Today Google released the Glass Development Kit (GDK) as a sneak peek for developers. Anyone can use it, but it lacks a Glass emulator, so testing apps without actually owning Glass will be nigh impossible.
By releasing the GDK, Google has turned Glass from a neat toy into a platform, one that is ripe for development and open to the public. The bottleneck that is currently holding Glass back is its limited physical distribution, with a likely low five figure number of headsets in the wild today.
Still, Google’s pitch to Android developers is simple: Take your Android applications, reuse most of the code, get them on to Glass, and then optimize their interface. In short, by tying Glass to Android, the company is all but ensuring that it will be flush with applications by the time that an average consumer gets near one.
Also out today are a number of new applications for Glass built using the GDK. Google demoed them this morning for the press, and a cadre of developers and Glass Explorers. I got a bit of hands on time as well, notes from which I have included below. The new applications:
- Allthecooks: A cooking app to help you read recipes without using your hands.
- Spellista: A word jumble game.
- GolfSight: A tool to calculate distances and the like as you wear silly pants and wave sticks at small round objects.
- Strava: A run tracking app.
- Wordlens: Translate printed words into a language you can understand.
Wordlens is incredible. It doesn’t simply put new text over the extant script, which would be hard to read. Instead, it somehow (magic?) removes the original text, say, Spanish, and replaces it with the language of your choosing. I was blown away. It’s something akin to tearing down language barriers as if they were not there at all. No more being lost on the German subway, essentially.
The GDK is only out as a very early preview. It will change. Things you build on it now will be broken by later shifts in its guts. But that’s fine. What Google is doing is throwing open the doors to Glass, so that the creative minds of the global development community can help it reach its full height as a piece of technology. I knew that I was going to get Glass at some point, but after today’s demos, I think that I want to get a pair sooner rather than later. Top Image Credit: Flickr