Google pushes envelope with glasses

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BY MELISSA DELLACATO
Managing Editor

Google — mostly everyone knows the name. There are approximately 1 billion searches done every day across the globe, according to Google. What originated in 1996 as a search engine called BackRub for Stanford University servers, has become the “go to” search engine for the human race to either have a question answered or their curiosity fed.

“I use Google on my phone for proving friends wrong,” said Gage Flynn, a 23-year-old graphic design major.

But Google Inc. didn’t stop at simply creating a popular search engine. They pushed the technological envelope by creating various new products. By the end of 2006, Google’s new products included email, blogging, and document-sharing applications, among others, according to Google’s history page. They released their own web browser, Google Chrome, in 2008. 2011 marked the release of Google+. Google is taking over the Internet at a rapid pace.

As if this weren’t enough, in May 2011, the Chromebook, a laptop complete
with Google apps, was announced.

Now Google is creating something completely new and radical: Google Glass. This is a “big technological advancement,” Flynn said. It’s like “media on the go.”

Google claims that this product is “surprisingly simple.” All you have to say is “okay glass,” similar to Apple’s Siri. It will take pictures, record video, or send messages, depending on what you ask it to do.

The Google Glass website shows that these futuristic glasses come in five different colors: black, red, gray, white, and blue. The website also includes a video from the perspective of someone wearing the glasses to demonstrate what it might look like.

“I kind of want these now,” said Fallon McSorley, a 19-year-old graphic design major. “I would take silly pictures of people while they’re not looking.”

“We wanted to have a device that would do two things that we think would be useful for a lot of people,” said Babak Parviz, leader of Project Glass at Google Inc., to IEEE Spectrum, a technological magazine, in December of 2012.

“[We wanted] to allow people to connect to others with images and video… [and] access information very, very quickly,” Parviz said.

Though it is a “cool idea,” McSorley expressed some concern about how the glasses might be used. “It could take stalking and an invasion of privacy to a whole new level,” she said.

Google Inc. was accepting applications until Feb. 27 from anyone who wanted to be a part of the Explorer program and be one of the first to test the product. To apply, you had to explain how you’d use the product in 50 words or less and preorder the glasses for $1,500. Currently, there is a Google+ profile for Glass Explorers who have received their glasses to share their experiences and ideas for future development.

Though the product is not available to everyone yet, according to The Verge, a website that covers technological news, Google Glass could be officially released to the public by the end of the year.

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