You have read the news, watched the official video, and marveled at the new gadget the giant search engine has recently announced – Google Glass. It’s pretty cool and since not many of you got the chance to get their hands on a pair you might have questions regarding this futuristic device. Up next we will try to cover most frequently asked questions that we bumped into while reading your comments on different publications. For those of you who are not even aware what Google Glass is , what is it used for or what it can do, we will also try to shed some light regarding these aspects.
Before we start with actual review and FAQ please use the comments section below if you think we missed something or have additional curiosities.
Google Glass Intro
What exactly is this new device?
Google Glass is a piece of tech that you can wear that performs just like a smartphone and with the use of a small screen located in the front of your right eye can perform a decent range of tasks. Basically the are nothing more than a pair of glasses powered by nothing less than Google cutting edge technology.
The team behind GoogleGlass Geeks managed to put their hands on two pairs of Google Glass explorer edition ( a so call beta product of the upcoming device meant to encourage developers and programmers to start working).
Here is a sketch of the actual concept:
And a real picture:
What does it do more exactly?
- Perform a Google search using a vocal command
- Use Google Maps to get directions including turn-by-turn, simply walking or riding your bycicle
- Take a photo and share it using your Google Plus account.
- Use your Google Plus account to start a hangout with your friends or contacts
- Answer phone calls using a simple voice command
- Use speech to text and send a SMS.
- Gain access to all kinds of information including weather forecasts, sports results and so on.
- Gain access and control of all kinds of apps
How does it work?
Although Glass is not considered a smartphone or a even a cell phone it does make use of WI-Fi and Bluetooth technology in order to connect. To get started you will obviously need a home wireless connection and a standard Google and G+ account in order to start a hangout or share your captures. Although Glass can work as a stand alone gadget you will also need an Android based smartphone in order to enable more features. Later Edit: We manged to pair Glass with an iPhone also but it seems that features become more limited.
Who can use Google Glass?
As we speak, the new Google device was released to journalists and developers only in order to stimulate software development. Currently the gadget has a price tag of $1500 or $1600 (including taxes). Some lucky folks got a pair after winning the contest. We assume that considering the success of the initial “public release” it won’t take long before average consumers will get their hands on such a marvelous piece of Google technology. We also expect that optics giants such as Zeiss to show their interest in producing high-end lenses for Google Glass.
Looks, Hardware And Specs
How do they look like?
Google Glass resemble pretty much a normal pair of glasses without rims that feature a rather thick stem on the right part and a transparent rectangle in the front of your right eye. On the right side the On/Off button is also located as well as a LED indicator a micro USB port used for charging and a button that can be used to activate the camera shutter. The power juice comes right from behind your ear. On the right stem (the outside part) a touch sensitive area was also incorporated which you can use to zoom in or out or scroll.
Google Glass Colors
Like I told you we managed to buy two pairs: a white one and a blue one. The actual full range of colors consists of the following: white, sky blue, black, gray and orange.
Let’s get more into the technical part now:
The screen is located in the right corner not quite in front of your right eye but between your eyebrow and your upper lid. The screen measures 0.75 inch deep, 0,375 inch wide and 0,375 inch tall. You just need to look a little bit up and you’ll notice right away the wonderful display zone.
Cam you move the screen on the left side?
Currently no, but since this is only a developer only release we tend to believe that this will be possible after the official public release somewhere in 2014.
What can I use Google Glass display for?
You can use it to view the search results you requested via voice command , read all sorts of texts and pretty much everything Google Glass does comes up one the screen. The screen is advertised to have a high-res display that can be compared with a high definition 25 inch TV seen from a distance of no more than eight feet. The screen measures between its diagonals no more than 1/2 inches. The images projected in front of you are very clear and spicy if seen against a dark background and tend to loose quality if gazed against let’s the say or a piece of white paper.
How is Google Glass Controlled?
Glass is controlled by two means: voice and touch. You start by addressing the gadget with “OK Glass” then an actual command like “Take A Photo” or “Record Video”. The touch pad area is coupled with the voice command and you can tap it to scroll down, zoom in, switch between “tabs” and so on. Tilting your head or shacking it won’t change the way Glass is controlled. Moving your sight in the upper corner of the visual field (where the screen is located) will make it come to life.
What Is It Made Of?
The outside shell of the device is manufactured using strong plastic and titanium. I won’t recommend a drop test at this point considering its price tag and availability. Also keep in mind that Google Glass is not waterproof and liquid exposure will damage its internal components.
Google Glass Battery Life
Despite its producer claims that it will last for a full day, we managed to achieve five hours of intermittent use. This is quite fair considering we tested the hangout feature for almost an hour or so. We are nothing but certain that the final product will feature an improved battery life.
Glass Internal Storage
Currently the device comes with a total of 16 GB of internal storage as well as a cloud-sync feature. We found it more than enough. The total storage capacity available is around 12.5 GB ( 3.5 GB are probably used by its firmware)
Since no one managed to open it so far without damaging it or even tried as far as I know, we must rely on the statements of a Android developer who used a debugging utility to take a peek at the Google Glass processor specs. If his information is correct the Glass is powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor which was also used in the Amazon Kindle Fire.
This is all for today, stay tuned as we’ll be back with a software and camera review as well as more FAQ.