Google has released the SDK for Google Glass, the wearable computer with the head-mounted display.
The SDK was revealed by Timothy Jordan at an event for Glass ‘Explorers’ and this video shares the preview he presented:
It showcases five apps created using it to give an idea of the sort of things you might develop and these can also be seen on the Glass website.
The apps are interesting in the areas they cover. There’s a golf app that shows the distance to the next hole, along with course and scoring information; a recipe finder that you can use ‘even when your hands are covered in marinade’; and perhaps most interesting, Word Lens. This is a translation app. You point Glass at some text you want to translate such as a road sign, and the app translates the text and shows the translation displayed over the top of the object you’re translating. However, while it can translate text in large fonts, the camera doesn’t zoom in enough to be able to translate smaller text in the way offered by smartphone apps.
The apps are good illustrations of the sort of thing it’s possible to develop using Glass, and the release of the GDK (Glass Developer Kit) makes it more feasible to think about developing. Apps built using the GDK have direct access to the Glass hardware, so can interact with all the sensors built into Glass, including the gyroscope, GPS and camera.
While the GDK opens up more of the device for development, there are still enough gaps in the overall picture to warrant caution. The GDK is still in preview stage, and may well change before the final version is distributed. There’s no app store in which to sell any apps at present, and with only 10,000 units ‘in the wild’, and none actually sold, the market isn’t there either. Consumers won’t be able to buy Glass until sometime next year, and while there’s a certain novelty value to seeing a display in front of your eyes, will users actually want to use Glass for real?
The GDK is available to existing Explorers and if you want to join the Explorer Program there's a sign up form for US residents.