When it comes to new tech, certain things don’t come up until the new device is released to the large public and people start adapting it according to their own needs. For example, we can recall iPad’s launch back in 2010, which was first designed as a browsing instrument that could replace the laptop, as it could be more confortable to carry around. Anyways, people’s first reaction when seeing the iPad was that the device was just a pointless, bigger iPhone. But when they got their hands on it, they realized the potential of the device and how it could actually improve their lives.
The iPad did a lot of good work for everyone. For instance, doctors use it to store patient information; pilots use it for saving flight manuals while archeologists use it for storing data they need on the road, or for cataloguing certain objects they find using a fast search on the internet or in special databases.
Now, Glass is also following that path. When Google first launched it with the Explorer Program, people outside the program only knew about it that it can be synced with a smartphone, make videos or photos and do some fast online searching.
1. First person stories
The first thing most people started using Glass for, was to show a story from their daily lives, filmed and narrated by the main character, which allows other people to experience the story first hand. So far, these stories belong to white men who afforded to buy Glass at the $1,500 price. In this category, we have Josh Kim, the filmmaker who funded the Google Glass Diaries project.
Kim’s films aim to show the story of people on the other side of the world, who won’t be able to afford Glass now, nor in the near future; for instance he tells the story of a fortuneteller from Thailand and the story a Betel Nut vendor from Myanmar to point out that a big part of the world isn’t aware of how Glass influenced the more privileged people. Third word people see it as being just another filming device, one that doesn’t need being held with both hands.
Kim says that this is one of the only ways you can get more intimate details about people’s lives, the ones a camera or a smartphone aren’t good enough to catch or handy enough to use at any times.
And thanks to fans of Glass everywhere, we get to see more details about the world itself, for instance Ruth Papazian told and showed the story of all the bread bakers, cheese makers and other deli workers that gave life to Bronx’s Morris Park.
2. Writing articles and reports
You might be thinking that the best way to use Glass in journalism is for interviews or on field investigations: however, that is hard to put together. Glass isn’t the most discrete camera and if a journalist wears it, it’s pretty obvious, especially in face-to-face interviews.
Robert Hernandez, the lecturer responsible for the course aiming to provide a Glass usage support for young journalists within the University of Southern California, said that during the course groups of students would work to develop and find new apps and Glass software, which could improve their daily work.
3. Glass makes waves in surgery rooms
Even though medical technology is very evolved nowadays, doctors still have a big pressure on their shoulders, as they must work fast, with no mistake and put their patients from the surgery table to recovery salons as soon as possible. Now, a group of well-known surgeons are testing Glass to see how they could stream an entire surgery procedure.
And it’s not hard at all to imagine what would the benefits of using Glass in a surgery theatre. For instance, if a doctor needs additional information, he would have to step out of the room, get cleaned, look for that information and so on. But with Glass, he doesn’t have to do all those things anymore. All he has to do is say “Ok Glass, search this…” and he would save a lot of time.
Also, it could also be used as a training instrument for young surgeons who would be able to see an entire surgical procedure from a doctor’s point of view. Jason Wild, from University of Arizona Medical Center, said that Glass is the optimal device for taking fast shots and videos from a surgery. He added that they have tried recording material in a surgery theatre before with a regular camera but it’s risky as it could increase contamination in the room. So, now they are able to show to their students shots and videos that otherwise would be impossible to obtain.
4. Is Glass a danger or a helpful aid for a driver?
Now, there are a lot of companies and people that agree Glass could improve the driving experience. For example, infotainment companies such as Harman International or car manufacturers such as Hyunday or Tesla are already searching for ways to integrate Glass in their systems.
So far, the most inventive software for Glass is certainly DriveSafe and it can detect if the driver is about to fall asleep at the wheel and provide an audio alert to wake him up. After this, it would recommend to stop at a resting place nearby by showing a map with nearest locations.
5. Police help device
Even though people might attack this tactic as being contentious to privacy laws, apparently the New York Police Department is trying to develop software for Glass that would help them prevent or fight crimes.
They rely on facial recognition software to record suspects seen by any police officer, in their database. Even if there will be a lot of privacy complaints, this could also do a lot of good in fighting crime everywhere, as it could bring to an end all the illegal stops and racial profiling.
Also suggested by the New York Police Department would be the recording of police-suspect interactions and other witnesses in the field.
6. Fireman help device
Trying to improve his work and his job’s safety, Patrick Jackson, a firefighter, decided to take the matters in his own hands, without relying on a big organization, and make Glass a helpful device in the firefighting department.
The app that he already developed for Glass directs emergency calls to the device and give information on the responder’s location in the area. When we first heard about him he was also developing software that could recreate building sketches and floor plans or vehicle diagrams for the cars used in rescue missions.
CNN appreciated the firefighter’s initiative as well, and said that his videos from when the team arrives at the spot are crucial for follow up investigations.
7. Schools and teaching
You probably remember Margaret Powers, a teacher in US who was very enthusiast about Glass and joined the Explorer program as soon as she got the chance. Her blog, 365 Days of Glass, describes every experience with Glass she has and points out how much good Glass could do in education.
Glass has limited software for now, however her experience shows that the device is very good as it is. She records lessons, in order to improve her teaching skills and observe details that cannot be seen in the classroom: student reactions, her speech and so on. She also let the children play with the device and experience the technology.
However, this area could also be improved and new ways of using Glass in a classroom can emerge along the way. For instance, students could record their experience while doing a school project and thus point out the effort they put into completing certain homework.