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Is government ready for Google Glass?

Google wants the next big thing in mobile technology to be Google Glass. For those who don’t know, Glass is a head-mounted device with a display positioned in front of one eye. This puts images at the corner of the wearer’s vision, which creates a screen-within-screen effect with the real world. Glass also has a camera, responds to voice commands and, if necessary, to a small touchpad that is on the side of the device.

It’s not hard to imagine myriad public-sector uses for Glass. Police, for instance, already are wearing cameras and using mobile devices to access databases; Google Glass could put those functions into one place. The Air Force has adopted iPads over bulky paper flight and maintenance manuals; maintenance crews might benefit from hands-free access.

If Glass does take off the way that Google hopes, developers will have to learn how to make apps for it, or adapt their existing ones to it. To get this particular ball rolling, Google recently put out an application programming interface for Glass. It is called the Mirror API, and with it developers can make cloud-based services called Glassware.

Google has posted information on working with Glass at its developer site. There, interested parties can find a developer guide, as well as several videos explaining each function. These are presented by Timothy Jordan, Google’s senior developer advocate, who demoed Glass last month at this year’s South by Southwest Conference.

Considering that the waiting list for Glass Explorers (which is what Google is calling participants in the advanced developer program) filled up as rapidly as it did, there likely will be government-friendly apps before long.

Posted by Greg Crowe on Apr 17, 2013 at 9:39 AM


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