Skip to main content

Google offers up a few snippets of info from top-secret Glass Foundry events

glass foundryA few weeks back, Google held a couple of special events giving a select group of developers an opportunity to try out the company’s Google Glass augmented reality specs and discuss with one another, as well as with Google engineers, what kind of ideas they had in mind for the future of the device.

Two so-called Glass Foundry events were held, one in San Francisco and one in New York. Each lasted two days. Invited participants included developers who’d forked out $1500 for the Explorer edition of Google’s high-tech eyewear at Google I/O 2012.

glass foundry 1

Since the Foundry events, few details have emerged about exactly what went on, largely because Google had the participants sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). However, in recent days the Mountain View company has decided to post some details (though admittedly not many) about the gathering, together with a selection of photos.

google glass foundry event

The Google+ post from the Glass developer team explained that, after forming groups at the event, the participants came up with “over 80 new ways to use Glass”. Unfortunately Google didn’t offer up any information about the new ideas, and with the NDAs all signed and sealed, the participating developers are also highly unlikely to spill the beans.

glass foundry 2

“Everyone who demoed received a special edition glass bar (below) identifying them as a ‘Pioneer’ of this next generation of computing,” the post said, adding, “Eight hard-working teams won the grand prize: Google will pick up the cost of their Glass Explorer Edition.”

The company said it hoped to set up more Glass Foundry events in the future.

glass foundry pioneer

In an interview at the start of the year, Google Glass project leader Babak Parviz said the Google Glass project still has some way to go before launch day  though the recent Glass Foundry gathering will no doubt have been an important step towards that goal.

Parviz added that his team of engineers and developers is currently looking at ways of getting the specs to work with voice commands and head gestures, as well as receive calls. It can already take photos, shoot video, and bring up information on the heads-up display. Little indication has been given by Google as to when we might see the specs in stores, though many believe it could happen during the first half of 2014.

[Images: Daniel Gaines Photography and Philip Montgomery]

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Google Glass development continues but still much to do, project leader says

When Google first announced plans for its augmented reality Google Glass specs earlier this year, there was much talk and excitement about how they might be used.
In the intervening months, however, the project has slipped out of the headlines somewhat as Google engineers continue to work on a product that it hopes to commercialize in late 2013 or, more likely, early 2014.
In an interview published this week by IEEE Spectrum, project leader Babak Parviz let it be known that the team is continuing to make progress with the development of the high-tech specs, though clearly plenty of challenges still lie ahead. He told the technology publication his engineers were constantly testing out new ideas for how to use the new platform.
New features
While we already know the specs are capable of taking photos and shooting video, Parviz also spoke of other features added in recent months. A touch pad, for example, has been incorporated into to the wearable tech, and moves have also been made to get the gadget to work with head gestures and voice commands.
When asked if it would be possible to receive calls using the glasses, Parviz said it was something his team was working on.
While those involved with Project Glass will of course be keen to load up the glasses with as many features as possible, they know all too well that more features means more pressure on the specs’ battery. However, Parviz said he hoped it would be powerful enough to last at least a whole day.
With Google so tightly associated with advertising, you might think it’d be looking at ways to get ads up and running on the specs, but the project leader told IEEE Spectrum there were currently no plans to go down such a route.
Above all, Parviz was keen to make clear that the project was unlike anything else undertaken by the Mountain View company, describing it as “complicated.”
“This is not a laptop or a smartphone. It’s an entirely new platform. So how people interact with it and what people do with it is totally new territory,” he explained. “We’ve explored multiple things. We’ve taken pictures and done search and other things with this device. But we hope that when we ship this to developers, other people will also figure out what this very powerful platform is able to do.”
Indeed, Parviz said that once the team is happy that the specs’ hardware and software is sufficiently robust, they’ll be made available to a select group of developers at $1,500 a pop – probably in the next few months. And once they get hold of them we should really get to discover the true potential of Google’s futuristic goggles.

Read more
Why AI will never rule the world
image depicting AI, with neurons branching out from humanoid head

Call it the Skynet hypothesis, Artificial General Intelligence, or the advent of the Singularity -- for years, AI experts and non-experts alike have fretted (and, for a small group, celebrated) the idea that artificial intelligence may one day become smarter than humans.

According to the theory, advances in AI -- specifically of the machine learning type that's able to take on new information and rewrite its code accordingly -- will eventually catch up with the wetware of the biological brain. In this interpretation of events, every AI advance from Jeopardy-winning IBM machines to the massive AI language model GPT-3 is taking humanity one step closer to an existential threat. We're literally building our soon-to-be-sentient successors.

Read more
The best hurricane trackers for Android and iOS in 2022
Truck caught in gale force winds.

Hurricane season strikes fear into the hearts of those who live in its direct path, as well as distanced loved ones who worry for their safety. If you've ever sat up all night in a state of panic for a family member caught home alone in the middle of a destructive storm, dependent only on intermittent live TV reports for updates, a hurricane tracker app is a must-have tool. There are plenty of hurricane trackers that can help you prepare for these perilous events, monitor their progress while underway, and assist in recovery. We've gathered the best apps for following storms, predicting storm paths, and delivering on-the-ground advice for shelter and emergency services. Most are free to download and are ad-supported. Premium versions remove ads and add additional features.

You may lose power during a storm, so consider purchasing a portable power source,  just in case. We have a few handy suggestions for some of the best portable generators and power stations available. 

Read more