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A new Layer for Google Glass

The element I've missed most from +Google Glass is Augmented Reality.  AR is particularly well-suited to heads-up displays rather than other wearables.  And Glass's elegant Navigation app demonstrate its effectiveness.  But AR on Glass has so far been limited.

That's why I'm very excited by this demonstration from Layer.  On Android, Layer offers a broad and extensible layer for the real (or virtual) world.  Searching for a location or interest creates an overlay for a live video stream.  And this app takes it even one step further by performing object recognition to provide additional content.  I look forward to side-loading the Layer app soon.  Learn more here:

#googleglass   #augmentedreality   #ar  (via +Jake Steinerman)
Jonathan Hrovat's profile photoMichael-Rainabba Richardson's profile photoJames Harris's profile photoMichel Plungjan's profile photo
For me, this is the real promise of glass. Hands-free pictures are nice but not worth the purchase. Being able to look at something and learn about it? That's amazing.
+Felix Hoenikker No because Google Glass isn't intended for AR. It has potential because the implementation coincidentally provides the basics. If you haven't seen it yet, check out Meta View (Space Glasses). That IS a platform build for AR and does provide both the transparent hud and 3D sensors, but with a more immersive and stereoscopic display. The two projects are intentionally very different. In the biggest way, Glass is meant to be an unobtrusive, portable, accessory. Meta on the other hand is a primary I/O device.

Layar even says themselves, in no unclear terms, "LAYAR ON GOOGLE GLASS: IT’S NOT AUGMENTED REALITY" 
+James Harris Put your phone in front of your face and your wishes have come true (years ago) thanks to Google Goggles which is still not official supported even on Glass. Glass is not AR and is not trying to be.
AR is the only reason for Google Glass. I can't believe they aren't pursuing this further.
+Felix Hoenikker Glass redesign with "two almost full field of view transparent near eye displays"? Sounds like you're confusing Glass with Meta and even if you weren't, you're not talking about Glass, you're talking about something coming down the pipe. I'm not stating an opinion either (did you read my blog post?), Glass is not intended for AR. Neither is your phone but it too can do AR-like things and actually, quite a bit better than Glass in nearly every respect.

I have NO doubt that Project Tango does indicate things to come. It's also not a coincidence that Google's mobile OS is named "Android" and that Google is investing heavily in robotics which require strong 3D vision technology but that has nothing to do with Glass or its intended use patterns.

If you haven't checked out Meta/SpaceGlasses yet, do yourself a favor and do so:

Don't take my word for it though, ask +Ana Huante or any of the other Glass Gurus (some of which have endorsed that article I linked you to). Ana Knows Glass about as well as anyone seeing as about all she does is present about Glass around the world with some rather impressive folks.

Ana, please forgive the name-drop. Still trying to clear up the "Glass Is AR" confusion :)

+Jonathan Hrovat So if "AR is the only reason for Google Glass", why do NONE of the Apps in my GlassWare selection (that is, those Google officially provides me to install on the Unit I own as a Glass Explorer) behave as AR? Do you even know what AR is? I'm sorry if I'm bursting your bubble here, but if you want AR, stop watching Glass because that's NO what it's for. Glass is a smartphone that has a different form factor. The form-factor is designed to maximize efficiency for interactions that should be as simple and quick as possible. Actions like reading messages, getting quick information, sending messages, taking photos/video quickly, etc. The fact that the various sensors and inputs can be configured to get AR-like behavior is as much luck as anything but as I was telling Felix, your phone is more appropriate for AR than Glass. Glass is not in your direct line of sight (not when it's been fitted by Google anyway and the media going on about how dangerous Glass is are not wearing it properly), Glass has a rather limited field of view that only one eye can see. Glass has extremely limited battery life when used constantly (instead of intermittently). Because of the limited screen time and limited battery, it also has a fairly limited CPU/GPU which means that it's not very powerful when it comes to CV (computer vision) which is key to AR. In fact, Glass is extremely inappropriate for AR compared to the technology available today. For context, I'm a early backer of Rift, I work with an AR company out of Mexico city (I rarely mention by business ventures on this account as a result of a very tough lesson learned a few years ago), I'm literally backer #1 for Meta (SpaceGlasses) and have the same contact with Epson (Moverio project) as they do. I'm also a Leap developer and if that's not enough for you to hear me out, then I doubt there's much point in listing any other sorts of credentials so take that as you will but the fact remains that Glass is not built with the intention of being used as an AR platform and has more in common with a Nexus S (actually has the same internals for the most part) than any existing or up-coming AR HUDs.
+Michael-Rainabba Richardson 

