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Google asks: What would you do if you had Glass?
AFP
February 21, 2013
First Published: 13:26 IST(21/2/2013)
Last Updated: 13:28 IST(21/2/2013)

The search company has launched a compeition offering one lucky individual the chance to join the team developing its Google Glass augmented reality headset.


A video entitled "How it feels through Glass" is a two-minute extravaganza of extreme sports, extreme celebrating and extreme tourism seen through the eyes of Google Glass wearers, showcasing a number of uses for Google Glass that anyone with an up-to-date smartphone can also access. Using nothing other than voice commands, these wearers take and share photos, shoot videos, access flight information, translate foriegn phrases, navigate routes and Google the facts about jellyfish.

The video also links to a competition called 'What would you do if you had Glass? which invites any US citizen aged 18 or over to compete via Twitter or Google+ for the chance to win a seat at the development table and help improve the product as its consumer launch approaches.

To take part in the competition, applicants need to include the hashtag #ifihadglass and state in no more than 50 words what they would do if they had Google Glass. Applicants can support their entry with video clips or images but they must also have $1500 to spare as the winner will have to buy a developer's version of the device in order to join the project.

There are two ways to read the new post and the accompanying video: one is that Google wants to share with the world how amazing its Google Glass product is and is trying to whet consumer' appetites before the device officially launches next year. The other is that with 12 months left to go until the product officially hits the shelves, one of the most powerful, innovative and important technology companies in the world still has not clearly outlined what its glasses are meant for.

Speaking to IEEE Spectrum at the beginning of the year, Babak Parviz, head of the Google Glass project, admitted that the project is still in flux and the final features are yet to be decided. "We haven't actually talked about specific features. We have mentioned some basic capabilities, like taking a picture and sharing it. We are experimenting with a lot of things. The feature set for the device is not set yet. It is still in flux," he is quoted as saying. He also explained that operation and input were still being developed. Google has experimented with head gestures and with voice commands in order to access features and services but currently operation is via a touchpad located on the side of the device.

On Monday, Google posted vague details and a collection of photos about its first Glass Foundry events held in New York and San Francisco with developers who had signed up and who had each paid $1500 to be involved in the product's evolution.

According to the post on Google+, over the course of these workshops the teams of developers built over "80 new ways to use Glass" and to show its gratitude, Google awarded every developer who demoed an idea with a special edition glass bar engraved with the name "pioneer."

The developers who came up with the best ideas also had the cost of their developer's version of Google Glass refunded.


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