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Developing apps for Google Glass – a quick guide .

It might not be your conventional glass which sits comfortably over your nose, but whether you want it or not it’s here to stay maybe a refined version in the years to come.

Google Glass could take augmented reality to another level. The Google Glass has a minimal head mounted display which promises to make our interaction with the user interface more seamless and mostly unobtrusive. Many  will like it and there are some who will hate it.

Google Glass app development :

With Google Glass api’s into picture , a new ocean of possibilities has been opened up .

Note : If you are in search of a good Google Glass app developer or a company , Shoot a mail to : andy@gentleninja.com and we will connect you to a experienced developers or development companies .

Its always good to be a early bird and jump at trends . If you are proactive , you can become the biggest app in Google glass :)  [ Do check out some interesting ways to monetize on Google Glass at the bottom of this post ]

Tit Bits :

– Google Glass app development can be done easily using a emulator .

– While you do Google Glass app development you can fiddle with the API using this Google Mirror API Playground

– You can also do Google Glass app development with your favorite programming languages like PHP , Phython , Java etc.

Also check out the pointers by Timothy in the below video :

Despite a recent deluge of Google Glass news, the company has been extremely quiet regarding Glass specs. We did a bit of snooping around and found some specs of Google Glass.


google-glass-wallpaper-hd

Google Glass Specs

Display: 640×360 resolution: Appears to use a temple-mounted projection in combination with a prism/waveguide. Field of view is likely no higher than 15 degrees. Display appears in the top right of your vision as a transparent color image. 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.

Processor and RAM: Dual-core OMAP processor : ARM processor such as those available in modern smartphones. 1GB of RAM is my best guess based on space restrictions.

Audio: Bone Conduction Transducer

Battery Life: One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.

Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS on-board, but no 3G or 4G for cellular data. Glass can tether to iPhone, Android, and other devices for data.

Software: Based on GlassWare. (mostly Android based.)

Controls: Touchpad on the side, a physical button, and voice commands. “Ok Glass…” is used to start command phrases. Touchpad must be tapped to start Glass listening for command phrases and can also be tapped to make selections. Gestures on the touchpad allow you to swipe left or right to slide through lists or down to go back. Tilting your head up slowly will also prompt Google Glass to start listening for voice commands.

Sensors: Gyroscope, magnetometer, and accelerometer. One unidentified sensor rests on the inside of the projection arm, near the eye. An anonymous source tells us that it is neither a camera for eye-tracking or a proximity sensor to detect when glass is worn. However, SlashGear says they have a source “close to the Glass project” that says it is indeed an infrared eye-tracking camera. We’re still lacking corroboration on that front though.

Ports: MicroUSB seems to be the only port on Google Glass. Makes us wonder how Glass will charge, maybe it’ll use inductive charging? If a MicroUSB port is present it could have support for MHL which would provide HDMI output.

Camera: 5 MP Picture. 720p Video.

Storage: 12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.

Weight: ~36 grams.

Charger: Included Micro USB cable and charger.

While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind.

What can Google Glass do?

The most recent video, ‘How it Feels Through Glass’, gives us a glimpse of what Google Glass features we can expect. The company says that the entire video was filmed using the Google glasses.

  • Take pictures
  • Send photos
  • Record video
  • Make phone calls
  • Show the time
  • Show weather
  • Flight status notifications (possibly a subset of functionality)
    • Arrival and destination airports
    • Airline
    • Flight number
    • Departure time
    • On time/delay status
    • Terminal
    • Gate
  • Search Google
    • Images
    • Translation
    • Search results that appear to come from Google’s Knowledge Graph, which includes tons of useful info like real time sports scores, unit conversions, bios on people, info snippets on objects, forthcoming holidays, etc.
  • Stream video via Google Plus Hangout
  • Dictate text
  • Notifications
  • Send SMS
  • Get directions vis Google Maps.

Glassware has most services in common with Google Now. Like that service on Android phones, Glass can pull in content from all manner of places, formatted into individual cards. Content from third-party developers will be small chunks of HTML, for instance, with Google’s servers supporting the various services that Glass users can take advantage of.

Some of the cards refer to local services or hardware, and a dog-ear folded corner indicates there are sub-cards you can navigate through. The most obvious use of this is in the Settings menu, which starts off with an indication of battery status and connectivity type, then allows you to dig down into menus to pair with, and forget, WiFi networks, toggle Bluetooth on or off, see battery percentage and charge status, view free storage capacity and firmware status (as well as reset the headset to factory settings), and mange the angle-controlled wake-up system.

In effect, each card is an application. So, if you ask Glass to perform a Google search – using the same server-based voice recognition service as offered on Android phones – you get a side-scrolling gallery of results cards which can be navigated by side swiping on the touchpad. It’s also possible to send one of those results to your phone, for navigating on a larger display.

To start with the “Glassware,” the Google Mirror API is designed to let developers create innovative, useful and fun apps for the forthcoming Glasses.

What can you build and how do you build it? Let’s break it down.

Using Java Or Python

Google recommends two programming languages for building apps for Glassware: Java and Python. For Java, developers will need Java 1.6 capability, Apache Maven for part of the build process and the App Engine SDK for Java. Apps can then be built in Eclipse, an integrated developer environment (IDE) for app building. Developers will need to create an OAuth verification and tie their Google account to their Glasses and allow access to Google’s Glassware API and access the SDKs.

It is essentially the same for Python, except you do not need Maven or Eclipse. Developers use the App Engine SDK for Python to start.

Guidelines For Glass

Google has four primary guidelines for developing for Glass:

    1. Design for Glass: Do not design for another device, like a smartphone, and import to Glass. Because Glass is unique in how users interact with it, Google suggests that you developer directly for it.
    2. Don’t get in the way: Apps should be for users, not for developers. Don’t be pushy with notifications and other information.
    3. Timely: The goal is to provide users with up-to-date information with Glass. Make sure your app responds with correct information in a timely manner.
    4. Avoid the unexpected: Imagine walking down the street and Glass sends you an unexpected notification. This can be annoying or even dangerous. Make sure the user has given explicit permission to be notified in Glass.

Google does not want developers placing their own advertising in their Glassware. Part of this is likely because Google wants the user interaction to be free from clutter and pleasing to the user. Another reason may be that Google would rather be the one monetizing the data collected from Glass through its own apps and services – like Google Now.

Google prohibits developers from gathering data of any kind for advertising purposes and will not allow developers to charge fees or collect payments for downloaded apps. Developers may not tie payment to virtual goods or upgraded functionality.

Essentially, Google has made it impossible for developers to make money from Glassware apps. No ads, no in-app payments or “freemium” functions will be allowed. This should help protect the user experience, but may slow developer participation past a certain point. Why would developers bother to create Glassware timelines and cards if they can’t make any money from it ?

Monetizing Google Glass apps :

Here are a few wild guesses from web 2.0 enthusiasts on how one can actually monetize on Google glass apps :

– Develop an mobile app that can be used by users to do interesting things with the google glass .

Eg : Netflix can easily have an iPhone app to stream movies to the app . Many users would like to watch movies whie travelling . And Glass gives a much better effect on he mobile screen . Now Netflix will charge the users for the mobile app .

– Subtle advertisements : If your app is related to media , you can insert strategic Ads into the content ( while also adhering to the Google Glass guidelines )

Eg : the main character in the content speaking about a promoted product etc.

– Location : Users are gonna use Google Glass on the move . So there can be tons of subtle methods to monetize using locations based concepts ( Like promoting businesses near by etc. organically )

If you have any other interesting channels using which Google Glass app developers can easily make money – do share it with us in the comments :)

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