Google Glass Explorers now have three more travel apps to use with their Glass devices while they explore and expand their horizons around the world.
The new Glassware apps, announced May 15 in a post by the Glass team on the product’s Google+ page, are available through the special MyGlass portal, which can be accessed by Explorer users. The new travel software for Glass comes from TripIt, Foursquare and OpenTable.
“Some of the most exciting experiences that our Explorers have shared with us are from their travels with Glass,” the post states. “Glass has become a favorite travel companion because it helps you enjoy your vacation without getting lost in your technology, and now we have new Glassware that will continue to help you discover and explore with ease.”
The TripIt app allows Glass users to get a heads-up display of their travel plans using Glass, instead of having to pull their smartphone out and manually check for their travel details, according to a related post from TripIt. “Just imagine a gate-change notification or flight status update while you’re sprinting through the airport, luggage in tow and coffee in hand. Way better than rushing to the wrong gate, right?”
The Foursquare app will help Glass users find places to go with their friends and then lets them check in to their destinations so others can gather as well, while the OpenTable app will allow Glass users to make reservations in more than 31,000 restaurants so far, without having to make a phone call.
The new offerings for Glass will supplement several other travel apps that are already available for use with Glass, including Field Trip, Word Lens, Google Now, Search and Maps, according to Google. Word Lens lets users instantly translate printed words using the Glass camera, in real time, even when a network connection is not available. Field Trip allows users to discover fascinating stories and local treasures around the world, while Google Now cards give users the right information at the right time. Google Search and Translate allow users to find information and translate foreign languages as they travel, while Google Maps provides transit, driving, walking and biking directions for travelers.
The latest Glass apps come on the heels of other big Glass news this week. Google announced that beta versions of Glass devices can now be purchased by anyone in the United States as long as the company has them in stock. The move comes as the company is continuing its recent efforts to expand the number of early “Explorer” users who are trying the devices out in the wild. On May 8, Google had announced that it was expanding Glass sales to more users in advance of an expected retail launch later this year.
The Glass devices, which sell for $1,500 plus taxes, can be configured and ordered at the Glass Website, according to Google. Several options and add-ons can raise the price of the devices.
Google has been trying different ways of getting Glass out to a larger audience.
Google Glass Users Can Now Get Three New Travel Apps
On April 15, Google held a one-day-only event where anyone in the United States could buy a Glass device as long as they paid the $1,500. Some reports after the event said that Google never actually shut the doors to that one-day store and continued to take orders for a few days until the devices were gone.
For excited users, the reality of the Glass beta program is that it is still a product that is under development and it is not finished.
Controversies still continue about the product, as well. There have already been bars and restaurants that have banned Glass wearing in their establishments, as well as reports about several people being physically attacked while wearing Glass, though those reports have sometimes been sketchy.
Also in April, Google launched a new “Glass at Work” program to try to build interest in the business community about the possibilities of using Google Glass on the job.
Two businesses that are already experimenting with Glass are the Washington Capitals NHL hockey club and oil field services company Schlumberger, according to Google. The Capitals selected several hundred fans at a Jan. 14 game against the San Jose Sharks to try out a Glass app called Skybox that was built by APX Labs.
Using Skybox, the fans were able to see real-time instant replays on the devices, view different camera angles, pull up player stats and information with simple commands, share game highlights on social media, and receive other customized and specialized information through a high-performance content management system serving the Verizon Center, according to an eWEEK report.
Schlumberger partnered with a company called Wearable Intelligence to use Glass to increase safety and efficiency for their employees in the field, according to Google. Both Glass projects are only the start of what is possible for businesses and the enterprise, according to Google.
Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of it first surfaced in 2012. The first Google Glass units began shipping in April 2013 to developers who signed up at the June 2012 Google I/O developers conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development; the new technology was the hit of the conference. Google also then began shipping Glass units to lucky users who were given the privilege to buy their own early versions of the wearable devices.
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 feature a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers.