Wearable technology isn’t a new concept, but Google Glass is one of the latest pieces of innovation that has the potential to make a significant impact on society. These smart glasses use a heads-up display to create a futuristic experience by overlaying digital images onto reality. But how do they work?
At the hub of Google Glass there is a micro computer embedded into the frame, connecting directly to a glass prism that cleverly diffracts a light beam directly onto your retina - enabling the user to see what’s on display by casually glancing up and right at any time. Glass also incorporates a camera, microphone (for voice activated control), GPS and uses bone-induction for sound (meaning when it reads you the weather forecast, you’ll be the only one who hears it!). Voice recognition is used to control the device; you say ‘OK Glass’ to navigate the menu which includes taking pictures, videos, messages, video conferencing or even getting directions. For all those moments when saying ‘OK Glass’ loudly might be slightly embarrassing, however, there is a touch sensitive pad on the frame.
Most of this functionality is extremely intuitive, which Google has done very well to achieve. They have been able to combine technological innovation with a streamlined interface that is so simple to use, it’s almost as if it isn’t there. In addition, the use of voice-activated control has enabled Glass to move one step closer to total integration with our daily lives – which is either very scary, or very exciting!
Check back this time next week for Part 2, when we’ll be discussing whether Glass will take off like Google hope!
By Luke Pennifold – A Level Student Contributor