First Google Glass apps revealed, but who does it appeal to?

The first apps in development for Google's upcoming 'Glass' device have been unveiled at South by Southwest in Texas, shown off in a demo by Glass developer Timothy Jordan.

A video published to YouTube shows Jordan showcasing the New York Times, Evernote, Skitch and Path as the first apps to integrate Glass features.

The New York Times confirms that The Times built the Glass app, which pulls down top headlines, photos and popular articles for the user's enjoyment.

Future developers should avoid creating apps that saturate users with endless notifications or distractions, Jordan stressed. Apps should also be developed specifically for Glass, rather than ported from existing Android apps. Relating to his previous comment, Jordan once again stressed the importance of keeping notifications and content simple, advising potential developers to be mindful of the fact Glass is a face-worn device.

The presentation was also the first time developers got an in-depth look at the Glass' API, 'Mirror'. Users can swipe between 'timeline cards' which offer rich HTML content, images and video. It was also noted that scrolling within the interface could both be achieved by gestures on Glass' surface as well as through eye movements upwards or to the side. Visitors to the conference were also given a demonstrated of voice dictation through for Gmail. Users can verbally dictate a reply and tell Glass to send it. Glass will also read out unread emails for you if simply looking ahead proves far too strenuous.

With that last satirical note, this brings us cleanly to the crux of the matter for Google. The question that should be considered is not which apps would most usefully run on Glass, or even what the best price point would be, but who is going to buy it?

Who will buy Glass anyway?

What Google appear to have done is created a device equal in ingenuity to Apple's 'Siri' or the Segway, and one that is doomed if marketed as a consumer device. 

The true worth of a technology like Glass is with law enforcement agencies, public speakers, surgeons or anyone in a professional environment for that matter. These niche areas are where Glass is most likely to find its success. In these instances, having a head-up display providing information in the most direct way possible would be invaluable, likely allowing police, firefighters or medical professionals to fulfil their roles more efficiently. Glass, however, is being hyped as the consumer device of the future. 

Should Apple unveil an 'iWatch', Google may find themselves on the back foot. By definition, Glass is an intrusive device to everyone other than the wearer - you're unlikely to wear your Google Glasses around the dinner table or on a first date. Whilst it's novel to have such a futuristic device developed by a company as resourceful and innovative as Google, an age where we're happy to engage in a conversation with someone who's effectively got a camera in your face is as futuristic as the device itself.

A watch, on the other hand, is an accessory that is already socially acceptable. This perhaps illogical snippet of human nature may be where Apple finds itself reaching new heights in consumer sales, leaving Google behind to realign their marketing strategy towards professionals and geeks alike.

Price will also be a major factor in deciding the fate of Glass. With preorders to a select few clocking in at $1500, a price point that commands even half of that figure will put off the majority for sure. 

Source: ZDNetImage: Google

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The first app someone should build is for people needing prescription glasses; The camera scans the environment and the display automatically readjusts so you can see better.

Major Plonquer said,
I've heard about "in-your-face-advertising". I've just never met anyone dumb enough to pay 1500 smackers for the privilege of receiving it.

Have you ever met someone wearing $800 Cavalli blue jeans? A $6,000 and up Hermes' Birkin purse? I could keep going, the list is endless.....

I still want to see a power level scanner!!! Seriously, THAT would definitely appeal to me.. but it can't be novelty. It has to scan height, muscle tone, facial features... other factors... fat? yeaaa... that would so rock. I wonder if it could ever be calibrated to be semi-accurate.

Neither of you will do this, I promise you that.

I'll translate though for you: "I swear, if someone looks at me with these on I will want to punch them -- for a while -- then I'll get used to it. Then, maybe, if it really takes off I'll buy one too. Man, I hope I don't get punched."

Acting tough on the internet nets you nothing in return aside negative recoil from intelligent people.

This project is nothing but a waste of time and money from day one. The problem with Google is that there's someone in charge who actually believes that something that looks cool and futuristic will inevitably be useful and wanted by consumers.
Not everything that would look good in a sci-fi movie applies to the real world, this being the perfect example.

I can't wait to get one. But in fairness I am also getting the iWatch if it ever comes out too. So it's not the love of one company that makes me want to get this product. It is actually the love of a product that makes me want to get it. Something very few people on this site can actually say. They live mostly on hatersville. Don't get me wrong, I love this site. I feel smart after reading the comments.

