It’s hard not to be intrigued by Google Glass…

Apr 16, 2013

Google Glass

I have to admit that I’m getting more excited about the idea of Google Glass. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen something really revolutionary in how people interact with information and each other. The whole “wearable computing” promise is already old and Google Glass is a fresh attempt at something new. Yes, there are some smart watches out there, but their interfaces, so far, look like hobbled smartphone experiences. Google has started back at square 1 in designing information consumption on Glass.

They seem to be taking great care in how they approach the definition of Timeline Cards – the term they use for Glass experiences. They’ve also just released documentation for the Google Mirror API, the interface that developers will use to write web service based applications.

In addition to concise videos on different aspects of the API, Developer Advocate Timothy Jordan also presents the Four Guidelines for developing for Google Glass:

  • Design for Glass (a unique platform – wearable, mobile)
  • Don’t get in the way (appropriate experience, user’s life comes first)
  • Keep it timely (specific information for “now”)
  • Avoid the unexpected (and unpleasant)

Give users the functionality and information promised and expected.

Getting back to the development aspects, the process looks straight-forward – apps are essentially standard RESTful web services. This should result in a great deal of experimentation by the developer community to create experiences for Google Glass.

One thing made clear by Google “at this stage” is that developers cannot charge for apps and cannot implement any type of ad serving.

This is the very early stage of a complete new technical form factor. Google wants developers motivated by this exciting new human/data interface and itself needs time to see how the whole platform evolves. The physical form factor and Timeline Card paradigm dictate a very tight focused user experience. Advertising would interfere with its principle four guidelines. Also, advertising is a significant source of income for Google itself.

Although most hype/criticism around Google Glass has been: will people adopt it (it’s a very expensive, showy fashion accessory) and how much privacy will be compromised (will people take your picture or video you without your knowledge?), I’m surprised that I haven’t seen as much coverage on how valuable the data collection will be to Google itself.

Maybe it just goes without saying?

h/t The Verge
Photo: Google Glass website