Developer Review of Google Glass—Use Cases (Part II)

Punchkick Interactive
  • Punchkick Interactive
  • July 10, 2014
Developer Review of Google Glass—Use Cases (Part II)

In the first part of this series on Google Glass, we discussed how Glass was still functionally far from consumer use. Since Google’s decision to move Glass into ‘open beta,’ anyone can now apply for a chance to be part of the Glass Explorer Program.

To purchase directly from Google, the eyewear-mounted device comes with a $1,500 price tag, and is available as long as prototypes are still in stock. Recently, Glass has seen some retail support. Mr Porter and sister site NET-A-PORTER became the first third-party luxury retailers to have exclusive rights to sell designer Glass versions. In a very lifestyle-directed video, Mr Porter aims for urban appeal to reach style-conscious techies.

Beyond the runway and fashion world, just how practical is Glass in everyday life? We sat down with Punchkick Android developers to take a closer look at the use cases of Google Glass.

Use Cases

On a social and public scale, Google has made huge efforts in positioning Glass as a desirable wearable at the apex of technology and fashion. For the most part, Glass is a device that completes functions like photo, video, and navigation better than any smartphone. With that in mind, take a look at some of the use cases for Glass.


Google Glass is designed for hands-free activities, and the liberation gives wearers the ability to quantify and enhance a run, bike, or even a golf outing. Glass can help navigate a workout route and measure the time of the session and speed of the wearer. Those wanting to hit the green can use GolfSight, an app that provides yardages, live scorekeeping, and aerial hole views. Though pushing performance and improvement is a primary consideration, a secondary perk could be recording and sharing a particular moment with others. Thrillseekers can show off footage of pulling off extreme feats to their social network.


Out and about somewhere new? Just say these magic words: “OK Glass, Explore nearby.” Doing so launches the Field Trip app, giving the wearer access to information about nearby attractions that are grouped into categories like History, Art, Architecture, Food, and Cool Stuff. Wearers walking around with the app can utilize the voice command feature to access even more content about the area that’s being explored. The app hosts more than 200 publishers that provides historical content. Take a look at the video demo here. Punchkick Android developer, Josh Feinberg, is an avid fan of urban exploration. His first move to Chicago kept him tethered to the navigation and search on his smartphone. With Glass, Josh believes,

“Explorers have the ability to enjoy the world more fully, and have all the extra information as a backdrop to the experience.”


Glass might be your greatest asset when it comes to travel. With Google Now, Glass provides contextual data served at the right time based on where the wearer is and what time it is. This means you can check flight times, hours of operation for local amenities, weather, convert currencies, and more. Social and messaging apps can keep wearers connected with family and friends—all those videos and photos collected can be shared with ease. The translate feature is crucial for those that aren’t fluent in more than one language. Powered by Word Lens, the app uses augmented reality to translate simple words and phrases real-time, superimposing the translated field for view directly in Glass’ eye display. Screenshots of the demo can be seen here from the first installment of the Punchkick developer review of Glass. With the addition of the Field Trip and Navigate apps, Glass lets wearers become a digital roadwarrior. Josh says,

“With Glass, going to new places can be exciting, and wearers won’t have to worry about missing something. The smartphone can definitely be an inhibitor at times, but with Glass, the world opens up—I can look at things and identify them with a reduced barrier to the experience.”


Imagine being able to view recipes without having to flip any cookbook pages or swipe on a smartphone with food-covered hands. With Glass’ KitchMe app, cooking might just be easier and maybe even a little fun. Ingredients can be seen right in front of wearer’s eyes and all the directions are spoken aloud. Allthecooks comes stock with Glass and has over 150,000 recipes and a vibrant community of cooks for wearers to submit and review recipes. Cooking while multitasking can be a huge inconvenience—especially fielding incoming calls or messages. With Glass, all of that can be done hands-free.


Glass supports apps like Google Calendar, Evernote, Google Hangouts, and IFTTT—services that can be infinitely helpful to someone on the go and isn’t willing to break off from a task at hand. Wearers can keep in touch with coworkers and organize a day-to-day schedule with ease. However, striking a work-life balance might prove even more difficult, so be sure to know when to turn off the headset when out of the office.


Android developer, Brad, tries out the Navigate feature in Chicago.


Google I/O set the precedence for what’s to come in mobile and the Internet of Things. For wearable technology, much of Google’s forward thinking methodology will go into how users can be approached and finding ways to not overload users with information.

“Google is really looking into contextual awareness with their wearables,” says Josh.

When it comes to notifications, the smartphone can be already overloaded with these. The challenge now for Glass is to deliver notifications and content in relevant ways, and allow the user to set a priority on managing the information stream. For the functions that Glass does well in, Google needs to ensure that battery life, opportunities for app development, and user experience is improved dramatically. Wearers can certainly attest that wearing Glass is like peering into the future, but to really feel like part of a revolution, Google still has a lot of kinks to work out before it is fully consumer-ready. Regardless, Glass has real implications for society. Brad DeWitt, Android dev, says,

“I think Glass will replace cell phones within the next five or ten years. It’s one less technological barrier to worry about between the user and the real world. Walk onto a train and you’ll usually see people holding a cell phone in their hand, heads down—I think in the future, everyone will be heads up peering out into space or talking to either the person at the other end of the call or maybe even interacting more with passengers next to them.”

Josh sees that Google still faces an upward battle to position Glass as a commodity.

“Glass is trying to become something to the degree where people wake up in the morning, get ready for the day, put on a watch, and throw on Glass. It’s a lot about getting it into people’s hands. For now, there’s not much reason to develop for Glass because it’s a $1500 entry. I know the user case isn’t out there yet. The big challenge is getting Glass to market.”

In the third and final installment, we’ll dive into a developer perspective while exploring the concerns of privacy. Read the first part of the Developer Review series on Glass here.


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