Google Glass

Group Members:

Nana Zandi

Afrooz Samaei




Google Glass is a head-mounted wearable computer and display that is worn like a traditional glass. On April 4, 2012, Google introduced the Glass through a Google+ post: “We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t. A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.”

As Sergey Brin indicated while giving a TED talk about the Glass, the vision behind this product is related to the way we want to connect with other people and the way we want to connect with the information. The main motivation behind Glass is to build something that “frees your hands, your eyes, and also ears” and eliminates having to constantly look on our phones and socially isolating ourselves. The initial vision behind Google was to “eliminate the search query and have the information come to us as we needed it and make the information universally accessible and useful” (Larry Page, 2014)

During a Google I/O event in 2012 held in Moscone Center, San Fransisco, Google announced that a developer edition of the Glass called Explorer Edition is available to the developers to purchase, for $1500, which was shipped in early 2013. The Explorer Edition of the Glass enabled technologists, educators, and developers to pilot and test the product before it becomes commercially available to the public. Once the device was ready, the customers were contacted to attend one of Google’s headquarters in order to pick up their Glass and be given required instructions and information about how to use the device.

Shortly after that, the developers started developing applications for google glass, which was referred to as Glassware, based on the complete instructions provided by Google Developers. The applications include social and traditional media (e.g., Facebook, CNN), utilities (e.g., Stopwatch), and language learning (e.g., DuoLingo) applications, totaling about 150 (Forinash, 2015).

In January 2015, Google closed the Explorers program and discontinued the availability of Glass for individual buyers. However, the enterprise edition of the Glass is still under development. According to Google Developers, Glass at Work is a program intended to develop new applications and enterprise solutions by the certified partners, such as AMA (Advanced Medical Applications), APX Labs, AUGMATE, etc.


Google Glass is comprised of a head-mounted optical display (HMOD), which is a prism functioning as the monitor and visual overlay, attached to a mini-computer and a battery pack, housed in the right side of the Glass. The frame is constructed out of titanium and comes in five different colors- charcoal, tangerine, shale, cotton, and sky.

What does Google Glass do?

Here is what Google Glass does when it’s on and connected to the internet (Google Glass for Dummies, P. 9):

  •  Takes photos and videos, and sends them to one or more of your contacts. The Glass camera sees the world through your eyes at the very moment you take the photo or record the video.
  •  Sends e-mail and text messages to your contacts, and receives the same from them.
  •  Allows you to chat live via video with one or more Google+ friends via Google Hangouts.
  •  Sends and receives phone calls.
  •  Searches the web with the Google search engine (of course) so that you can find information easily.
  •  Translates text from one language to another. Glass speaks the translated text and also shows a phonetic spelling of the translated word(s) on its screen.
  •  Provides turn-by-turn navigation with maps as you drive, ride, or walk to your destination.
  •  Shows current information that’s important to you, including the time, the weather, and your appointments for the day.
  •  Recognizes the song that’s playing on the device and identifies the artist(s) singing the song, in case you don’t know.

Technical Specifications



There are a few different ways to control Google Glass. One is by using the capacitive touchpad along the right side of the glasses, on the outside of the GPS and CPU housing. Users can move from screen to screen by swiping and tapping the touchpad with a finger. Another way to control Google Glass is through voice commands. A microphone on the glasses picks up your voice and the microprocessor interprets the commands. To use voice commands, users say ‘OK Glass”. This command brings up a list of the available commands.


In order to connect to the internet, users should connect the Glass to the computer’s Wi-Fi connection, once they first set up their MyGlass account. Users can also connect through their smartphone with the MyGlass app, which allows internet connectivity as long as the smartphone has an internet data plan or access to a Wi-Fi network. Pairing the Glass to a smartphone using Bluetooth is most convenient when no Wi-Fi is available or users do not have access to a data network.

Images from Google Glass project onto the reflective surface of the built-in prism, which redirects the light toward your eye. The images are semi-transparent — you can see through them to the real world on the other side.

A visitor of the "NEXT Berlin" conference tries out the Google Glass on April 24, 2013 in Berlin. "NEXT Berlin" describes itself as "a meeting place for the European digital industry". Organisers say that at the conference, "marketing decision-makers and business developers meet technical experts and creative minds to discuss what will be important in the next 12 months". The conference is running from April 23 to 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO / OLE SPATA / GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read Ole Spata/AFP/Getty Images)

The speaker on Google Glass, located in the right arm, is a Bone Conduction Transducer. That means the speaker sends vibrations that travel through your skull to your inner ear — there’s no need to plug in ear buds or wear headphones. Using the camera and speaker together allows you to make video conferencing calls.

Also on board the glasses are a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor. These sensors help the glasses figure out if they are being worn or removed. You can choose to have your Google Glass go into sleep mode automatically if you take them off and wake up again when you put them on. 

One last sensor inside Google Glass is the InvenSense MPU-9150. This chip is an inertial sensor, which means it detects motion. This comes in handy in several applications, including one that allows you to wake up Google Glass from sleep mode just by tilting your head back to a predetermined angle.

The power is provided by a battery housed in a wide section of the stem. It fits behind your right ear. It’s a lithium polymer battery with a capacity of 2.1 watt-hours. Google has stated that the battery life should last for “one day of typical use.” Although the battery quickly depletes with extensive use, such as taking lengthy videos, watching videos from the internet, using Bluetooth, etc., Glass recharges relatively quickly, in as little as two hours.



