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Ok, Glass, Find a Killer App

By Technology Review

January 6, 2014

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Although Google Glass will not be available to the public until later this year, a select group of developers have been experimenting with it for months and have created apps that could indicate where the technology will go in the future.

For example, the Moment Camera app takes pictures every few seconds when it detects the presence of faces. "Glass has this sort of built-in awareness that a phone that's in your pocket or sitting face-down on a table doesn't have," says Moment Camera developer Kenny Stoltz.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech professor Thad Starner is developing Captioning on Glass, an app that transcribes the words that someone speaks into a smartphone onto the Glass display of someone with impaired hearing. "By having a head-up display, the wearer can stay 'in the flow' of the conversation, attending the other person's face to get as much information as possible while speeding the natural conversation," Starner says.

Some developers also are modifying current apps for Glass. For example, Quest Visual's Word Lens uses the smartphone's screen to translate signs in real time without the need for an Internet connection. The company's Glass app performs the same tasks, but on a different platform.

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