The Five Lowest-Hanging Fruit of Google Glass

Dead-set on developing for Glass but don’t know where to start? Here are five of the most simple and helpful apps that you can build in a weekend.

  1. Photo Note – Open the app once to take a picture, open again to show the picture. It’s the virtual equivalent of writing a note on the back of your hand, good for remembering where you parked, peeking your shopping list, and saving something interesting to investigate later. Bonus features: Store and sort last five. Email all notes to you at the end of the day. Record a short snippet of voice as well.
  2. Workout Dashboard – Show your speed and time. Tap to set lap times or to fast-forward your music. This type of app is better for biking than running, since more bikers bring their phones along for the ride. Bonus features: Integrate speed to calculate distance and calories burned. Tie in to RunKeeper. Tie in with Bluetooth heart-rate monitors and cadence sensors. Display an overhead mini-map and your record time.
  3. Photo Bingo – A social game. Players get a 5×5 grid with names of interesting things (Volkswagen Beetle, starfruit, plaid with stripes, a duck). Taking a picture of one with Glass puts it on the grid. First person to complete five in a row wins. Bonus features: Community vetting of images instead of good faith. Team up. Use light sensor to prevent people from cheating with a computer monitor.
  4. Night Vision Goggle – Fun fact: Cameras like the one in Glass can see infrared light invisible to the eye. Create a camera app with the contrast turned WAY up and with a green tint. You can see in total darkness with the aid of a powerful infrared flashlight. Bonus feature: Start the app automatically when the flashlight is switched on. Make it a red tint instead – the eyes adjust faster to red light and it’s harder to see from the outside.
  5. Terminator Vision – Tint the screen red, add some noise, apply a simple convolution to highlight edges in white, overlay meaningless numbers or GPS coordinates, and make a crosshair that tracks the fastest-moving object. Now you can feel like the Terminator – or at least a 15° slice of your vision can. This is the ‘virtual beer’ app of Google Glass. Bonus feature: Make it actually do something useful.

3 thoughts on “The Five Lowest-Hanging Fruit of Google Glass

    1. Ha ha, nope. I’m leaving these as “my first projects” for readers.

      There are versions of the photo note and workout dashboard on MyGlass, and the night-vision thing is easy to do with an infrared flashlight. Those are a lot more complex than my concepts above, and I’d love to see stripped-down versions.

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