Monday, April 29, 2013

Assistive Technology on Google Glass

I've always been a fan of technology. I want to be surrounded by computers, smart phones, remote controls, drones, radio controlled airplanes, or anything else with a wow factor. That alone would be good enough to get Google Glass if they weren't too expensive. But what would make Google Glass a necessity instead of being relegated to nothing more than an outdated, overrated Bluetooth headset would be if it could provide some assistive technology right in front of my eyes where it would be the most useful.

Being colorblind, it's difficult to communicate effectively with people that describe things in terms of color. There are rudimentary programs available for smartphones that do a pretty good job of distinguishing between the more basic colors. I want that ability -- or preferably an improved version -- right up there in front of my eyes instead of in my purse.

Old eyes, at least my old eyes, also sometimes have trouble making out fine print or small print at a distance. How about having a feature that would magnify the text that I am looking at if it falls below a certain visibility standard? It shouldn't matter whether the text is too far away for me to read or whether it is printed too small. If I am trying to read it and the text isn't large enough, I want my glasses to be able to compensate.

And while I am thinking about text, how about if they would change the color or text when someone makes the incredibly bad decision to print black text on a really dark red background. I know that the processors in cellphones can handle this type of action, I bet Google Glass could as well.

Provide me with interchangeable programs to highlight the things I want to see. Maybe I am driving and want a driving mode; something that would calculate how close I am to the car in front of me, give me a constant readout on my speed and other information from the dashboard, and perhaps alert me to any obstacles on the side of the road that might run out in my way whether it be a child or a deer.

Show me something that I can't see with my own eyes. Let me see what the world looks like in the infrared or ultraviolet. Perhaps this type of vision would be useful at some point, or maybe it could be overlaid on top of my already existing vision. Perhaps thermal enhanced vision would be perfect for the driving mode I wondered about above.

These are just a few of the ideas I have off the top of my head. These are the kind of things I want from a wearable device, not just a smartphone extension. I already have a camera on my smartphone that takes fantastic pictures. And since it is hand-held, I can probably get a much better angle for a picture than I ever could having it affixed to my eyebrow.

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