Think back to the very first time you wore a virtual reality headset. The experience of being teleported into a parallel dimension at the click of a button was rather exhilarating. The Google Glass takes this concept one step further by allowing the individual to tap into resources on the Internet whilst going about their everyday routine with a pair of Android powered spectacles. These seemingly ordinary glasses are packed with a multitude of features ranging from taking pictures and watching movies to obtaining directions, searching for information and translating phrases. The device works by positioning a miniature display of information on a virtual panel in front of your eyes at such an angle that it doesn’t obstruct your ordinary vision.
The glass responds to voice commands, taps and gestures via the integration of a touch-sensitive bar, located along the side of the frame. It is possible to customise the glasses further by downloading specially designed apps or pairing it with your mobile phone using the My Glass App. Initial thoughts on the glasses are that they are lightweight and incredibly powerful. For those who already wear glasses, a custom version of the Google Glass which can be attached to existing frames will be made available. At present the glass is available in five colours; namely black, orange, grey, white and blue. Basic specifications include a 5 megapixel camera, 24 hour battery life, 16GB flash memory, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Although the Google Glass is not yet commercially available, participants who signed up to the Google Glass Explorer Program in 2013 were able to purchase a developer version for approximately £985.
Set to be launched later this year, there are concerns which still need to be addressed such as the invasion of privacy and the dangers of wearing the glasses whilst driving. However, on the whole the reception has been very positive provided the price tag comes down a notch or two when they are eventually released onto the market!