Open Garden, the San Francisco-based startup that allows Android, Windows and Mac users to create mesh networks between their devices to share Internet connections, today announced that it has managed to get Google Glass to connect to its network. This matters because Glass users typically need a tethering plan to connect to the Internet (which is pretty much essential to using Glass). Those plans typically cost around $20 extra, depending on the data plan and carrier. With Open Garden, users can just use the service to connect to their phones without paying extra.
Open Garden, as the company’s co-founder and CEO Micha Benoliel told me, also makes it far easier for Glass users to connect to the Internet. Right now, you have to set up Wi-Fi access through Google’s configuration page and scan a QR code with Glass for Wi-Fi access. You also, of course, have to pair Glass with your smartphone via Bluetooth if you want to use it away from your home. With Open Garden running on Glass, Benoliel argues, all of this would be seamless because the device would just automatically connect to the Internet.
“We believe the Android OS is going to reach out to more and more new types of wearable devices,” says Open Garden’s CEO and co-founder Micha Benoliel. “Google Glass is one of them. It shows how Open Garden can enhance the user experience and become the by default solution to keep your devices always connected to the Internet.”
The company’s CTO and co-founder Stanislav Shalunov makes a similar argument: “We put Open Garden on Glass and formed a mesh network with it and we want every Glass user to be able to just use the Internet without having to install, pair, or configure anything, but for that we need Google to help us make this a reality.” Given the realities of the market, however, it remains to be seen if Google will ever allow this.
Open Garden says its software has been installed by more than 2.5 million users since its launch at TechCrunch Disrupt NY last year. The company has also partnered with a number of app developers, including Kicksend, TextMe and others, to expand its reach.