Its going to be fun to watch this burn. Like Siri, it'll likely be popular to show off, but not have much practical use. And at $1500 its really not likely to go anywhere.

spenser.d said,
Its going to be fun to watch this burn. Like Siri, it'll likely be popular to show off, but not have much practical use. And at $1500 its really not likely to go anywhere.

1st sign of a hater, someone that doesn't know what they are talking about.

a) $1,500 is the price of the limited developer release. This isn't a consumer price.
b) Google Now has gotten more praise than Siri
c) Google Glass is incorporating Google Now beats talking to your watch so Siri can respond.
d) Why do you have a vested interest for this product to fail? Are you working for Apple or Microsoft? Did you invest heavily with Microsoft or Apple? If you invested heavily, I'm sorry. Microsoft hasn't been a stock to return huge gains and Apple to a tanking. Google on the other hand has been really good.

You have a good day now. The world is a beautiful place when you stop hating.

DarkNet said,

1st sign of a hater, someone that doesn't know what they are talking about.

a) $1,500 is the price of the limited developer release. This isn't a consumer price.
b) Google Now has gotten more praise than Siri
c) Google Glass is incorporating Google Now beats talking to your watch so Siri can respond.
d) Why do you have a vested interest for this product to fail? Are you working for Apple or Microsoft? Did you invest heavily with Microsoft or Apple? If you invested heavily, I'm sorry. Microsoft hasn't been a stock to return huge gains and Apple to a tanking. Google on the other hand has been really good.

You have a good day now. The world is a beautiful place when you stop hating.

1st sign of a fanboy ^^

DarkNet said,

1st sign of a hater, someone that doesn't know what they are talking about.

a) $1,500 is the price of the limited developer release. This isn't a consumer price.
b) Google Now has gotten more praise than Siri
c) Google Glass is incorporating Google Now beats talking to your watch so Siri can respond.
d) Why do you have a vested interest for this product to fail? Are you working for Apple or Microsoft? Did you invest heavily with Microsoft or Apple? If you invested heavily, I'm sorry. Microsoft hasn't been a stock to return huge gains and Apple to a tanking. Google on the other hand has been really good.

You have a good day now. The world is a beautiful place when you stop hating.

I almost took your post seriously on some matters until you dragged in Microsoft and Apple..

Yes I am a fanboy. But of a product and not a company. I'm damn proud of it. Thankfully I have all sorts of products by Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Thank God I am not stupid and only buy products made by one company or for one company's ecosystem.

Well lets put it this way. I really hate Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. But what benefit do I get if I want it to fail? So it would make me ignorant to hate and want a product to fail. Typically fanbois of a company typically like to hate on a competitor product. That's enough justification for me.

My original comment never said he was a fanboi. Just a hater. An ignorant one on that too. Person didn't know pricing. Didn't know that Google Now got better reviews than Siri and never replied back. Guess that person was called out.

Better question to you is, why are you fighting this person's battle?

DarkNet said,
Well lets put it this way. I really hate Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. But what benefit do I get if I want it to fail? So it would make me ignorant to hate and want a product to fail. Typically fanbois of a company typically like to hate on a competitor product. That's enough justification for me.

My original comment never said he was a fanboi. Just a hater. An ignorant one on that too. Person didn't know pricing. Didn't know that Google Now got better reviews than Siri and never replied back. Guess that person was called out.

Better question to you is, why are you fighting this person's battle?

I didn't reply because I do this thing where I go to work in the morning for eight or more hours and largely concentrate on things that aren't Neowin.

I don't inherently want products to fail and in fact, I'd be quite happy if I was wrong and this did take off and was actually useful in day-to-day life and was cheap. I doubt it though, which is why it will amuse me.

You can say what you want about the price, but the fact is the only number we have is $1500 so until they say something else, that's all we have to go off of.

And I would love to know where you find that this has gotten more praise than Siri, or where the two have been compared, as they aren't really the same product. I brought Siri into the conversation because, as I see it, they're similar in that they're cool products that don't actually have a practical use. People will buy into them and then largely not use them.

I don't hate Google, and I don't hate the product. You know what they say about making assumptions.

spenser.d said,

I didn't reply because I do this thing where I go to work in the morning for eight or more hours and largely concentrate on things that aren't Neowin.

I don't inherently want products to fail and in fact, I'd be quite happy if I was wrong and this did take off and was actually useful in day-to-day life and was cheap. I doubt it though, which is why it will amuse me.

