On Monday, September 23rd 2013 OLC attended Glass 20 day hackathon hosted by Rocket Space at their office in downtown San Francisco. Twelve contestants had twenty days to create a Google Glass app to demo today for the audience that was related to entertainment. This includes but not limited to: Sports, TV, Music, Movies, Social and Games. At the end of the event two winners would be selected and given a nice package for their hard work.
Before the demo kicked off, Timothy Jordan from Google took the stage to discuss some basic design principles Google has laid out for the production of Google Glass apps.
“Google glass is a different experience from using any smartphone. You can port your app to any other platform and receive a similar experience,” said Timothy Jordan.
Google Glass is completely different from what we are used to. The size, the experience, the interaction and how you wear it. This is why we must think differently when it comes to designing for it.
When wearing Google Glass you should want to experience what you’re doing and not spend my time ‘sharing’ my experience. What I mean by this is, spending time looking down at my phone sharing things, when I could instead do it from Google Glass while still being able to see what is right in front of me.
Avoid the unexpected and don’t surprise the user. Unless you happen to be surprising the user with something they will enjoy. Don’t confuse or upset them with your interaction.
Be very transparent and obvious about the experience the user is going to get with your service.
Build for people. Don’t forget you’re trying to solve a problem for the people.
In the end, create something that doesn't change the way we learn things or have to relearn, but make things easier for us.
BlinkFeed by Winklogic
First up was BlinkFeed and Matt Abdou, the CEO, and Aaron took the stage to talk about their app. They talked about bringing a second screen to life, in everyday interactions. This includes meeting people, concerts, watching tv sporting events, driving and especially the news.
BlinkFeed is essentially a RSS feed for Google Glass. “It has grown a bit from an app that pulls in the news, but now we have added social intelligence to it,” said Matt Abdou. It will only send you something via a specific news source you’ve signed up for but it also popular on your social networks (Twitter, Reddit).
Most recently, we have added sports info. You can select your favorite teams (NFL only at the moment) and get real time scoring updates in card format. We plan on expanding this to player stats and more sports channels.
Eye of the Hawk
Libby took the stage to represent Eye of the Hawk. A random side note: a group of hawks is called a cast. This is the basis of the application. You can push out a group of ‘vid casts’ to your Google Glass device. Let’s say you’re at the Olympics and have tickets to see Usain Bolt, something you do not want to miss, but you also don’t want to miss gymnastics session.
You can have the highlights of that sport pushed to your Glass device so you can keep in the present, while catching things you missed.
You can push highlights from any sporting event to Google glass. Their current ideal business model would run on a subscription base. “We chose to stream, because of the file size restrictions”, Libby said.
Elements by Team Reflect
Jeff Fohl and Ivan Yudhi created Elements, a card based game. Elements is a Google Glass game which is played on a turn by turn basis (i.e you play with a friend). You can take as much time between turns, but don’t keep your friends waiting. “We wanted to make this simple, easy, interesting but not overly complex”, Jeff Fohl said.
How the game works: you have three cards: fire, water and stone. You want to destroy all of your opponent's cards. With each turn, you can attack, craft (combine two element cards to create a new card: fireball, wave and wall) or draw a new card.
Learning a new language is hard, really hard. Immersive is there to help you in your exact time of need. Immersive has the ability to predict when you are going to forget a word and provide an image to help you remember the word at the right moment in time. Depending on how long it takes you to guess the right answer it will determine how well you know it.
While this is a Google Glass app, there is an Android app also being released in a few months (hopefully)
Dave took the stage to talk about his quadricopter that was controlled with the touch controls of Google Glass, and also your actually eyesight. Dave’s quadricopters are equipped with two HD cameras on it and have the ability to see off in very far distances.
“I want this technology to be used in Africa where small villages are being harassed by others trying to threaten their way of life,” Dave said. Essentially, with the ability of these quadricopters, they would be able to give the village a ten minute window, which is enough time for them to vacate before the threat reached the village.
The type of quadricopter they use is an AR Drone 2.0.
Jon Fisher took the stage to talk to us about Crowd Optic. Have you ever been at home watching a sporting event and wondering what that players POV was? This is what Crowd Optic wants to help achieve. It attempts to allow you to use your device and beam (look) at somebody and get their point of view via Google Glass. All parties involved will obviously have to have Google Glass or at least a smartphone for viewing of the feed.
Victor Conesa, who was there to represent JustInMind, created a platform to help people put their Google Glass applications dreams closer to a reality. Their platform helps people design and create Google Glass applications.
Caption is a Google Glass app that attempts to give you real time translation and or a better view of the captions of a video you are watching via Google Glass. For people with bad eyesight, this type of technology can make it easier to watch YouTube videos that have important captions. The team discussed how they had quite a few technological difficulties and is still working on fine-tuning the application.
The creators of Gcast.io built a platform called Dexper.io that helps give developers the ability to push information form Google Glass to a variety of connected devices. They see this important, because the future of tech is just not handheld devices but wearable. A perfect example being Google Glass, fitness trackers and the new smart watch.
David, the creator of GlassCast.TV took the stage to talk about his creation. “ I have created the ability to feed your live stream to my website,” David said. So you can go to GlassCast and view live streams of what people are doing from all over the world.
You can add tags to your videos to make them searchable by users. A good scenario of how I see this being used is during riots and protests, where a live feed is very crucial and entertaining to the people.
Eye Caddy was pretty cool take on using Google Glass while partaking in a live sport activity. It acts as your own personal caddy for golf. It can keep track of your previous score on that course and can suggest what club to use. During gameplay, you can look at your ball and ask Glass how far the hole is from your current position.
Fish Brain (From Sweden)
Fish Brain, being from Sweden, was not able to make the event, so they created and video to take their place. Fish Brain, allows you to track your fishing adventure, while also adding the ability to receive live updates from people giving you advice on how and where to fish.
One of the best parts of this, you’re now able to send and receive real-time information hands free. When you’re in the water, pulling out your phone and or camera to take photos is risky and not something most people would want to do.
As I mentioned in the beginning, two winners would be selected at the end of the event. The two winning applications were GlassCast.TV and Fish Brain.