Google is planning two special "hackathon" events to showcase its Google Glass eyeglass-mounted computers and gain input from developers who want to improve them and make them more usable.
The Google hackathon events were unveiled in an email sent by Google to developers who attended the Google I/O Conference in July 2012, where the "smart eyeglasses" were first publicly unveiled, according to a Jan. 15 story by TechCrunch.
The email states that each of the hacking events will be two days long and will focus on the Google Mirror API. "These hackathons are just for developers in the Explorer program, and we're calling them the Glass Foundry," the email said. "It's the first opportunity for a group of developers to get together and develop for Glass."
Google says it plans the first day of the sessions as an introduction to Google Glass and that attendees will get a detailed look at the Google Mirror API, which provides the ability to exchange data and interact with the user. The sessions will also include discussions about Glass continuing development with Google engineers, as well as demos with special guest judges.
Attendees will have access to a Google Glass device and will be able to test them out, according to Google.
The invitation-only events require preregistration by Jan. 18, and then Google will notify prospective attendees if they have been accepted for the events, according to the email.
The events are scheduled to take place Jan. 28 and 29 in San Francisco and Feb. 1 and 2 in New York, according to TechCrunch.
The Google Glass project was unveiled at the Google I/O conference last year as an eyewear-mounted computer that will have a wide range of innovative features when it hits the consumer market. Attendees of that conference were given the opportunity to sign up to buy early Explorer Edition versions of Google Glass for $1,500. Google officials said those versions were expected to become available in early 2013, with consumer versions expected at least a year later.
The Google Glass demonstration at Google I/O put the basic components of the devices on display, featuring an Android-powered display, a tiny webcam, a GPS locator and an Internet connection node built into one side of a pair of glasses. The glasses are lightweight and may or may not have lenses.
According to Google's patent application for Glass, which is listed online, the glasses use a side-mounted touch-pad that allows users to control its various functions. The glasses will be able to display a wide range of views, depending on user needs and interests. One potential view is a real-time image on the see-through display on the glasses, the patent application states.
One description details how the side-mounted touch-pad could be a physical or virtual component and that it could include a heads-up display on the glasses with lights that get brighter as the user's finger nears the proper touch-pad button.
On the heads-up display viewed by the user on the glasses, the side-mounted touch-pad buttons would be represented as a series of dots so they can operate them by feel, the applications states. "The dots may be displayed in different colors. It should be understood that the symbols may appear in other shapes, such as squares, rectangles, diamonds or other symbols."