No you are not "bursting my bubble", I understand completely what AR is and I know what Glass does. I don't appreciate being talked down to in person or over Google plus.

Glass may not be a good platform for AR. However, I see Glass as making the way for further advanced AR technology in the future. As developers experiment with Glass and find ways to simulate an AR experience, that will spark further interest in the AR space. Although Glass is not a full AR experience, it is still laying the groundwork for better hardware in the future.
I see two things that Glass is uniquely good at:

1) Hands-free photography
2) Observing the user and providing them with useful information as they go about their day.

#1 is cool, but not worth the purchase. For me, #2 is what makes Glass interesting. I don't care whether #2 happens through augmented reality or some other system, but I am excited to see Layar making something new and interesting that makes Glass more useful.

+Michael-Rainabba Richardson, if (as you say) Glass is not trying to be good at AR, then what would you say it's good for?
+James Harris You said it well, #2. Again, Glass is literally a smartphone (as much as any of them are phones anymore) but the form-factor means that it's MUCH more accessible than your phone. For example, when I get a message, I just nod up and the tilt-sensor (really just an accelerometer that gets falsely tripped every time I press the gas peddle too enthusiastically) turns Glass on and I see my message. If I want to reply, I just tap a couple times then say my reply. With a phone, I'd have to find it, take it out of my pocket/holster/cup-holder/etc, locate the power button, turn it on, unlock it, pull down my notification tray (unless the app was already open), THEN read it. If I want to reply, the best I get is one click to open the IME, another click to start voice recognition, then I speak and click a third time to stop it, THEN a 4th click to send, then power off, put it away..... It's not on my head because it's trying to be an AR platform. It doesn't have a transparent display because it's trying to overlay CG on the real world. It's on my head because that is THE most convenient place for it to be. It's got a transparent display to minimize visual blockage as I use it.

I find that I use Glass to take a lot of photos just because it's so convenient. I generally have my Note 3 on me which has a MUCH better camera and I own a Go Pro Hero3+ Black which is also must better at POV video but those are both infinitely less convenient. I'd say that my next favorite use for Glass is running and cycling. It's great to have the display, touch interface and audio available so readily. I can even run wearing it and it's comfortable. I get speed/time/distance for either activity AND music if I want that. I think my next favorite use is likely navigation but I've had really bad luck with data/gps when I need it so that's been quite a disappointment.

In the end, for me the coolest thing about having Glass is "having Glass". I've had some amazing opportunities to meet people, go places, attend events, and talk geek where I wouldn't have without Glass. One entirely chance encounter led me to a new business venture. I've been allowed on an incredible construction site by the super where he let me take photos of a 3-story pit in the ground that I wouldn't have access to and all sorts of little things. It's also just a lot of fun sharing with people.

What I haven't used it for even ONE time, was real AR :)  Layar is actually the closest thing yet but they're not even trying which is why the relay the camera feed instead of just overlaying the dot using the transparent display. When Glass is worn right, it doesn't work the way the animated Gif above shows because direct line-of-sight is reserved for human, eye-eye contact and Glass sits above that.
+Felix Hoenikker You're right. You're clearly an authority on AR as you've no doubt demonstrated with lots of verifiable information ("facts"). Good show and have a wonderful night :)
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