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Marvin Blugh Headshot

Five Weeks On Glass...erhm, Google Glass

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2014-03-11-1498760_2361088266610_1289482733_o.jpg

In the fifth week of my Google Glass adventure, I began to use Glass more creatively and recreationally. I also discovered, or more accurately, rediscovered, more important features through increased casual use. Glass continues to astonish me with its remarkable potential to improve the lives of various users.

The few features I missed are not groundbreaking functions, but simply different intuitive methods of using the core features of the hardware. Some time ago, I was sitting at the bar at Mel's Burger watching the Thunder playing the Heat, when I discovered one of the subtlest features of Glass. In order to watch the TV, I had to crane my neck upwards to an angle about 40 degrees. Due to a preference I had set on the device, Glass actually wakes from standby, producing a smooth, silent method to interact with Glass. The setting can be turned on or off, as well be configured for an angle between 10 and 40 degrees. Furthermore, I forgot to mention the camera button on top of the device, which can be used to not only quickly take pictures without tapping through the home screen or using voice commands, but also begin recording videos. There is yet another gesture that I forgot to mention, which is by far the coolest method of interacting with Glass without using the touch interface or speaking. Even though it was introduced to me, when I first picked up Google Glass, I never developed the ability to perform it on command. I noticed that it would happen sporadically, while I wore Glass, but as I was looking into a mirror in a bathroom at Chelsea Piers, I winked my right eye, which caused Glass to take a picture. Hall Pass fanatics may rejoice now that the technology has caught up, Glass can actually capture those precious "mental photographs." Also, the latest software update to the Glass OS XE12 has released a new sharing feature, allowing owners to share their pictures and videos directly with Communities on Google+.

So far, my recreational use of Glass has revolved around the activities that I do in my limited leisure time. A few years ago, I bought a blue Fender guitar and started taking guitar lessons. Once I started college at USC, I never travelled with it so I never really gained any proficiency with it. This past week, I brushed the dust off the guitar and started my 60 day Rocksmith challenge on Xbox, using Google Glass to record my progress, and also highlight any mistakes that I commit learning guitar. I hope that my $75 investment in Rocksmith will allow me to avoid both the time commitment and extra investment of guitar lessons. I, also use Google Hangouts through Glass, while I play Defense of the Ancients 2, or simply DotA 2, in order to free both internet and memory resources on my laptop. Due to the game's high popularity, as well its professional gaming scene, I believe that Glass can be used along with the game's mentorship function for more experienced players to coach new players from their perspective. In terms of more relevant uses, I plan to start cooking while wearing Glass using the "Allthecooks recipes" and "KitchMe" applications this next week.

Also, this past week, I scoured the Glass communities on Google+ and discovered a plentiful amount of resources to help me learn how to code for the device. I had already installed the Java SE Development kit, but in order to program on Glass, I needed to download the Android SDK, install the necessary platforms, read the extensive information about Glass design and the Glass UI, and, finally, configure my computer to code Glassware (Glass applications). The amount of information necessary to code for Glass was a little bit overwhelming, but easy enough, Glass' platform is designed to use Android's SDK, allowing coders to work in a familiar environment. After preparing my computer to code for Glass, I began to brainstorm a few ideas for applications, while working through the sample code for both the Android and the Glass development kits.

As I've continued to increasingly use Google Glass, I'm surprised to discover that I continue to hold it in high esteem. With its recent introduction into my life, its benefits continue to impress me with the impact it has made in my life. Its improvement on my social life is remarkable, as it becomes the best, easiest, and most obvious icebreaker to any conversation. So far, my biggest issue with Glass is the battery life, which has always been an issue of mobile technology. I expect this to become an issue that users will have to be wary of, but hopefully one that Google can allay before the retail launch of the device.

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