You can say what you want about the price, but the fact is the only number we have is $1500 so until they say something else, that's all we have to go off of.

And I would love to know where you find that this has gotten more praise than Siri, or where the two have been compared, as they aren't really the same product. I brought Siri into the conversation because, as I see it, they're similar in that they're cool products that don't actually have a practical use. People will buy into them and then largely not use them.

I don't hate Google, and I don't hate the product. You know what they say about making assumptions.

Hmm, you don't hate the product but want it to fail. Doesn't make any sense. But if we are using your so-called logic, then what I am going to tell you is not hateful. I hope you get fired and fall flat on your face. I hope everyone disappears from your life.


Back to reality let me show you where you are wrong on your assumptions:

1) The $1500 price is for developers. These are not consumer build glasses at all.
2) Google said a consumer build is coming out this year for a price lower than $1500. YOU WERE WRONG about the only price "argument".
3) Google Now vs Siri:
http://www.businessinsider.com...i-versus-google-now-2012-12
http://www.slate.com/articles/...on_program_gets_closer.html
http://www.forbes.com/sites/to...defines-smart-local-search/

Let me know if you want more since you are inept to do a search.

It's funny a lot of sites did a Google Now vs Siri. They both give you information on your phone yet it isn't the same thing? If you say so.

DarkNet said,

My original comment never said he was a fanboi. Just a hater. An ignorant one on that too.

Fanboys ARE haters. They hate anything except something they are a fan of......

Future developers should avoid creating apps that saturate users with endless notifications or distractions
So there's (more) place left for ads.

you're unlikely to wear your Google Glasses around the dinner table or on a first date.
I totally would.

Phouchg said,
So there's (more) place left for ads.

I totally would.

Going to assume you've not been on a date in a while if at all lol

The true worth of a technology like Glass is with law enforcement agencies, public speakers, surgeons or anyone in a professional environment for that matter.
They said the same thing about the smartphone. We all know how that turned out.


...you're unlikely to wear your Google Glasses around the dinner table or on a first date.
You are unlikely to use your smartphone in those situations as well.


A watch, on the other hand...
I see what you did there.


Price will also be a major factor in deciding the fate of Glass.
In other words, ignore this article's points then if the price is low enough


Your points are really stretching. None of this matters except for price. This will make or break a product. However even if priced at $600 (which is expensive for most people), it will still sell and act as a halo product. A product for third party manufactures to live up to. Kinda like the Chromebook Pixel (expensive yes but it sets higher standards for OEMs).

DarkNet said,
They said the same thing about the smartphone. We all know how that turned out.

nobody ever said that about smartphones.

vcfan said,

nobody ever said that about smartphones.


Actually a lot of people did. I personally heard such comments innumerable times when using my Motorola Microtac, which my company paid the equivalent of $5000 in 1990.

vcfan said,

nobody ever said that about smartphones.


You're young. You don't know that it actually was said. We are talking before the iPhone made it mainstream. Yes there was smartphones before the iPhone.

DarkNet said,

You're young. You don't know that it actually was said. We are talking before the iPhone made it mainstream. Yes there was smartphones before the iPhone.

Phones back then where the size of a brick.

Really? I respectfully disagree with you. Before the iPhone I had a HD2 and a BlackBerry, they weren't the size of bricks. They fit in my pocket just fine.

I was also made fun of for carrying a Smartphone when I was 21. I got comments like "You are not a CEO", "What's going on your life that you need a smartphone".

That was the crux of one of my points.

DarkNet said,
Really? I respectfully disagree with you. Before the iPhone I had a HD2 and a BlackBerry, they weren't the size of bricks. They fit in my pocket just fine.

I was also made fun of for carrying a Smartphone when I was 21. I got comments like "You are not a CEO", "What's going on your life that you need a smartphone".

That was the crux of one of my points.

Indeed, I was able to carry, although only using the "Slim" battery, my first phone, a Motorola Startac, in my trousers back pocket. Again 1990

Fritzly said,

Indeed, I was able to carry, although only using the "Slim" battery, my first phone, a Motorola Startac, in my trousers back pocket. Again 1990


Yeah but the Startac wasn't a smartphone. But yeah I know what you mean. That was a beautiful feature phone.

DarkNet said,

Yeah but the Startac wasn't a smartphone. But yeah I know what you mean. That was a beautiful feature phone.

