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Google Glass - OK Glass

I recently attended a Google press conference where they indoctrinated me into all things Google, but my main reason for attending was to see the new Google Glass - the connected glasses with a camera. When you put the glasses on, a small screen above your right eye holds a small display on which you can see a mini computer screen. A heads-up display!

There is already a rash of 'first person' photographs sweeping the world, views that look like what you see with your eyes, including hands and forearms in the foreground. Part of this is being spawned by Google Glass because in addition to answering all your questions about life and giving you directions to the nearest pizza restaurant, it records movies and stills.

I wasn't permitted to take photos with the Glass, but I was able to use it and see the results on their monitor. To take control of the glasses, you say, "Okay, Glass" and that alerts the glasses to your voice for the next command. A list of options appears on the screen and you can touch the side of the glasses to scroll up or down, or you can use your voice.

"Okay, Glass. Take a picture." A photo is taken!

Now, it isn't quite perfect, but I figure it's only a matter of time and software. To begin, it takes a little practice to stop yourself looking at the screen (which tilts you head up a bit) and look at what you want to photograph. You'll also find that you can see what you're about to photograph in the heads-up display, but if you're looking at that, you might not be looking at what you want to photograph. None of this is a problem - it's just practice, same as any camera.

However, the image in the heads up display isn't the full image, just the middle, so cropping artistically will be more by feel and later cropping, rather than in-camera control. What you get is a much wider field of view, so you won't miss anything.

Image quality? Well, it's claimed to be a 5-megapixel sensor and capable of 720p video, but it is a tiny sensor and so my expectations aren't high. But hey, it's amazing what you can do in post-production and this is just the beginning.

Will this change photography? You bet, just as the smartphone has changed what we think of as photography.Will it change serious photography? I can see it having a big impact on photojournalism and documentary photography, as well as personal and familiy photography. Some keen photographers will immerse themselves in what can and can't be done and create a new style.

Retail price is expected to be between $300 and $500 in the USA, but Google itself doesn't have that much to say, at least not based on my searches on Google! But it will be a fun toy - I'm just waiting for the models that look like real glasses and people don't know you are photographing them. Imagine the uproar that people will have in clothing store change rooms and executive meeting board rooms!

Peter Eastway Uses

Peter Uses

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