Those who already own Google Glass are more likely than most to embrace new technologies like Nest’s thermostat, so it only makes sense that an especially eager adopter would find a way to combine the two. That would be James Rundquist and his new Glass Nest app: Glass owners now just have to announce that they’re coming home (or heading out) to make their Nest units change the climate. More exacting homeowners can fine-tune the temperature, too. While the utility is both unofficial and quite limited at this stage, Rundquist has posted source code that lets anyone expand on the project. If you’re in the rare position of owning both gadgets, we’d suggest giving Glass Nest and its code at least a cursory look.
Google I/O 2013 is entering day two in San Francisco and a Google Glass developer session is happening right now. The focus is on the current Mirror API, which allows for online, web services-based apps that push simple content to the headset. This enables current apps like the New York Times. But, the Mirror API is quite limited, allowing only online apps and not providing any direct access to the Glass hardware. That’s changing, though, with Google announcing the Glass Developer Kit, or GDK. This will allow for Android apps that run directly on the Glass hardware, providing much greater functionality and offline access. When is it coming? “Sometime in the future” is the best we’re able to get.
Welcome to The After Math, where we attempt to summarize this week’s tech news through numbers, decimal places and percentages
We’ve been getting our first unfiltered experiences with Google Glass this week, which makes it the perfect time to go over some of the salient points up until now. At the same time, Apple sold more hardware, more apps and made even more money — it was largely another good quarter for the Cupertino coffers. Add in a million-second game show and there are more than enough numbers to play around with in this week’s After Math.
Google felt it appropriate to highlight some of Glass’ specs earlier this week, but there’s much more to the company’s wearable display than just the 5 megapixel camera and its 16GB of internal storage. In case you were hankering for a taste of what else makes Google Glass tick, Android developer (and Glass Explorer) Jay Lee spent some time tinkering with his preview unit and managed to figure out what kind of hardware it has under the hood.
Lee managed to confirm that Glass runs Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (CEO Larry Page noted during Google’s most recent earnings call that Glass “obviously” runs on Android), and also determined that it has a Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 chipset. In case you haven’t been keeping abreast of developments in the mobile chipset market, the OMAP 4430 was used in devices like the original Motorola Droid RAZR and Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2.0 — solid devices during their prime, but the chipset that powered them is far from new.
Sadly, some of the particulars are still shrouded in mystery — Lee wasn’t able to figure out the processor’s clock speed (the 4430 CPU can be clocked between 1 and 1.2 GHz), and the device only reports that it has 682MB of RAM, but Lee suspects the total is actually 1GB. Still, that’s not too shabby a spec sheet for a device that essentially lives on your face, and some recent reports reveal that the ambitious headset may be surprisingly too simple to root to. Liam McLoughin, an intern for Google’s Chrome team, recently tweeted to note that gaining root access to the search giant’s curious head-mounted display seemed simple in theory, a development that prompted Lee to go digging in the first place.
Meanwhile, Cydia founder and administrator Jay Freeman revealed on Twitter that he too had made progress in gaining access to the device, and even posted a picture to show off how far he’d managed to go. At this point we’ve already seen some companies embrace the Glass platform (Path and the New York Times immediately spring to mind) and others like Evernote are known to be crafting experiences for Glass, but some moderately powerful hardware and seemingly easy rootability could make Glass an even bigger hit for Android tinkerers.
As more developers are receiving their pair of Google Glass, the tinkering with the device is heating up. One developer found a very interesting easter egg within Glass itself, which introduces you to the entire Glass team.
The steps to reproduce it are fairly simple:
Settings -> Device info -> View licenses -> Tap the touchpad 9 times -> Tap Meet Team
Here’s a video demo, including the neat sounds that happen as you keep tapping:
The neat part about the photo is that you can see the entire 360-degree panoramic image by moving your head around. This was hard to show in the MyGlass screencast, since it lags a little bit. We’ve learned that Mike LeBeau, Senior Software Engineer for Google X, is the one who dropped the hidden gem into Glass’ software. He’s appeared on TechCrunch before in a <a target="_blank" href="“>hilarious Google blooper reel.
The team photo has Google co-founder, Sergey Brin, front and center.
I’m sure that more of these easter eggs will pop up over time, but this one is particularly cool since it’s the first time that I’ve seen a panoramic image on the device since I started using it. This functionality could be something that isn’t exposed in the Mirror API as of yet, but once it is, it’ll be a fun one.
“The initial versions of Glass were just Sergey [Brin]‘s Oakleys with a phone taped to them,” Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, told me in a noisy cafe in Midtown Manhattan. Given his position and our topic of conversation — Google’s Project Glass — he was conspicuous for wearing no eyewear whatsoever. “[Sergey's prototype] was not very compelling.” You’d forgive him for being a bit skeptical back then about what the company’s leadership was hoping would be the next big thing — or, at least, a thing worthy of the time and money required to iterate from those humble beginnings to the sleek device we now know and covet.
So, then, how did we get from those initial doubts to the launching of the Glass Collective, dedicating millions of dollars to finding, funding and fostering innovative applications (not just of the software variety) for Google’s new wearable? Maris spoke of Glass project lead Steve Lee and a later prototype that took photos every few seconds. “Imagine if you had this for your entire life. You could ask: ‘What did I do 10 years ago today?’” That was compelling enough for Maris to commit to the foundation of the Collective, helping Google move the project beyond a single product and into the all-important realm of the platform. This is a platform, he believes, that could change our lives over the next 10 years just as smartphones have over the past decade.