Mark Taglietti, head of ICT delivery services and vendor management at London University College Hospitals says, “Google Glass represents a step change in technical innovation, wearable technology, and the convergence of personal devices in the workplace. The healthcare applications of Glass are wide-ranging, insightful and impactful, from enabling hands-free real-time access to clinical and patient information, to the transmission of point of view audio and video for surgical research and educational purposes. Glass marks the beginning of a truly remarkable journey for technical innovation within healthcare, enabling providers to improve the delivery of care, as well as overall quality and patient experience.”

Some example in which Google Glass is dramatically changing healthcare:

Virtual Dictation

Augmedix is a glass application that provides a better way for doctors to enter and access important patient information in real-time without being tethered to a computer. Dignity Health uses Augmedix software and Glass to streamline the interaction between physicians and patients. “This technology allows me to maintain eye contact with my patients and have continuous conversations without having to enter information into a computer,” said Dr. Davin Lundquist, a family medicine practitioner and Dignity Health’s chief medical informatics officer. “The ability to listen, communicate, and care is just as critical as the diagnosis, and this technology allows me to spend more focused and quality time with my patients.”


Care providers can communicate with physicians remotely and proactively monitor patients whose Electronic Health Records (EHR) can be transmitted in real-time.

Resident training

The Stanford University Medical Center Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery uses Google Glass in its resident training program. Surgeons at the medical center use glassware from CrowdOptics to train residents on surgical procedures.

Augmented Reality allows doctors to monitor patients’ vital signs during surgical procedures without ever having to take their eyes off the patient. Live streaming of procedures can also be used with augmented reality applications for teaching.



“real-time information on the battlefield in order to prevent harm to the soldiers.”

“Google glass for war: The US military funded smart helmet that can beam information to soldiers on the battlefield.”

The technology promises to give soldiers increased situational awareness on the battlefield, as well as easy access to important intelligence.



The technology allows teachers and students to share information in various modes of interaction that include flipped classrooms.

Students can record interactions with fellow students, including while on field trips. Later, students can analyze their own and others actions and responses. Teachers can also see how other teachers apply the technology.



With wearable computers like Glass, journalism is changing into a place where news content is created and shared instantly, quite literally through the eyes of the reporter. Glass provides you with freedom of motion and the ability to convey more intimate stories as journalists can be less intrusive to his or her subjects. Instead of taking your eyes off the action to take notes, you can record the event hands-free from your face. Using Glass, journalists could have the opportunity to tread new ground with their stories, accessing all of their resources from a single, easy-to-use device. 



  • Privacy Concerns

Concerns have been raised by various sources regarding the intrusion of privacy, and the etiquette and ethics of using the device in public and recording people without their permission. Privacy advocates are concerned that people wearing such eyewear may be able to identify strangers in public using facial recognition, or surreptitiously record and broadcast private conversations. There have also been concerns over potential eye pain caused by users new to Glass. Other facilities, such as Las Vegas casinos, banned Google Glass, citing their desire to comply with Nevada state law and common gaming regulations which ban the use of recording devices near gambling areas. On October 29, 2014, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) announced a ban on wearable technology including Google Glass, placing it under the same rules as mobile phones and video cameras.

Internet security experts have voiced concerns about the product and its implications. Their point is that the wording of terms seems to give Google more control over user data than it should have. He also points out that with facial recognition software, the glasses could raise privacy issues.

Another concern is that Google could use the eyewear as a platform for collecting personal data and serving ads. As you go about your day wearing these glasses, Google could create a virtual profile. Based on your behaviors and location, Google could potentially serve up what it considers to be relevant advertisements to the screen on your glasses.

  • Safety Concerns

Concerns have also been raised on operating motor vehicles while wearing the device.

 Similar Products

Vuzix M200 or M300



Vuzix’s M300 smart glasses are built for enterprise uses. With an Intel Atom processor powering performance, it’ll run on the latest version of Android with 2GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage and Wi-Fi connectivity among the more notable specs. There’s also a 13-megapixel camera to take pics, head tracking support, and dual canceling microphones.

Epson Moverio BT-300



While Epson’s smart glasses have always been quite business-focused, it has teased the prospect of using them in the gym to race in virtual environments and is working with drone makers DJi so you can control flights straight from your specs.

Sony SmartEyeGlass



Sony released the essential tools to allow developers to start coding applications for its Google Glass rival, and now developers can finally get hold of the SmartEyeGlass hardware. SmartEyeGlass includes an array of features, including a gyroscope, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and built-in camera. However, the monochrome screen is likely to put off consumers, if Sony chooses to release it beyond the business world.



Forinash, D. B. “Google Glass.” CALICO Journal 32.3 (2015): 609-17. Web.

Stepisnik, Eric Butow. Robert. Google Glass For Dummies. N.p.: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Print.

Glauser, Wendy. “Doctors among early adopters of Google Glass.” Canadian Medical Association. Journal 185.16 (2013): 1385.

Hua, Hong, Xinda Hu, and Chunyu Gao. “A high-resolution optical see-through head-mounted display with eye tracking capability.” Optics express 21.25 (2013): 30993-30998.

Parslow, Graham R. “Commentary: Google glass: A head‐up display to facilitate teaching and learning.” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 42.1 (2014): 91-92.

Yus, Roberto, et al. “Demo: FaceBlock: privacy-aware pictures for google glass.” Proceedings of the 12th annual international conference on Mobile systems, applications, and services. ACM, 2014

Clark, Matt (May 8, 2013). “Google Glass Violates Nevada Law, Says Caesars Palace”.

MPPA (October 29, 2014). “MPAA and NATO Announce Updated Theatrical Anti-Theft Policy”

Digital journalism: Your Sunday newspaper will never be the same


How Google Glass Will Transform Healthcare