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Developers able to get their hands on the $1,500 Google Glass prototypes have been hacking apps for the Android-based smart specs since this past spring – even though the company only released a Glass developer’s kit (GDK) in mid-November.
Even without the GDK, developers like Ryan Rogowski and Nathan Lord of Waygo, a language translator app with over 65,000 installations on the iPhone, have been able to use clever software workarounds to port an Android phone version of the app to the Glass platform. Rogowski and Lord showed off their prototype to me at a mini-Chinatown in Cupertino, CA. Even as a non-Chinese speaker, I was able to read some restaurant signs and the mall directory.
The app, like Glass itself, is still a work in progress. Doing the computationally intensive optical character recognition and analysis of Chinese characters in the video feed, our Glass unit ran out of power in roughly 20 minutes. Also, because there is no auto-focus feature on Glass, getting the words properly aligned for translation requires the user to bob his head to and fro, like a pigeon.
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