Google released the latest software update for Glass on Monday, bringing the hyped piece of wearable technology one step closer to its public release date, expected later this year. Monday's Google Glass update introduced a collection of new features and new apps to the highly-anticipated smart glasses.
Beyond software, Google Glass continues to change and challenge the way people interact with technology. One of the places that was considering a ban on Google Glass, as IBTimes reported in June, has followed through, and the device is starting to make serious inroads in medicine already. Here’s a roundup of the latest Google Glass news, including the software updates, price rumors, new apps and more.
1. Google Glass August Update
The most notable addition with Monday’s Google Glass software update was the new ability for software developers to add customized voice commands to their apps. The commands are limited to posting updates and taking notes, but it should help step up the functionality of several social apps like Twitter and Facebook on Glass.
The update also brought Google Now to Glass. Users can now access “cards” for traffic, weather, sports, restaurants, events, hotels, movies and emergency alerts on Glass. Users can toggle through the cards with a simple swipe on the Glass touch pad.
Speaking of the Glass touchpad, Google also added some video functionality. In the CNN Glass app, users can now use the touchpad to pause, play and scrub through videos.
2. Financial Glass
Fidelity labs, a technology innovation division of Fidelity Investments, produced a video showing what customers could do with a Fidelity Market Monitor app for Google Glass. Fidelity customers use a passphrase to log into their account. The user can then use voice commands to choose between news, markets, watch list, alerts and quotes.
Believe it or not, the function for checking stock quotes is especially exciting. By simply taking a picture of a company name, symbol or logo, the Fidelity app will pull up the stock quote. The stock can then be added to a watch list. The app is available now in the Google Play store.
3. Google Glass Price Rumors
Rumors have been swirling about how much Google’s smart glasses were going to cost consumers when they finally hit the market. They are going to have to be less that the current $1500 price of the Google Glass Explorer Edition if Google wants Glass to be a mainstream success. Google co-founder Sergey Brin said Glass will be sold for a “significantly lower cost,” but how affordable could they be?
A rumor has circulated that Google will sell Glass for just $299, based on a report by the Topology Research Institute. Yahoo News disputes this claim, reporting that sources say Glass will “definitely” be more than $300. The New York Times, however, puts the price in a range, saying it can cost anywhere from $250 to $600.
4. Google Glass in the Operating Room
A surgeon as the University of California, San Francisco recently performed surgery wearing Google Glass.
“I had thought it was going to be a gimmick, but after that I became a zealout,” Dr. Pierre Theodore told Wall Street Journal. Dr. Theodore said he was able to alternate between looking down at the patient and glancing at medical imagery on Google Glass, comparing it to glancing at a rearview mirror while driving.
Augmedix is currently working on a Google Glass app to help doctors communicate with each other and patients, as well as taking advantage of Glass’ voice activation to help out with paperwork.
5. Casinos Officially Ban Glass
In June, IBTimes showed that casinos, concerned with card counting and video recording, were considering a ban on Google Glass. Well it looks like the ban is no official.
Google Glass has been banned by casinos in cities in Las Vegas, Connecticut, Ohio and Atlantic City. The Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Race Course became the most recent casino to ban Glass, according to a report by Fox News.
6. First Glass Video Game
Sean McCracken gave an early look at “Psyclops,” the first video game designed for Google Glass. McCracken said the game is “almost done,” and described the game as a mix between 3D Space Invaders and Missile Command.
Psyclops currently runs on a Kindle Fire tablet to give an idea of what the game will be like. Other games I development include a strategy game called “Swarm!” and a Battleship-style game called “GlassBattle.”