Saturday, April 06, 2013

Making Cool Google Glass Apps

After technical problems, Timothy Jordan gives a demo of Google Glasses code named 'Project Glass." You can see the start of the experience at the 3:16 mark in this video. The video is  Jordan's presentation at last month's South by Southwest Interactive conference.

Project Glass is 'mobile.' It's about reducing our too technical relationship with technology. It's about making technology much easier for the average person to access and use.

As Jordan explained in this video, "It feels like technology is getting in the way more than it needs to. And, that's what we are addressing with project glass. It's so that you can still have access to the technology that you love but it doesn't take you out of the moment."

Google is a unique experience one that is best used for short simple messages, quick pics and video. You wouldn't want to read a news story with google glasses, but you would read a news headline, look at pics and get traffic and weather info. You might even choose to listen to the news article.

If you notice, Google glass is not directly in your line of site. Rather it is in the field of vision. Google Glass is meant to be worn and used to seamlessly connect with Android technology. The idea is that many people will wear these everyday, all the time.

At the 13 minute mark of the video a 'live demo' is being performed. I have to say this is a very impressive presentation. Not quite Steve Jobs level, but Jordan's demo of Google Glass is just as engaging amazing as anything Apple has ever produced. Too bad Steve wasn't around to patent this product.

Google Glass makes excellent use of Google Now.  If you are not familiar with Google Now, it tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform, or your favorite team's score while they’re playing. All of this happens automatically. Timeline Cards appear throughout the day at the moment you need them.

Google Glass is great for sharing video and pics including the ones you took with the device but Google Glass is a unique product. If the product is developed with high standards of product development. As Jordan puts it, there are 4 things developers of Google Glass applications need to keep in mind:

-Design for Glass
-Don't get in the way
-Keep it timely
-Avoid the unexpected

At the 31:45 mark of the video, Jordan continues with examples of good applications developed specifically for Google Glass.

Everything is based on bundled 'Timeline Cards' with rich html and subscription delivery service.

In the example with the New York times, bundles of timeline cards are subscribed for hourly delivery. Timeline cards can be skipped or pressed for further info. Additional info may include a short video or may offer an option to read aloud the news story.

The Gmail example email comes in as timeline cards that can be read aloud. You can voice compose an email back to the sender. Not every email is sent to google glass. The application will figure out what email it important enough to send to the user without the user needing to tell it what is important.

Other examples of the well done Google Glass programming include: Evernote Skitch and Path.

I look forward to buying this product someday.