Tag Archives: Google Glass

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US based Mortals can now buy Google Glass

After letting gods of the United States to play with its ‘Glass’, Google is now letting mere mortals to buy the device. To test the demand for Glass, Google recently opened a one day sale of the device allowing anyone to buy it. According to Google it was a successful excersise. The device is back on sale, this time there seems to be no time limit on availability.

On its Google+ page, the Glass team wrote, “In the last six months, we’ve been amazed and inspired by our Explorers and the individual perspectives you bring. A few weeks ago, we opened up our site for a single day. The response was overwhelming – we almost ran out of inventory and had to close things down early. We’ve since built our inventory back up and plan to continue to accelerate new ways to expand the program in the weeks and months ahead. Our hope is to bring Glass to new Explorers, like optometrists, sports lovers, online retailers, cooks and travelers, who (like you!) can get in early and help make Glass better as part of our open beta, ahead of a wider consumer launch. These are exciting times and we’re glad to have you along for the ride – keep the feedback coming!”

This moves quenches all criticism raised by bloggers like Robert Schobble who almost declared the ‘demise’ of the device.

However, how popular will this device become among average people with $1500 price tag is uncertain. It contrasts Google’s approach of reducing the cost of hardware in those segments (smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks) where there is heavy competition however Google devices – Chrome Pixel and Glass – targetted at high-end markets are in the same slab as are Apple’s prime devices.

The cost of Glass has alwasys been the biggest criticism of the device as it creates a barrier for adoption of the device. The questions is, would you buy the device for that price tag?

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Anyone in the US can purchase Glass for one day

Ever fancied using the much-talked about Google Glass? Well, if you stay in the US, you are in luck. It is being said that Google is in the process of expanding its Glass project in a big way. And the biggest step would be to make it available for anyone in the US.

The Verge has obtained documents that suggest Google may open up its “Explorer Program”, making Glass available to interested customers who want to purchase the wearable computer. This could happen as soon as next week.

The offer will be a limited-time offer, available only for a day. So US citizens who are willing to spend $1,500 on the device can avail the offer. Moreover, Google will be giving a free sunglass shade or its newly-announced prescription glasses frames along with the purchase.

An internal document shows that the promotion may be announced on 15th April. Mind you, this is not a public launch and is just a way to reach out to wider audience with the Glass.

Source: The Verge

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When Google Glass saved a patient’s life

Google Glass is a device with tremendous potential. After being used by sports teams, now it is being used by surgeons as well. The doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, have started using Google Glass at work after witnessing the immense aid it could provide.

It so happened that one of the doctors at the Medical Center, Dr Steven Horng, was working on a patient whose brain was bleeding. Dr Horng was aware that the patient was allergic to certain drugs which could stop the bleeding, but he did not know which ones. What he did was quickly checked the patient’s medical records on his Glass, took the decision and continued the treatment.

Had he not been wearing the Glass, it would have taken longer to check the records which could have killed the patient with excessive bleeding.

After this incident, the Medical Center decided to invest more in Glass. While at work the doctors will wear a Glass and using the QR codes on patients’ room doors they can access their medical records.

No privacy breach

They are using an unofficial OS for the Glass used by doctors. It is a modified Android built by a company called Wearable Intelligence. These Glasses cannot be used outside the Medical Center’s WiFi network, and no data is sent to Google, for privacy concerns.

The era of wearable devices has already gone past the dawn, as more and more use cases keep popping up for Google Glass.

Google wants to trademark ‘Glass’ but bid stalled

Google is trying hard to register ‘Glass’ as a trademark for its wearable computer glasses. However, the search giant hasn’t been able to get through its bid with the US trademark office.

Google had earlier trademarked the term ‘Google Glass’ but then last year it submitted another application for getting a trademark on the single word, Glass. It is shown with a futuristic font that is being used across its marketing campaign. Reportedly, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is holding up the company’s bid.

In a written letter, a trademark examiner had raised two core objections to the bid. First, the trademark being too similar to other existing or pending computer software trademarks that have the word “glass,” leading to confusion for customers. Secondly, he noted that Glass, even with the unique formatting is ‘merely descriptive’. The reason this is a big issue is because generic terms are not trademark protected under federal law.

Commenting on the same, Law Blog, a Google spokesman said, “Google, like many businesses, takes routine steps to protect and register its trademarks.” So far the company has sold only a few of the wearable computer devices. The retail sale date hasn’t been announced yet.

Anne Peck and Katie Krajeck, the two trademark attorneys for Google from Cooley LLP replied to the note sent by the examiner through a 1,928-page letter in defense of the application two weeks ago. They tried to reason out that Google’s proposed trademark would confuse consumers, now that the Glass device has garnered widespread attention in media the last couple of years.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Ray Ban and other mega brands to bring Google Glass to the market!

