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: ZDNet | Image: Google