Google Glass and wearable computing

google-glass-wearableWearable computing is an emerging technology that’s affecting both the consumer and enterprise space. Long the domain of science fiction, wearable devices are slowly reaching the mass market, with the most recent high-profile example coming in the form of Google Glass, a pair of glasses augmented with a small display and what amounts to a tiny computer complete with wireless networking and GPS functionality. While Glass seems the most futuristic, there is also a rapidly expanding segment of wearable computing that embeds small sensors on one’s person or immediate environment.

Google Glass responds to voice commands

Google Glass will perform many of the same tasks as smartphones, except the spectacles respond to voice commands instead of fingers touching a display screen.

The wearable computer As opposed to tiny sensors that remain largely out of view, the more obvious result of wearable computing is what amounts to tiny mobile computers with novel display technologies and user interfaces. At its core, Google Glass is nothing more than a low-end mobile phone in terms of processing, memory, and connectivity capabilities. The device leverages a mobile phone or WiFi network for connectivity and from a specifications standpoint is largely unimpressive. The obvious revolution with Glass is putting a display directly in the user’s field of view and creating a user interface based on voice, gestures, and taps of the glasses’ frame.

The other area of wearable computing that is receiving a great deal of attention is the lowly wristwatch. After the success of the Pebble Smartwatch, a device that largely acts as a secondary display for a mobile phone, heavyweights like Apple, Sony, and Samsung are rumored to have watch-sized devices in the works. In the past I’ve mentioned my Motorola MOTOACTV fitness watch, which is essentially an Android-powered computer with WiFi, GPS, and touch-sensitive display in a watch-sized device. While the watch interface is a bit more traditional than something like Glass, with the right applications and connectivity it could generate revolutionary functionality. By Patrick Gray

Career with Google

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