Upon launch of the Explorers beta program, Google Glass owners could use their specs' specs to:
- Remind the wearer of appointments and calendar events.
- Alert the wearer to social networking activity or text messages.
- Give turn-by-turn directions.
- Alert the wearer to travel options like public transportation.
- Give updates on local weather and traffic.
- Take and share photos and video.
- Send messages or activate apps via voice command.
- Perform Google searches.
- Participate in video chats on Google Plus.
As of the publication of this article in early 2014, Glass can't overlay digital information on top of physical locations. But imagine looking at a building and seeing the names of the businesses inside it or glancing at a restaurant and being able to take a peek at the menu. With the right application, you could apply dozens of filters to provide different types of information.
For example, let's say you're in London, sporting your snazzy Glass glasses. You take a look at the new Globe Theatre and ask for more information. You're given choices -- do you want to learn about the history of the original Globe Theatre? Would you like to learn about the new version that opened in the 1990s? Or maybe you just want to see what productions are currently running on the stage this season. Google Glass could potentially provide you all of that information.
Looking even further into the future, you might be able to use Google Glass to help you keep track of the people in your life or learn more about the people you meet. With facial recognition software and social networking, it's possible you could take a look at someone you've just met and see their public profiles on any number of social platforms. (If that sounds potentially creepy to you, you're not alone – we'll talk about the criticisms of this feature in a bit.)
Google Glass is tightly packed with chips, sensors and feedback devices. Let's take a look under the hood -- or, rather, behind the lens.