No it was not but..... I had a complete counter showing total number of calls, plus broken down to received and placed; same based on minutes of conversation. In 2013 we have to rely on carriers to see such features....

DarkNet said,

You're young. You don't know that it actually was said. We are talking before the iPhone made it mainstream. Yes there was smartphones before the iPhone.

maybe youre a dinosaur and youre still talking about pocket organizers,but consumer focus on smaller and more powerful phones and devices was here long before the iphone.

vcfan said,

maybe youre a dinosaur and youre still talking about pocket organizers,but consumer focus on smaller and more powerful phones and devices was here long before the iphone.

I'm 34 years old. I would be considered a dinosaur to a child. And again YOU KNOW NOTHING. BlackBerry's and Windows Phone existed way before the iPhone. THEY WERE SMARTPHONES.

Geesh, children and their stubbornness.

DarkNet said,

I'm 34 years old. I would be considered a dinosaur to a child. And again YOU KNOW NOTHING. BlackBerry's and Windows Phone existed way before the iPhone. THEY WERE SMARTPHONES.

Geesh, children and their stubbornness.

hhmmm...a grown ass man corporate sympathizing,frustrated using CAPS and calling people children on an internet site..... interesting

vcfan said,

hhmmm...a grown ass man corporate sympathizing,frustrated using CAPS and calling people children on an internet site..... interesting


Nope just talking to a person like he's a child. Apparently they can't read. Maybe in caps it will catch their attention. Thanks for proving my point.

DarkNet said,

Nope just talking to a person like he's a child. Apparently they can't read. Maybe in caps it will catch their attention. Thanks for proving my point.

whats sad is that you are trying to get personal by trying to protect a corporate entity...on the internet. the scary part is,it seems you are serious. I go online to read news and write silly comments to kill time instead of staring at the walls while we are processing data.

vcfan said,

whats sad is that you are trying to get personal by trying to protect a corporate entity...on the internet. the scary part is,it seems you are serious. I go online to read news and write silly comments to kill time instead of staring at the walls while we are processing data.

Sounds like a personal problem.

I am not protecting any company. The fact is people lack information and spread FUD. Google did say they were releasing a consumer version of this that will be a lower price. Not $1500. The facts are outside of this "Microsoft" community, you guys would be slaughtered with your ridiculous comments. That is my observation thus far.

I'll really view even the production-line Glass as a prototype. Not for the product, but for the field of integrating the UI with normal senses. I love the concept of having overlays projected on natural vision. I see a lot of problems with a functional UI for this, and I welcome the follow-up competition after Glass is released to improve and expand it to be more useful and less a gross violation of privacy for both the wearer and everyone around them.

Arceles said,
Not true, it's actually very convenient, a hipster would probably add big plastic eyeglasses though.

It's quite expensive, as soon as you're in a crowded/noisy place you can kiss the voice features goodbye, having a camera always pointed on the face irritates people, photos/videos will be of horrible quality compared to smartphones, it will probably never be nearly as good as in the demos for years to come, most people would probably treat you like a retard for wearing one, etc.
It's basically 100% hipster material: a dubiously useful, 'hipsterically trendy', expensive new accessory.

Dude... do you have any idea what a hipster is? I'll give you a clue, its not someone who likes technology with semi functional voice features, or low quality videos (unless it has a sepia tone) and its not an early adopter.

This isn't hipster anything, its just a piece of technology that you dislike.

Google have stated that they expect to lose money on the first iteration of Glass. They don't care because they know that a few years from now, the technology will be there and skeptics will have changed their minds when they've seen how much better off everyone else is with devices such as these. It's not about what Glass is, but what its going to be, this version is just a teaser.

M4x1mus said,
Dude... do you have any idea what a hipster is? I'll give you a clue, its not someone who likes technology with semi functional voice features, or low quality videos (unless it has a sepia tone) and its not an early adopter.

An hipster follows whatever latest trend no matter how impractical or antieconomical it may be so in my eyes (maybe I need to wear those glasses to see it differently?) this piece of technology, at its current state, fits perfectly in the stereotype.

M4x1mus said,

This isn't hipster anything, its just a piece of technology that you dislike.

Google have stated that they expect to lose money on the first iteration of Glass. They don't care because they know that a few years from now, the technology will be there and skeptics will have changed their minds when they've seen how much better off everyone else is with devices such as these. It's not about what Glass is, but what its going to be, this version is just a teaser.

