The real potential of Google Glass involves making it possible to receive contextually relevant information on the go, without having to pull a phone out of a pocket or do much else to gather it. A new Kickstarter project from South African tourism software startup Tourism Radio makes perfect sense in that context, as it aims to liberate pocket guides from the pocket entirely with the help of Glass.
Tourism Radio already makes a series of apps for smartphones, including both iOS and Android devices, covering over 20 cities worldwide in a number of different languages. The startup has also worked with Renault and Land Rover to create in-car audio guides for tourists, so it has a significant amount of experience to build on. A lot of the content work is already in place as a result, making adapting said content to Google Glass the biggest challenge for this new vision.
The South African startup behind Tourism Radio consists of Chris Goldswain, the project creator who has been working in IT project management for the past 15 years in the U.K. before embarking on the Glass effort, as well as Mark Allewell, a former journalist who is the CEO and founder of Tourism Radio. Both believe that Glass has a lot of potential in the travel market, uniquely designed as it is to supply a user with on-demand, real-time information relevant to their surroundings.
The company is seeking £35,000 to make its vision for Glass a reality, and backers get a free city guide from its launch collection of 20 locales in exchange for their pledge. The ship date is April 2014 for the Glass app, which of course will probably be dependant on Google Glass itself having launched for the general public by then; so far, Mountain View hasn’t said much beyond that it should ship by next year.
Just think: You can arrogantly correct out-of-date traditional printed informational placards, and maybe even start running tour groups of your own with the information fed you through Glass. But seriously, though I have yet to be convinced that Google Glass will have mass market appeal as a consumer product, but at least in a travel setting its unique feature set makes a lot of sense.