Students get rare view into future with Google Glass


    It takes only two words for junior computer information technology major, Cameron Diou, to see the world in an innovative way: “Ok, Glass.”

    This is how Diou talks to Google’s newest creation, Google Glass, which is a miniature computer screen attached to frames.

    While Google does not have an official wide release date for Glass, the company hired beta testers to experiment with Glass in a variety of ways.

    In Google Glass’ testing phase, one can play games, ask for directions, send text messages, as well as many other commands.

    Diou said he submitted an application to become a beta tester for Google Glass in the Glass Explorer Program.

    The Glass Explorer Program is a way for people to experiment with the Glass before its release to give feedback to Google. According to Google’s website, one can be admitted if there are spots available, but there are no guarantees.

    After Google accepting Diou into the program and he paid $1,500 upfront, Diou received a Glass kit in the mail and has been experimenting with building new apps for Google Glass.

    “Right now there is such a small market for apps. I think there may be ten,” Diou said. “But, I think it’s a great platform to start because I truly believe that this is the next step in technology for us.”

    Diou said he can sync his Android phone with Google Glass, which helps show others what he can see and do through the miniature lens.

    He is not the only student at TCU who is experimenting with Google Glass.Diou’s roommate Collin Duncan, a computer science major, is not in the Explorer program himself, but is more involved with the coding of new apps for Google Glass.

    “I can program different things to see how it would display on the Glass and see what the Glass is actually capable of,” Duncan said.

    Duncan said that he and some of his friends, who are interested in programming, are experimenting with potential apps for Google Glass, Android and Mac OS X.

    But, Duncan said, they are more focused on developing innovative apps for Google Glass.

    When Diou and Duncan are not collaborating on their app, which will be released in the near future, Diou can be found walking around campus with his Google Glass on, especially in the library.

    Diou said he likes to see what reactions he can get with the Glass because a lot of people do not know exactly what it is.

    Brianna Barnhart, a sophomore nursing major, said she had no idea what Google Glass was when she saw Diou wearing them in the distance.

    Barnhart tested out Glass and said, “It was really cool. It was kind of like space-agey.”

    Kyle Turner, a junior communication studies major, said if he had a pair of Google Glass, he would have to get used to the sensitive movements that it captures.

    Diou said since Google Glass is still in its beta stages, there are still aspects of it that will need adjustment. He said privacy could be somewhat of an issue because one can record with ease, as well take a picture just by blinking.

    Diou also said that there are a lot of great apps, like the translator, that makes the future of Google Glass promising.

    “For world-travelers, it is able to translate things on the fly and give you an accurate way to pronounce a word,” Diou said.

    Diou said Google Glass is a convenient device, because you can use it in any way you want.

    “The practical implications are essentially what you make them,” Diou said. “I think it will be exciting to see where it goes.”