Tired of stumbling around a new city with your smartphone, or a paper map (that’s virtually impossible to fold back up)? Enter, Google Glass. Though it still remains a mystery for many travelers – Google has only shipped the headsets to a select few developers and members of the media – I’ve spent a fair amount of time with Glass, and can safely say that certain aspects have the potential to dramatically change travelers’ lives. Namely, it’s going to make navigation a lot easier. Here’s how it works…
Glass places a screen just above your eye. If you glance upward, you’ll get a visual of what appears to be a sizable floating display. Aside from seeing notifications about incoming calls and text messages, you can also ask Glass to navigate you to anywhere you’d like to go using Google’s mapping technology. You can see how valuable this could be when you’re traveling to a new city.
You can ask Glass to navigate you to notable points of interest (“The Louvre” would certainly be recognized in Paris, for example), or you can find a destination on your smartphone and send it to your headset. Why is that important? If you send your destination to Glass before heading out of your hotel, you’ll see the full 3D map right above your eye, and Glass will audibly give you alerts when you need to turn. In other words, instead of checking your phone or map every few seconds, you’re free to experience the world around you as you progress. Keep your head up, enjoy the scenery, and (perhaps most importantly) keep a close eye on poles or people coming at you. You’re also able to watch out for traffic, which is fairly tough to do when you’re constantly looking down at your smartphone to navigate.
The best part? Glass is tremendously unobtrusive. You won’t even notice it’s there until you glance up, though it is difficult to wear if you already wear glasses to correct your vision. The consumer edition of Glass is slated to ship this fall, which gives prospective buyers plenty of time to decide if it’s worthwhile.
Are you going to get a Glass? Tell us why!