They say that necessity is the mother of all invention but some technology companies don’t seem to know the proverb. Google in particular is renowned for developing technology we didn’t know we needed. From self driving cars to space elevators and everything between, the tech giant likes to invent first and find needs later.
Of course Google likely has a need in mind when they develop these technologies even if it doesn’t seem the most pressing. But they also understand that many of the most creative applications for a device only become apparent once the device is commercially available.
Google Glass is probably the most famous example. When it was first announced many wrote it off as little more than a fashion accessory for tech-savvy hipsters. But with the first public beta in full swing and a wider public release immanent, many of the incredible applications of Google Glass are already becoming apparent.
Here are just five ways that Google Glass is going to improve your life.
No longer will you need to stand in front of signs, furiously flicking through a tiny dictionary trying to piece together the sign’s meaning. Google Glass already has the almost magical ability to instantly translate written text from one language to another, even superimposing translated text on the original.
An obvious practical application of this translating capability will be for tourists. But beyond just translating signs, Google Glass could use location data to not only guide tourists through unfamiliar streets but also give them historical information on the buildings and locations they travel through, the glasses acting as a virtual tour guide.
You will never again find yourself bumbling through a work or school presentation, stuttering and pausing every few minutes to look through your notes, scratching your head and turning to look at the slide behind you. With Google Glass every presentation you give can have the consistency, if not the quality, of a classic TED speech. The entire slide show can be displayed in the eyepiece allowing you to read directly from the presentation while facing your audience.
We all know that feeling when we see someone we recognise walking towards us but just can’t remember their name. The subsequent awkward conversation where you tiptoe around anything related to their name will be a thing of the past with Google Glass. Capable of instantly recognising the person’s face, the device can bring up related social media and other data.
Facial Recognition for Google Glass hasn’t even been officially developed but it is already attracting controversy. Its implementation seems inevitable however, least of all considering the potential benefit it will have for people suffering neurological conditions such as prosopagnosia or even dementia that prevent the sufferer recognising the faces of even close loved ones.
Total Smartphone Integration
Not the integration of Google Glass with your smart phone but the integration of you with your smart phone. Permanently. This might not seem like an improvement but for those that spend too much time on their smartphone it might actually help.
The basic function of Google Glass is to remove the smartphone as a barrier between your interaction with the world and your use of your smartphone. Instead of having to choose virtual socialising over real world socialising, Google Glass will let you do both at the same time. Whether that will be a true improvement of your life I leave to you to decide.