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Google Glass, Augmented Reality Spells Data Headaches 44

Posted by Soulskill
from the waiting-on-google-smell-o-vision dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "Google seems determined to press forward with Google Glass technology, filing a patent for a Google Glass wristwatch. As pointed out by CNET, the timepiece includes a camera and a touch screen that, once flipped up, acts as a secondary display. In the patent, Google refers to the device as a 'smart-watch. Whether or not a Google Glass wristwatch ever appears on the marketplace — just because a tech titan patents a particular invention doesn't mean it's bound for store shelves anytime soon — the appearance of augmented-reality accessories brings up a handful of interesting issues for everyone from app developers to those tasked with handling massive amounts of corporate data.For app developers, augmented-reality devices raise the prospect of broader ecosystems and spiraling complexity. It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets — but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?"
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Google Glass, Augmented Reality Spells Data Headaches

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @04:59PM (#41542855)

    24/7 to Google. meh, seems like a good idea. I'm in!

  • Stupid premise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:06PM (#41542941)

    It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets — but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?"

    How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards. There are APIs. If they don't exist today, they will, necessitated for such issues.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by c0lo (1497653)

      It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets — but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?"

      How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards. There are APIs. If they don't exist today, they will, necessitated for such issues.

      In other words, Zynga, the authors of "Angry birds" and the like are the only ones that are fucked. A decent software engineer will certainly survive this complexity.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards.

      Standards like HTML and CSS. No spiraling complexity there, no siree.

      • by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @07:46PM (#41544413)

        How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards.

        Standards like HTML and CSS. No spiraling complexity there, no siree.

        You're crazy. It's 2012. Everyone knows now that the best way to deal with lots of data is to encode it all into XM, then hack together some XSLT, and then pepper the output with JQuery. This way you get an inefficient data storage system, terrible performance, unwieldy code, and a rounded button with a gradient background. The gradient works in FF 17+, IE 9/10, IE 8 with an added hack, Safari maybe (we didn't actually test), and usually Chrome (it breaks every few releases and fixes itself in the following one).

        • by mcrbids (148650)

          Yeah, funny, etc.

          But the truth is that HTML/CSS is an extremely robust standard, one that works rather well in numerous environments for me TODAY such as my Linux Laptop, my Windows Laptop, my phone, and my tablet, and across multiple products. (Firefox, Chrome, IE, Android browser)

          No standard is perfect. But teasing this standard is just silly - it's wildly successful!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Is all of the coding community really dreading the awesome complexity that seems to be our technological future? It is something they should be welcoming with open arms. I for one want to be one to push the boundaries and do something no one has done before, but apparently whoever wrote this would rather forget about the future, and huddle in their cubicle writing terminal programs for their 486.

    • See how TFA is a Slashdot BI story? The people having the headaches aren't the coders, but the IT people who support the cloud servers that support their products. The cure, presumably, is buying more business solutions. This is a "people are gonna buy stuff!" market-manipulating fluff piece, which is why it makes no sense to us as engineers. It boils down to "we're dumb enough to think the idea of a lot of people streaming video simultaneously is a non-trivial problem for existing infrastructure, and we wa
  • Something, something about Moore's Law.

  • what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye

    So what if it does? Dealing with different form factors is not exactly new when it comes to developing for most mobile platforms. And an input stream is an input stream - the only thing that matters is the kind of data in the stream. A camera is a camera, no matter where it's mounted - and presumably application developers are smart enough to use stream metadata to determine the input source in cases where it should affect UX.

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:37PM (#41543269)

    It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets â" but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?

    Handling streams of data from glasses or a watch is no different than handling any other stream of data. So that problems mostly solved.

    Sending data in a concise and timely way doesn't really depend on the size or location of the screen (unless its someplace that is hard to communicate with, e.g., deep underwater [making most broadcast mechanism troublesome] in a place where it is inconvenient to run a cable.)

    UI, on the other hand, is going to need to be dealt with, and, yeah, there's going to be some interesting challenges in UI design for apps that interact through devices like Google Glass (either the glasses or the proposed watch.) But its not like either of these will become ubiquitous overnight. There'll be plenty of time to work on the UI issues and develop reasonable early UI paradigms when the devices are in very limited distribution, and then UIs will evolve with more experience just like they have with every other kind of device.

