The search giant made two Google Glass announcements yesterday (15 April), firstly that the first few devices have come off the production line and are ready to begin shipping to people who have signed up to the waiting list – named “Glass Explorers”.
Google will soon begin notifying which “Glass Explorers” are eligible to purchase the prototype devices, which will cost recipients $1,500 apiece in the coming weeks, according to the announcement.
Meanwhile, Google has also issued developer guidelines for Google Glass – called Google Mirror API – instructing third-party software developers on how to generate items that will be displayed to Google Glass users, or “Glassware”.
The guidelines begin by instructing developers on how Google Glass users will interact with the devices, i.e. through items called “cards” that are displayed on a timeline and can be voice-activated (see video below).
Google will process each of the interactions between third-party “Glassware” and and the Google Glass devices and the guidelines go on to recommend how best to develop for the platform (see below).
- Design for Glass – Design, build, and test your application specifically for Glass to ensure that the user experience is appropriate.
- Don’t get in the way – Glass users expect the technology to be there when they want it and out of the way when they don’t. Don’t be too frequent and loud with notifications when the user doesn’t expect it.
- Keep it timely – Glass is a platform that is most effective when in-the-moment and up-to-date.
- Avoid the unexpected – Surprising the user with unexpected functionality is bad on any platform, but especially on Glass given how close it is to their daily experience. Be honest about the intention of your application, what you will do on the user’s behalf, and get their explicit permission before you do it.
Although the above may seem a bit ‘blue sky thinking’, it clearly lays out how Google envisages the next interface for how we’ll interact with the web and if ubiquitous Wi-Fi and 4G technologies are to live up to their promise, surely it cannot be that far off. Similarly, rumours are circulating that Apple and Microsoft are also looking into devices that have been loosely termed as ‘iWatches’.
Secondly, the fact that Google is issuing guidelines to third-party developers means that its progress can only accelerate plus it’s an open invitation for brands to get in on the ground floor and head-off any of the problems that may have plagued their initial forays into the digital world.