Google has signed a deal with The Luxottica Group, the world’s largest eyewear company which owns 80% of the eyewear market.  Luxottica owns Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue-Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli and Arnette.

This deal shows how serious Google is about Google Glass contrary to the skepticism raised by high-profiled users like Robert Scoble who spelled doom for the device implying that Google itself is not sure about the future of the device.

“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Google, and are proud to be once again setting the pace in the eyewear industry, as we have been, with more than 50 years of excellence.” Said Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer of Luxottica Group.

Luxottica says that the “first collection generated by this partnership will combine high-end technology with avant-garde design offering the best in style, quality and performance.”

Google Glass, like many other Google products was more or less a reference device to put the technology in the hands of developers, enthusiasts and to also show the industry what can be done with the device. In my opinion Google would never want to become a hardware company as that’s not their business model. They would instead let the industry players innovate on the hardware side, bringing their expertise whereas Google would take care of software and continue to take its advertisement to new categories.

Google Glass Google+ page says, “Luxottica understands how to build, distribute and sell great products that their clients and consumers love – something we care deeply about at Glass, too. They’ll bring design and manufacturing expertise to the mix, and, together, we’ll bring even more Glass style choices to our Explorers. In addition, Luxottica’s retail and wholesale distribution channels will serve us well when we make Glass available to more people down the road.”

Google Glass is the future

That’s exactly what I said about Google. Glass and Watch are two different kind of devices, watch can’t see what Glass sees and that changes everything. Watch will never be able to play the same role Glass can play in augmented reality. I thing Google is bringing Android Wear for Glass to solve the same problem that it solved with Honeycomb, to give the industry desperate to catch-up with Apple in the tablet space. Industry wanted a solution optimized for watches and Android didn’t have it till now. Even partners like Samsung decided to ditch Android and give Tizen (resurrecting ghost of Intel’s Moblin) a try. Google had to do something before the industry gets too desperate. What’s interesting is that Microsoft is nowhere to be seen in this segment as well, which clearly shows that Microsoft really has no clue about post-PC era.

I think Glass will play a bigger role in grand schemes of things as it hold much more potential than Watch. While watch will always remain an assistance, secondary device it’s Glass which will ‘replace’ our mobile phones – maybe PCs.

So irrespective of what Robert Scoble says, I think Google is extremely serious about Glass.

What do you think?

NBA players dawn Google Glass offer new perspective for fans

The NBA’s (National Basketball League) most technologically advanced team, the Sacremento Kings, will soon be wearing Google Glass to give the fans a new perspective from the player’s point of view during upcoming NBA games. Forget GoPro, the fifty gram Google Glass is more of a natural fit for the pace of the NBA compared to GoPro HERO3+’s 135 grams.

The team was witnessed using the technology during their January 12th pre-game warm-ups. The Sacramento Kings are also the first NBA team to accept BitCoin back in the beginning of this month. Not only players, but team dancers, and mascots are rumored to dawn the Google Glass’ during the upcoming Google Glass Night game against the Indiana Pacers on . The Google Glass footage will be streamed for fans to watch on the Jumbotron at Sleep Train Arena. The footage will also be made available to local television stations and will be distributed across social media.

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Google lobbies to stop anti-Glass legislation

As state leaders worry that Google Glass offers a threat to road safety, the search giant is said to be lobbying officials in U.S. states to stop proposed restrictions on its latest wearable gadget. Some eight U.S. states are mulling banning driving with headsets such as Google Glass. The pair of smart glasses with a tiny screen on the lens for accessing the Web, is causing quite a stir as it could distract drivers leading to accidents on the road.

“Google Inc has deployed lobbyists to persuade elected officials in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri that it is not necessary to restrict use of Google Glass behind the wheel,” said a report by Reuters.

The report added that Google hasn’t yet contacted other states like New York, Maryland and West Virginia who are considering anti-Glass legislation as well. New Jersey and Wyoming, on the other hand, haven’t shared much on their potential Glass regulations or whether they were contacted by Google or not.

Putting its lobbying face on, Google tried and defended the device saying that Google Glass isn’t widely deployed yet, so now introducing any sort of legislation on its use would be premature.

According to Google, tech issues are a big part of current policy discussions in the states. “We think it is important to be part of those discussions,” the company said in a statement.

“While Glass is currently in the hands of a small group of Explorers,” the company said, “we find that when people try it for themselves they better understand the underlying principle that it’s not meant to distract but rather connect people more with the world around them.”

