Google Glass devices are hitting the streets slowly, but the demand for apps that run on the head-mounted computers is just starting to take off.
That’s the belief of the organizers of the inaugural community-led, non-profit GlassDevCamp, which will be held sometime this summer in the San Francisco Bay area as a two-day Glass development event for innovation, creation and idea expansion using the Google Mirror API.
Led by two earlier iOS DevCamp groundbreakers—William Hurley, who is better known in the open-source and IT communities as whurley, and former IT analyst Raven Zachary—the GlassDevCamp will be open to developers, Glass users, Glass enthusiasts and anyone else who wants to be a part of the event, said whurley. Raven and whurley are the co-founders of similar DevCamp events that are held each year for iOS users and developers.
“The event format is ‘unconference’ or Barcamp-style, featuring content from the participants themselves,” whurley told eWEEK in an interview. “GlassDevCamp is operated by volunteers as a celebration of the Google Glass platform.”
And that’s why no event dates, fees or location have yet been announced, he said, because organizers first need to see how many people want to sign up to attend before they determine how much space will be needed. “That’s kind of how the DevCamps work,” he said. “It’s a community event, so you want it to be as inclusive as possible.”
Registration for the event stands so far at 170 after just a day and is expected to grow over the next few weeks, said whurley, who is the labs general manager for Chaotic Moon Studios, which builds mobile applications.
GlassDevCamp will be held over a weekend, from early evening on a Friday through late afternoon on a Sunday, according to the group. “People will gather, form teams, build new glassware apps for Google Glass using the Google Mirror API, get up onstage to demo their creations, and then prizes will be awarded for the best glassware apps created during the event.”
Asked why he and Zachary are creating the event despite Google’s own Glass Foundry developers events for Glass, whurley said the GlassDevCamp is different because it is open to anyone who is interested in the technology, not just hard-core developers. “That’s a really big thing,” he said. “You don’t even have to have Glass to participate. People can just come with ideas.”
The GlassDevCamp organizers say they intend to talk with Google about endorsing the event, but that such an arrangement won’t decide its success. “Right now this is not about Google,” said whurley. “It’s about a group of extremely excited people and about getting people together to make as many cool new Glass apps as possible.”
Google Glass DevCamp Event Being Organized to Create More Apps
With the slow release of some Glass devices to early users, the need for apps is ready to grow big time, said whurley. “Glass is going to pick up a lot more adoption a lot faster than people are thinking,” he said. “If you want to stay in touch with that demand, this is a great event to be at. We’ve been waiting on a very large company with a really cool product. I think it’s going to open the floodgates to wearable computing.”
Zachary, a mobile app expert who was the director of the official 2008 Obama for America mobile app program, told eWEEK that the GlassDevCamp event will pick up on the excitement and enthusiasm seen in the first iOS DevCamps he helped organize after the debut of Apple’s iPhones in 2007.
“We want to apply those same principles that we’ve been using with the iOS community with Glass,” he said. “We’re really excited about the direction of this new technology and what new and innovative things can be created. I’m excited to see what the community can do with this technology.”
Meanwhile, the first Glass users are just now receiving their first software updates for their devices, according to a May 8 eWEEK report. The software update includes a dozen new features that Google hopes will make the devices even more useful.
The first Google Glass units began shipping in April to developers who signed up at last June’s Google I/O conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development. Google also then began shipping Glass units to lucky users who were selected in a contest for the opportunity to buy their own early versions of Glass.
In February, Google expanded its nascent test project for its Glass eyewear-mounted computer by inviting interested applicants to submit proposals for a chance to buy an early model and become part of its continuing development. In March, Google also began notifying a pool of applicants who were selected to purchase the first 8,000 sets of Google Glass when they become available for real-world use and testing later this year by consumers. Those selected applicants are beginning to receive their units in waves.
Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also boast a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to the wearer through their bones, using a bone-conduction transducer that previously had been revealed in earlier reports.
Glass comes with its own dedicated micro-USB cable and charger. Glass is built to be compatible with any Bluetooth-capable phone, while its companion MyGlass app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher.
The Glass project was unveiled officially for the first time to developers at the June 2012 Google I/O developers conference. Google Glass is not expected to be widely available to consumers until 2014, according to the company.