Google Glass: Its Role in Physically Challenged Lives, The Elderly & Those Of Us That Are Sissies

September 8, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

Google Glass is all the talk of the internet and its capabilities seem to grow weekly, as does its applications to enhance our experiences when using Glass in our everyday lives.  For those of you that have heard about Glass, but not quite sure what Glass is, let’s just say that the device looks like a small pair of reading glasses with a small “lens” over the right eye and no lens over the left.  It has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for connectivity, and through that connection, when wearing Glass, your eye can actually read or see images – it projects images onto this small, glass screen.  You can read emails, SMS text messages, see images of Google searches, or follow Google Maps, but at the same time, you are still cognizant of what you normally would see as you walk down the street or even hold a conversation with another person as alerts show up on the screen.

Glass with images

The image above is obviously an exaggeration of what you actually see, but gives you an idea of how Glass works.  What you see is a high-resolution display that is equivalent of a 25-inch HD screen from about 8-feet away.  Glass houses a 5MP camera for still photos and 720p Video recording.  Audio is provided by Bone Conduction Transducer, like the Jawbone headsets use, where it actually pickups up on the vibrations in the bones in the head area and translates that into sound.  There is 12GB of usable memory, synched with Google’s cloud storage with enough battery power for a full day of typical use.  Glass is compatible with any Bluetooth capable phone, and by using the recently updated MyGlass app, enables GPS and SMS messaging, and one of the most exciting new features called Screencasting.  Google has worked hard on “casting” things lately – at a recent “Breakfast with Pichai” near the end of July they introduced Chromecast, which allows you to cast from your smartphone or any device using the Chrome Browser to your big screen HD TV.  Screencasting allows a Google Glass wearer the ability to cast whatever they are watching on their display to a smartphone or Tablet – the applications of that capability are overwhelming.

Glass and Wheelchair

Think of the physically challenged that are homebound or in a wheel chair, unable to leave their home.  Skydiving, rock climbing, riding the white water rapids, looking out of the Empire State building, taking a field trip through an underground cave, or simply riding a roller coaster is out of the question.  With a Glasser, whether it is a friend or a classmate, or a business that provides that service, by utilizing Screencasting to the individual physically unable to participate, it would be as if they would be going along for the ride, so to speak!  And what about education opportunities for homebound children, or even adults, if a Glasser would be allowed to wear them in the actual classroom and cast the class to someone unable to attend.

Glass Sky Diving Glass Roller Coaster Glass and Buildings

This could also apply to the elderly that are no longer able to whitewater raft or always wanted to skydrive and never took the opportunity, or to be able to join their children and grandkids on a virtual vacation.  Possibly one of the couple is able to participate and their spouse is not; they can both experience the opportunity “together” in their golden years – one physically and one virtually.

Old People

There is another group, that I hesitate to mention, that could also benefit from Screencasting – the Sissy, like me. You would never catch me climbing the side of a huge rock, but I’d love to “be there.” I won’t even ride a roller coaster anymore, but I could enjoy the “ride” with Glass Screencasting to my smartphone. I realize that this situation does not even come close to a physically challenged individual or an elderly person, but I throw it in the mix to let you know how important Google Glass and Screencasting can be in our society.

It bothers me that people are focusing of the negative impact of Glass – they are already banned in ten places and yet they will not be for sale to the general public until sometime in 2014 – rather than the positive impact they can have on many lives. They could truly be the eyes, education, and thrills of many people.