What would you do with Google Glass?
Google's wearable head-mounted computers won't be commercially available until 2014, but Google made several hundred of the devices available to a select group of developers back in February.
Since then, we've seen a small but steady trickle of "Glassware" — Google's term for software developed for Glass — that lets users record first-person video, browse the Web hands-free and turn their every moment into an augmented-reality experience.
The Google Glass development scene is just beginning to take shape, but so far, these are our favorite projects from the first round of explorers.
This futuristic app lets owners of the Tesla Model S car monitor their vehicle from their Glass. For example, you can check your gas mileage and battery levelplan a route, and lock and unlock your car. Glass Tesla might have limited appeal for now — you'd have to own a Google Glass and a Tesla Model S, and neither is cheap — but it's probably just the first of many apps designed to connect wearable devices with cars.
Glass: A Love Story
We've heard of a few Google Glass-based film projects, but "Glass: A Love Story" really grabbed our attention. This Kickstarter-funded indie movie is about an unlucky-in-love young man who uses his Google Glass to find the girl of his dreams. Writer/director Michael Durwin is using a Google Glass to film the movie in first-person perspective, too. The film's tagline is "When a man can't find love, his Google Glass does the searching for him."
Developer Todd Blatt wanted a way to reassure the people around him that he wasn't using his Google Glass to spy on them. So he 3D printed GlassKap, a sliding cover for Glass' lens.
Blatt has since designed a number of other fun accessories, including a scope modeled after the targeting computer Luke Skywalker used in "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," and an "On Air" sign that jokingly lets people around you know that you are, indeed, filming them.
Facial-mapping and eye-tracking technology have been previously used in applications such as security and gaming. California-based company Sension has a new application: Its in-development Google Glass app takes footage from Glass' camera, analyzes the faces present in the video feed and identifies the emotions registering on the people's faces.
The developers say it'll be especially useful for autistic people, who often have difficulty reading visual cues, as the app can help people learn to recognize others' emotions.
This Battleship knockoff is the first game to appear on Google Glass. Two players can engage in this simple turn-based strategy game over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
The game is very simple, but that's the point: It was designed to be minimally intrusive so you can still walk and function while playing. The game board appears on the upper right of the wearer's vision, and moves are performed when you say the coordinates you want to attack.
T--s & Glass
Evernote for Glass
Evernote is a list-making and organizational app currently available for mobile, Web and desktop platforms, and the company recently unveiled an in-development Google Glass version as well. The Google Glass version only has two features so far: uploading captured images, and using Evernote's Web version to send lists to the Glass display.
It may be limited right now, but the people who currently depend on Evernote to keep their heads on straight are going to love being able to wear their lists on their actual head.
Google Glass for law enforcement
Imagine that every time you pass a police officer, the Google Glass he's wearing checks to see if you have a criminal record. That's the idea behind an in-development app by Mutualink, a company specializing in secure networks for groups such as police forces, mass transit systems and even NATO's special-operations troops.
This still-unnamed app, which would be available only to law-enforcement officials, aggregates information such as building layouts and nearby security-camera feeds.
Many people now use their computers and tablets to access recipes and instructional videos when cooking, but there's always a danger of splashing sauce or oil on the expensive hardware.
That's why KitchMe's Google Glass app is great — it displays its recipes in the upper right of the wearer's vision and responds to voice instruction, thus keeping your electronics safe from all but the most extreme kitchen mishaps.
Fancy Glassware is a crowdsourced shopping and fashion news platform, and its upcoming Google Glass app does more than just let you shop hands-free; it also helps you buy matching furniture and decorations for your home by taking pictures of your surroundings and then searching for products that match the colors.