A Downtown campus staff member became one of the first people around the world to own a device that allows its users to broadcast photos in front of their eye, record videos hands free and obtain information simply by speaking. It’s not some futuristic technology from a sci-fi movie. It’s the Google Glass.
Megan Calcote, event coordinator for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is part of the Google Glass Explorers team and uses the technology in her work at ASU.
Calcote received the device in advance and is working to help perfect it before it becomes available to the public. She applied to be an explorer through a social media contest.
“I was checking social media at the right time of day,” she said. “I applied kind of jokingly, thinking, ‘If I get it, awesome, but there’s no way that I’m going to get it.’ And then they accepted my application.”
Calcote has found ways to use Google Glass in both her personal life and her work at the Cronkite School.
Calcote said she intends to use the device to live tweet and create posts about journalism school events, such as the Must See Mondays series of speakers.
Keith Chandler, who works alongside Calcote, said he thinks she will be able to make great use of the technology.
“I think she has really innovative ideas on how to use the device around school,” Chandler said. “Being able to work live at events and take live photos and videos and post it immediately allows us to multitask on several different levels.”
The Google Glass features most of the same applications that a smartphone does, but it is also equipped with apps specially designed for the Glass. This includes apps such as GlassFit, Hangouts, EverNote and many other applications that are still being developed, Calcote said.
A major goal of the Google Explorers team is to allow developers to come up with more apps for the Glass.
“I think it’s going to be really interesting to see what kind of apps there are out there once it hits the market,” Calcote said. “Because I think that’s what’s really going to make it or break it for glass as a product.”
Calcote plans to use the Glass technology to create video series showing people how to get to places on campus and within the community, as part of the school’s Discover Phoenix series, which teaches students about the city.
Calcote wants to find other ways to incorporate the Google Glass in her event planning. She uses the to-do-list application often to organize her time and better prepare for the day and events.
“Things can get pretty hectic during an event, so all I have to do is look up and what I need to do is right there,” she said.
Part of Calcote’s responsibility as an explorer is to recommend changes that can help improve the technology for the future.
“There’s a lot of kinks that they’re still kind of working out,” Calcote said. “Every month, we get a new update to the software, and it can be drastically different or just slightly different depending on the feedback Google gets every month from its users.”
Calcote said she believes once the technology becomes available, students will find great use for the Glass in their school lives. Students can make quick notes in Evernote simply by saying “OK Glass, take a note,” and new students can use it to navigate the campus.
Biomedical engineering major Andrew Singer said he likes the idea of the Google Glass, because it could be very helpful to students.
“It can make it easier for students to follow along during class by using it to view lecture notes and slideshows,” he said.
With technology advancing at a rapid rate, Calcote said she thinks the Google Glass will set a trend for future technology.
“It really seems like wearable technology is going to be the wave of the future,” Calcote said. “It’s really convenient, and I think having it on your face will really appeal to certain people.”
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