This week on the TechCrunch Gadgets Podcast we talk about Google Glass, the Galaxy S4, and the magic of Ubuntu laptops. This time we’re joined by Matt Burns, Jordan Crook, Greg Kumparak, and a pair of underwear that vibrates in Australia. Enjoy!
We invite you to enjoy our weekly podcasts every Friday at 3pm Eastern and noon Pacific.
Intro Music by Rick Barr.
If you were one of the people who signed up last year at Google’s I/O conference to be a part of the “Glass Explorer” program, you might be getting your instructions on how to actually…purchase the thing and get it into your geeky little hands.
In case you weren’t sure, Google Glass is real, and they’re shipping as we speak.
Today, my number was called and I received the following email, which comes along with a phone number to call, a unique code and a link to a “Glass Safety Notices and Terms of Sale” that you must accept before you place your order:
Google said in its previous email to Glass Explorers that 2,000 were pre-ordered, and I was number 933. That means that the company is filling out requests for units pretty quickly, if they’re going in order. Sure, some people might not follow through once they actually face dropping over $ 1,500 for them, but it’s safe to venture a guess that most will opt to purchase them.
When you call the number, which I’ve blanked out from the email, you’re asked for your unique code. The process is pretty quick and you can decide on whether you’d like to pick your Glass up or have it shipped to you. Sadly, the tangerine and sky colors were already out of stock, so I opted to pick up the “shale” flavor of grey.
I set up an appointment to pick them up in Mountain View tomorrow. I’m told that if you pick them up in person, in either Mountain View, New York or Los Angeles, you’ll meet with a member of the Glass team to have them fitted properly and then get a basic walk-through of the device and operating system. You’re also encouraged to “bring a friend.”
The person on the phone was extremely nice, congratulating me on getting the device along the way. After all, to try these things out, and be on the cutting edge of technology, you’re dropping some serious cash.
Since the Glass Mirror API developer guide documentation is out, along with the API itself, more developers will start creating applications on top of the Glass platform once they get their hands on them. It certainly doesn’t hurt that some of the biggests VCs in Silicon Valley are lining up to fund these projects, too. I’m personally looking forward to creating a recipe application that will let me flip through ingredients and directions, hands-free, while I cook. Amazing, huh?
Plenty of questions remain about Google Glass, especially as to whether mainstream consumers will actually want them, how often people will actually wear them and how awkward things will be when you’re sitting across the table from someone who has a camera connected to the Internet in front of their eyeball. Having said that, Glass has gotten people excited, and you’re going to start seeing at least 2,000 more of them in the wild very soon.
- Expect|Tech Meets Blog
Google made plenty of nerds happy earlier this week when it began reaching out to the 8,000 people that would have the privilege of spending $ 1,500 on the company’s head-mounted Glass display, but that thrill wound up being short-lived for some.
About seven hours after announcing that the outreach to would-be Glass Explorers began, the Glass team once again took to the project’s Google Plus page to admit they needed to rescind some of those invitations.
After noting that the #ifihadglass program yielded applicants from all walks of life, a representative noted that “it’s become clear that a few applications that don’t comply with our terms have slipped through the cracks” and that those applications would have to be disqualified.
It’s not clear exactly how many people ultimately got the boot from the Explorer program, but a quick Twitter search yields two viewable tweets breaking the bad news directly from the Glass account. In both of those cases the applicants (hopefully jokingly) said they would engage in some ill-advised behavior while wearing Glass — the more extreme of the two applicants said “#ifihadglass I’d cut a bitch!” which definitely flies in the face of the Explorer program’s terms and conditions. The other was mild in comparison, but still pretty pointless:
#IfIHadGlass, I'd throw it at your face. ._.
— Le Queen. (@wutabril) February 20, 2013
Of course, there’s still the question of how those people got selected in the first place — it doesn’t seem like whoever was at the helm was being very selective in the first place. According to the terms of the Explorer program, entries were “evaluated and scored by a panel of independent content moderators” who aren’t employed by either Google or its promotional partner, a New York-based marketing firm called Anomaly. Either someone on that jury found those, erm, colorful entries funny and gave them a pass, or the jury just wasn’t paying attention at all. Either way, Google was left to deal with the aftermath publicly.
It’s also unclear how many more applications (if any) will wind up getting the boot as well. Entries like this were earnest and potentially very cool, while others who were chosen seemed to have their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks when tweeting their original applications.
[via The Next Web]
This is a video of Youtuber SmarterEveryDay explaining Prince Rupert’s Drops. Prince Rupert’s Drops are made by drizzling molten glass into water so it forms a little spermy — a sperm with an ultra-tough head, but with a delicate tail that will cause the whole thing to explode if nicked. I was going to try to draw a correlation between these sperm and mine, but mine only chase their tails so it was a no-go.
All the weirdness is thanks to they way the droplet cools from the outside in, building up stress that makes it super prone to explosion, in places, but SmarterEveryDay explains it best.
Listen: I love science as much as the next guy who’s always dreamed of strapping himself to a rocket and suffocating in space, but sometimes I feel like it gets in the way of just appreciating real-life magic, you know? Thank God for magnets.
Hit the jump for the video.Related Posts: