Google Glass and TV Integration


If you haven't been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you've most likely heard of one of Google's newest and most intriguing inventions: Google GlassTo sum it up, the $1,500 spectacles are a type of wearable computer (they look like glasses) that allows users to engage with different apps without having to use a mobile phone or other device.

As independent developers program apps for use with Glass (called “Glassware”), a solid focus has been placed on television applications.  Even broadcasters are conducting tests with the device in an effort to experiment with TV journalism. 

Below are just a few examples of what applications relating to TV might just come to be, once and if Google Glass makes it mainstream.

Television App Concepts

In February, Netherlands technology service providers Accenture and KPN demonstrated a series of TV app concepts at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The first of their ideas includes a voice-operated remote control, which allows viewers to navigate an on-screen guide, make channel and volume selections and rewind/pause TV. The second application serves in a second-screen manner, letting someone pull up informative metadata in regards to programming, like sporting event statistics. The third, described as “TV Everywhere,” streams video directly to the Glass viewing screen via a cloud-based DVR. These fascinating endeavors are all revealed in the following YouTube clip.

Something intriguing to consider will be how the Aereo case affects such Google Glassware. Provided the Supremes rule in their favor, it seems entirely possible that subscribers could access their Aereo recordings through Glass in the near future.

Broadcast Journalism

Glass is appealing to television journalists because it eliminates the need for a cameraman and heavy production hardware, and also simplifies research and organization.

In Montreal, TV director Jean-Francois Desmarais streamed student riots to Google+ Hangouts. Emmy Award-winning Veterans United Network host Sarah regularly utilizes Glass to engage with the public, describing it as a “hands-free broadcast tower” that is much easier than having her “head buried in a laptop.”

Raleigh, N.C., CBS affiliate WRAL-TV decided to offer an alternate look at their news-making process by letting anchors, producers and the crew chief wear Glass for a period of time.

And last October, CNN’s iReport, a citizen journalism campaign attracted attention for involving Glass News Alerts with the service.

“We haven't yet got CNN professional journalists to use it but that day is coming,” said Jeff Eddings, Media Camp director.

Google Glass is paving the way for new innovations in terms of watching and broadcasting TV. When the price comes down a bit, it will be more accessible, and additional techniques can be tested and employed.

The Acceptance of Google Glass

The wearable search engine recently opened up sales to the public for one day on April 15, 2014; previously, usage was limited to a testing group. 

When will Google Glass go mainstream? Business Insider says Google is aiming for an early to mid-2014 debut of the gadget to the general public, expect unit sales of Glass to climb sharply in the years after its official launch, to 21 million units in annual sales by year-end 2018. At $500 per unit, this equates to a $10.5 billion annual market opportunity

But, the above figures will not come without much backlash and pushback from worried consumers.  The spoken "powers" of Google Glass have ignited privacy concerns, among other controversial trepidations. 

"We are all now going to be both the paparazzi and the paparazzi’s target," said Los Angeles lawyer Karen L. Stevenson.

A Business Insider reporter was physically attacked last month while wearing Glass in San Francisco. 

It will be intriguing to see how the public reacts as more and more people use it.    

Author: Brian Cameron

Image credit: Joe Seer (Shutterstock)

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