stems.
Once Google Glass is made available to the general public for purchase and the development of more apps continue to make it a more enjoyable experience to use then what does this mean for the smartphone? With features that have become commonly used by smartphone users such as taking pictures, listening to music, and accessing email, could the Google Glass device almost wipe out the need to use a smartphone? Well, considering the price, poor battery life, and not-so-hot camera maybe not just yet. But it certainly seems to be a hot item to add to the tech-savvy’s collection of cool tech gadgets. Hopefully with its growing popularity and demand the price of this lightweight device will drop soon and some improvements will be made such as with the battery life and picture quality. Just like any other tech gadget I’m sure this one will improve over time and continue to evolve making for an even more awesome user experience.