[Source: Reuters]

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Google unwraps frames and shades for Google Glass

Google first showed off its wearable Glass technology back in July 2012. So far, the tech has been purchased by only people on the Glass Explorer program, or select friends and family. But with the Google Glass team introducing frames for prescription lenses and sunglasses, one of the longest-running rumours regarding its worldwide launch toward the end of 2014 may soon become reality.

Under its Glass Explorer program, the company will be putting up the new range of titanium frames for order later today.

The frames are available in four styles, which include Split, Thin, Bold and Curve. At $225, these frames are pretty pricey as well, while the sunglasses sold in Classic and Edge will cost you $150 each.


The official announcement on Google+ reads: “So we want you to be the first to know that the Titanium Collection is here, with a handful of new styles for Glass so you can make it your own. Whether you wear prescription glasses or just want a new look, we’ve got four feather-light titanium frames designed just for you.

“And if you need prescription lenses and have vision insurance (such as VSP), your policy might even help cover your new frames. Explorers can access the Titanium Collection tomorrow afternoon, along with two new styles of twist-on shades.”

Google has signed a deal with vision and eye care benefits company Vision Service Provider to add coverage for wearers of the new specs. Insurance plans, however, would cover only the frames and prescription lenses and can’t be used toward the Glass device worth $1,500 itself.

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Glass gets new demo games from Google and they’re pretty neat

Have you been dreaming about some games you ccould play on Glass while you wait for the kids? Google knew you were, and they’ve put together a few simple games to show owners and developers what Glass is capable of. A recently released YouTube video by the Google Developers Channel showcases some simple but interactive games and seem to hearken to the child in all of us.

The Google Developers took the time to let us know exactly what their intentions were by attaching a note to the video. They said, “We think that Glass could be an interesting new platform for gaming. A few of us recently hacked together five simple games that experiment with the unique features of Glass and demonstrate some of the possibilities for gaming. We hope they provide some inspiration for getting started with game design on Glass.” The games shown include Tennis, Balance, Clay Shooter, Matcher and Shape Shifter.

Bit by bit, Google is building out the Glass eco system which, as we all know, is essential to the survival of any mobile product. A visit to the Glass Apps site reveals a bevy of interesting apps that users can download and put to use right now. As is the case with apps, variety and quality determine and possibly enhance the kind of experiences that users will be privy to. Being the leader in this ‘heads-up-display’ category of wearable tech, Google are making the rules as they go along. They have no significant guides to follow, and as such, they have essentially become the law; unless of course the law does decide to step in.

Besides games, Glass has seen a lot of interesting use cases recently. A surgeon recently used Glass to stream plastic surgery, and yet another uses his in the O.R. for later viewing and learning. A fire fighter who is also a developer has been busy creating apps to aid firemen get to fires more quickly, and essentially save more lives. These are arguably some of the uses that Google had in mind when creating Glass, but at such a tender age and with a restricted API, we can’t help but think that the best is yet to come.

Demonstration of Games by Google

Glass is set to be offered publicly this year. Some rumours point to Q4 2014, while others suggest Google I/O for a grand release. It is billed as the moment of revelation. We’ll see the final designs of the consumer version, have a host of new apps, and more importantly, we will learn of the price. Many hope for sub $500 prices while others like myself wish for offerings at the $300 mark. The price and design of Glass are what may make or break it’s initial offering, and this is something that Google must get right out of the box. In the mean time, they seem to have no trouble populating the Glass app store, and this is definitely a good thing. What’s the one compelling thing that will get you to buy glass? Is it design, price or content?

Sources: Google Developers, Google Developers YouTube

Google working on unnamed medical device?

A team of employees from Google and its secretive X research lab recently met with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss medical devices. The meeting points towards a new product that may involve biosensors from the unit that developed computerised glasses, said a report by Bloomberg.

The meeting implies there may be biosensors in Google Glass to help it listen to your body and give feedback to the device. In other words, Google Glass applications could go far beyond the consumer electronics market.

“The meeting included at least four Google workers, some of whom have connections with Google X — and have done research on sensors, including contact lenses that help wearers monitor their biological data. Google staff met with those at the Food and Drug Administration who regulate eye devices and diagnostics for heart conditions, according to the agency’s public calendar,” Bloomberg reported.

At its X lab, known for its secrecy, Google is investing in long-term projects including the Glass devices, driverless cars and balloon-powered wireless signals pointing towards new market opportunities.

“Our main job is to figure out how to obviously invest more to achieve greater outcomes for the world, for the company,” Chief Executive Officer Larry Page said last July. “And I think those opportunities are clearly there.”