CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – “Ok, Glass.” With that command, and a look to the side, Google Explorers at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi are among the first to use Google’s newest technology, “Google Glass”, for beta testing and development of research applications.
“Google Glass is so much more than a toy,” said freshman computer science major Christopher Rios. “We won’t always have to carry smart phones, and this is a perfect way to move away from that.”
Rios and students in the Innovation in Computing Research Labs (iCORE), led by Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Associate Professor, have joined the Google family and are a part of a small group of testers approved by Google to research and develop different ways to utilize the new technology.
The University and Rios both submitted applications to Google explaining their goals with the new technology, which isn’t available to the public yet, and when Google responded in December, they offered both a pair to beta test with for $1,500.
Both Mahdy and Rios are allowed to keep the new technology for as long as they want, and are using the device to research augmented reality and create more applications that will make Goggle Glass easier to navigate. Apps could range from games, such as Fruit Ninja, to a GPS that can all be voice activated by a command of, “Ok, Glass.”
Mahdy and the iCORE labs have been researching augmented reality, which refers to a live view that is supplemented, or augmented, by a computer-generated input such as sound, graphics or GPS data. Having scores superimposed on your televised view of a sports game is a version of augmented reality. With augmented reality, information becomes interactive and digitally manipulated.
Mahdy said one avenue of iCORE research is on how such technology could benefit unmanned aircraft systems operators. Currently, operators have to step away from computer screens to visually monitor the aircraft. Google Glass could bring those computer images with them, providing interactive capabilities as they monitor both the aircraft and the computer data.
“The pilots will be receiving key and critical data about the aircraft and mission with minimal disruption to what they do,” said Mahdy. “This can be a breakthrough in piloting unmanned aircraft vehicles.”
iCORE researchers are also working with Google Glass and other methods of augmented reality to study the effect of collaborative augmented reality, where everyone has their own augmented reality but are working together.
A great way Rios explained for a student to use Google Glass would be to record class lectures and load the video to your Google account for later review.