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

    • 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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