Google Glass is slowly but surely making its way out of the world of vaporware and into reality. We’ve seen the wearable computer in a number of places, from Google IO to NY Fashion Week, but Google has been quiet on much of Glass’ functionality.
What exactly can Glass do? How far along is development? How do you use it? In an interview with the Wall Street Journal‘s Spencer Ante, Google co-founder Sergey Brin brings us up to speed on the development progress of Glass, as well as some of the features coming to the project.
Until now, Google Glass has been little more than a one trick pony. We’ve seen concept videos showing how Maps, Google+, Gmail and messaging will fit in with the device, but no real evidence that anything beyond camera functionality actually exists. It may not be much, but a hands-on with Google Glass has revealed a couple new features that will be implemented into Glass: a time-lapse camera function and 360 degree virtual reality.
The time-lapse camera feature is pretty self explanatory. Google’s main objective with Glass is to get your phone out of your hand, and get your head into your surroundings. That doesn’t work all that great with users constantly fumbling around the side of Google Glass trying to take pictures. With time-lapse mode, pictures are automatically taken at certain intervals, without the user having to input anything. Brin uses a play-date with his children as an example of what time-lapse would be used for. Instead of constantly taking pictures, just turn on time-lapse, and look for good pictures later.
Brin also demoed how voice commands will work with Google Glass. By saying, “OK, Glass. Take a photo,” Ante, who was the one actually wearing Glass, confirmed that a photo icon appears on the heads up display, signifying a photograph was successfully taken.
One of the more interesting new features shown off to Ante was a 360 degree virtual reality function. As you’ll see in the video below, Ante seems impressed at being placed in a virtual forest, with the ability to look around and explore his surroundings.
As impressive as these new features are, much of the desired functionality Glass will eventually offer is still unavailable. Meaning a consumer release is still a ways away. The $1500 developer edition of Google Glass is still on track for a 2013 release.