Indeed my comment was solely related to the current state of the Google glasses, years for now they will likely be entirely different but now, for most people, they're just cumbersome and of dubious utility.

francescob said,

It's quite expensive, as soon as you're in a crowded/noisy place you can kiss the voice features goodbye, having a camera always pointed on the face irritates people, photos/videos will be of horrible quality compared to smartphones, it will probably never be nearly as good as in the demos for years to come, most people would probably treat you like a retard for wearing one, etc.
It's basically 100% hipster material: a dubiously useful, 'hipsterically trendy', expensive new accessory.

In 1990 I heard similar comments about the usefulness of cellular phones......
Personally I am not interested in this specific device but.....

Fritzly said,

In 1990 I heard similar comments about the usefulness of cellular phones......
Personally I am not interested in this specific device but.....

The first mobile phones weren't 0.7mm 8-core capacitive devices, they were basically gigantic hand baggages with a coverage consisting of just a handful of cities so at that time, maybe, they weren't of much use. Maybe 10 years for now everybody will use Google Glasses but for now they're not really that more useful than a cellphone.

francescob said,

The first mobile phones weren't 0.7mm 8-core capacitive devices, they were basically gigantic hand baggages with a coverage consisting of just a handful of cities so at that time, maybe, they weren't of much use. Maybe 10 years for now everybody will use Google Glasses but for now they're not really that more useful than a cellphone.

They were as much as the technologies of the time allowed and that is the reason why my comparison is perfectly valid. Ten years from now we might have devices projecting holographic displays in front of us and people will laugh about HUD displays and wearable computers. Today these devices are at the edge of the envelop of what technology can offer.
Believe me, twenty five years ago my Quattro Pro program was very useful, nowadays, compared to Excel 2013 it seems something pathetic.

These aren't really at the edge of what technology can provide.

Since it is already theoretically possible to display an image on the inside of the eyeball. This technology has actually been available to be produced since we got projectors down to a wearable size. Honestly there was a viable kickstarter campaign with a better design than this 2 years ago. Just the guy running it was a scammer unfortunately.

Fritzly said,

They were as much as the technologies of the time allowed and that is the reason why my comparison is perfectly valid. Ten years from now we might have devices projecting holographic displays in front of us and people will laugh about HUD displays and wearable computers. Today these devices are at the edge of the envelop of what technology can offer.
Believe me, twenty five years ago my Quattro Pro program was very useful, nowadays, compared to Excel 2013 it seems something pathetic.


I still don't see what the comparison has to do with what I wrote since I never said that the glasses will stay like this forever. Maybe in the future everybody will wear them, who knows, but for now considering what they currently offer they're not really that useful.

Right... so a hipster is someone who follows the latest trends. This isn't a trend and it most likely wont be until Glass 3 comes out or something. At the moment this is a fairly geeky gadget that most people wouldn't wear, so your "Hipster" description still doesn't fit. It's still just a piece of technology that you don't think would be useful.

Considering it hasn't even been released yet, I think its in a pretty good state though. Devices such as this will change the way we work with computers over the next decade or so, just watch. This (at least the display portion) will eventually be put into contact lenses giving you the ability to overlay the world with useful information.

M4x1mus said,
Right... so a hipster is someone who follows the latest trends. This isn't a trend and it most likely wont be until Glass 3 comes out or something. At the moment this is a fairly geeky gadget that most people wouldn't wear, so your "Hipster" description still doesn't fit. It's still just a piece of technology that you don't think would be useful.

An hipster isn't somebody who just follows any trend: it must be a trend that is weird, controversial, impractical and especially must be new or unknown, it must feel 'cool' and 'different'. It must make you want to wear your most expensive winter hats and scarves in full August and rush with your newest 3000$ macbook to the nearest Starbucks. I think the current Google Glasses fit perfectly in that market. Just like the first iPhone, that actually didn't do more than other phones, actually a lot less since it didn't even have third party apps, yet it was an huge boom with all hipsters around selling all their prized summer scarves to buy one.

M4x1mus said,

Considering it hasn't even been released yet, I think its in a pretty good state though. Devices such as this will change the way we work with computers over the next decade or so, just watch. This (at least the display portion) will eventually be put into contact lenses giving you the ability to overlay the world with useful information.

Having the same technology as contact lens would certainly make you less of a weirdo for going around with a camera on your glasses but that still doesn't wash out the creepiness factor.