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COLUMN: Apps likely to increase appetite for Google Glass

WE’RE NOT SURE how much Google Glass will cost when it’s made available to the public sometime next year. Many by-invitation-only “Google Explorers” currently trying out GG Beta version 2.0. have paid $1,500 to look like a member of Star Trek’s half-human, half-

machine Borg.

I’m intrigued by Google Glass’ possibilities, but won’t be nerding up until the price point is at most half that. By that time, Google Glass apps will be irresistible.

This week Google unveiled its Glass software developers kit and showed off some third-party apps, including Word Lens, which allows a user to look at signs in a foreign language, say “OK, Google Glass, translate this,” and see an overlay of the words in English.

For now, people seem to be most interested in Google Glass’ ability to stream video of whatever you’re seeing to friends, family members and co-workers.

We’ve discussed the potential of Google Glass facial recognition in this space before.

For the name-remembering-challenged like myself, eyeware that discreetly says: “Joe Bob Sullivan, 44 years old, 1987 Stafford High School grad, CEO of Joe Bob’s Rib Shack, wife Vicky, son Joe Bob Jr., daughter Jolene Bobbi, Dallas Cowboys fan, Republican, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, DON’T MENTION THAT GAME AGAINST JAMES MONROE HIGH SCHOOL WHEN HE FUMBLED AT THE GOAL LINE!” would be worth any price.

A piece in Forbes this week, “The Killer Google Glass App that Google Won’t Let You Have,” is something of a techie buzzkill. But don’t despair. Hackers have already figured ways around it and facial recognition app developers are moving forward.

Google is already under privacy-concern pressure from those creeped out by Gmail ads that respond to what you’re emailing about and Google Map Streetview showing homes and vehicles.

Lambda Labs, which is working on a facial recognition app, tweeted “Don’t worry, we think it’s a core feature. Google will allow it or be replaced with something that does.”

I agree.

No word on X–ray vision yet.

Michael Zitz lives in Spotsylvania County.

mzbeckham@gmail.com

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