Numerous people have talked about Google Glass project, so I may only wrap up a few articles and give my opinion on this HUD device. As usual, let’s start by a quick video explaining how to use Glass:
Then a few others: the “I’m living such an exciting life I’d like to record it all” video, a few “ok glass” examples showing how to voice control Glass, a how-to video to explain how Glass can be activated simply shaking the head, and finally how to use Glass to get navigation directives.
All these videos show that Glass can be controlled using 2 main inputs: voice control (with a set of simple commands starting by “ok glass”) or touch control (along the Glass body structure). In fact there are two others: head shaking (but that seems weird!) and eye control (using an IR sensor). I don’t get why this last way to control Glass is not shown or explicitly demonstrated, because I would feel more comfortable looking at Glass to activate it and blink to confirm an action, instead of shaking my head or speaking (that may not work in loud environments).
What we don’t see at first glance is the audio speaker. In fact, sounds are transmitted to the ear by the structure behind the ear, using vibrations through the skull. Nice! Then, I’ve never seen a prototype that would stick on my neck to catch my throat vibrating as it emits sounds… this would definitely avoid environment noise and nuisances.
I think I’ll never vote for a non-symetrical design of a pair of glasses… with no glass! and most of all a HUD that is not aligned with the natural central vision.
However, the interface design looks great (for the few usages you may get from such a device that won’t replace the smartphone touchscreen) and that’s really key to navigate and use it daily.
There are privacy considerations as many people pointed out, and I do agree with them. Is Google wishing to record people without their knowing, and recognize them in order to send more accurate adds? I don’t think so. Google, like any IT company, has to evolve to survive, and their web search engine won’t survive decades. Was Microsoft trying to sell more Windows OS by entering the gaming sector with Xbox? I do agree with the privacy considerations because everyone has the right to *not* be part of the video. Although this will get more and more complicated. Not being part of the “everything gets numeric” evolution may become a challenge. As the Gizmag review says, this will be an obstacle to use it publicly.
All in all, I find the interface and input alternatives great, but the Glass design and cornered HUD should look at competitors like GlassUp or Lumus who have incorporated the display in the glass, making it far more discrete!
As it’s only a beta program (that developers may participate in for a few $1,500!), the interaction may evolve until the product gets released.