What Is Google Glass and How Does It Function?

Woman Wears Google Glass

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Google Glass is a wearable computing device, which comes with a head-mounted display. This smart device displays information to users in a hands-free format and also enables them to interact with the Internet via voice commands, while on the go.

What Makes Google Glass Special

This is probably the most advanced wearable mobile technology seen so far. This device resembles a pair of glasses. It packs a punch by offering excellent computing power and functionality within its slim, lightweight form factor. The gadget delivers small packages of information directly to the user via the use of a micro-projector, by using a private channel of communication, which is accessed exclusively by the user.

Due to its advanced features, Glass can also function as a recorder or a spy camera, recording high-quality audio, images, and even HD video, by means of using natural language, voice commands or simple hand gestures.

This technology has built-in location awareness, accelerometers, gyroscopes and so on, which keep constant track of the user’s movements.

Google Glass as Mediated Reality

Glass is commonly misunderstood as being a technology that is capable of providing users with the experience of augmented reality. But this is not so. Augmented reality delivers information and visuals, which are layered atop reality, also conveying the same in real-time, with almost no noticeable time-lag in the relaying of information. This system, therefore, requires massive amounts of processing power to render the information correctly to users.

Google Glass, on the other hand, makes use of what can be referred to as a mediated reality platform. This system, which essentially calls apps and services from the cloud, packages little bits and pieces of relevant information to users, thereby making optimal use of its available power supply, while also enabling wearers to achieve secure mobile communication.​

Field of Vision

Glass does not offer users a full-field vision. It merely places a tiny semi-transparent screen on the upper right-hand side of the device, which transmits information only to one eye. This small glass display takes up only about 5 percent of the user’s natural field of vision.

How Google Glass Projects Images Onto the Lens

Glass uses what is known as a Field Sequential Color LCOS, to project images onto its lens, thereby enabling the user to view them in true colors. While an LCOS array processes each image, the illumination is quickly passed via true red, green and blue LEDs, to be synched with the switching of color channels. This process of synchronization takes place so rapidly that it gives users the perception of a continuous stream of images in true color.