  • Time to drive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:42PM (#41543301) Homepage

    Do not use one of these things while driving please. It's a little know issue of "looking but not seeing". That is to say, you may be aware of the red light in front of you, but your attention is not focused on comprehending its meaning. Big problem!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Which is why Google is also working on their self-driving car.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Screw you. I want that while driving.

      Not facebook. not IM's. Not text messages. Not movies.

      I want a HUD. With a simple compass showing my heading and velocity.

      Possibly with the distance and an alternate heading to my next waypoint as preconfigured inside GPS.

      When velocity is 0, it /may/ be acceptable to stream relevant notifications such as proximity alerts to colleagues.

      Just because you and yours don't know how to use tools safely doesn't mean the rest of the world should be denied them.

      My model for t

      • by Algae_94 (2017070)
        HUDs of one form or another have been available in automobiles since 1988. source [wikipedia.org]. These are factory systems. I'm sure its also possible to get aftermarket versions as well.
      • by sweBers (2469450)
        I can see this replacing windshields for a full HUD. Billboards will be blue/green screens, with ads superimposed by the HUD. Coming soon, male enhancement graffiti.
  • The Problem (Score:4, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @05:44PM (#41543313) Homepage Journal
    It's not that there's "too much data," or "too many differing sources/devices," it's that there's too many goddamn proprietary standards that make universal cross-compatibility impossible. Hell, if we were to collectively ditch all proprietary formats in favor of universally accepted standards, this would be a non-issue and we could, as a species, stop wasting so much of our precious time waxing philosophic about the perils of cross-device compatibility, and just get shit done.

    The stagnation of progress in the name of profits pisses me off to no end, can you tell? I want my fucking Omni-Tool!
  • Glass, recall the last conversation I had with Tim keyword spaghetti. Skip ahead 2 minutes. Start point. Double speed. End point. New email to Bob. Bob, here is that spaghetti recipe that I told you about. Glass, end email. Insert video segment. Send email.
    • by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday October 03, 2012 @07:37PM (#41544359)

      Glass, recall the last conversation I had with Tim keyword spaghetti. Skip ahead 2 minutes. Start point. Double speed. End point. New email to Bob. Bob, here is that spaghetti recipe that I told you about. Glass, end email. Insert video segment. Send email.

      Email to simula. I asked for a freakin' recipe not a 5 minute conversation with Tim. Would it be so hard to send me a transcript?
      Send email. No. not sandymail. S-e-n-d email.

      • by simula (1032230)
        Glass, search emails keyword spaghetti recipe. Open email to Tim. Open video attachment. Transcribe to spaghetti.txt. New email to hawguy, Hey hawguy, here is that transcript you asked for. I hope you like it as much as Tim did, yummy! Glass, end email. Insert spaghetti.txt. Send email.
  • The summary is silly, the real story here is the wristwatch. From glancing through the article and the patent it looks like Google Glass, but on a transparent LCD screen that you look through instead of VRD. That could be cool for people who feel uncomfortable with a laser projecting an image onto their retina. (Not me though, I'm hoping to replace my tv with netflix streamed to a VRD asap)
    • It's not in the patent or article, but one use I see for a wearable watch is to serve as the trackpad for the AR glasses, or in other words, a wearable wireless computer "mouse". If I understand the GooGlass design correctly, navigation is either via voice or by fiddling some controls place behind the left or right ear piece of the glasses. A wristwatch should provide more finger surface besides being a gadget in its own right. Control GooGlass via the wristwatch should be technically more feasible than a

    • by N0Man74 (1620447)

      Dick Tracy's watch just keeps getting better and better.

  • There are many cool technologies such as this http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html [ted.com]
    But, only Google almost patented glasses allowing to watch P0RN with 24x7 reliability.
  • REST APIs are your friend. If you follow solid design principles, such as seperating the view from the model, and use open protocols, adding a second UI is trivial.
  • I'd still like a set of skydiving goggles that put accurate altitude and heading in front of my eyes. I doubt it'd cost much more than another digital altimeter to use as an audible warning. There are some ski goggles with something similar, but the max altitude is too low and they look pretty bulky for skydiving. I'm also not sure the altitude in them updates frequently enough to be useful on a skydive.

    Get on it, Google!

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