Google Glass hackathons scheduled for late January and early February, devs to get their Glass on-site

January 16, 2013
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Sergey Brin demonstrates Google Glass

Sergey Brin demonstrates Google Glass at I/O in June 2012

After months of not hearing any news, Google announced a Google Glass hackathon called the Glass Foundry in late January or Early February in San Francisco and New York. This invitation-only event is aimed at developers who have signed up and paid the $1,500 fee for the developer edition. An email was sent to Explorer Program developers with an unspecified number of slots for the two day event.

Even though Google has been silent with any official news, Google Glass has been receiving a lot of media attention. Time Magazine named it as one of the “Best Inventions of 2012.” At the same time, the wearable tech has also become the subject of ridicule as being too geeky for the average user to wear.

The Glass Project was intended to create an augmented reality head-mounted display, which would show information like a smartphone. It would run on Android, and controlling the device will be hands free, such as through head movements, gesture and voice control. For instance, Google envisions the device to let users browse the internet using natural language commands.  Google has promised to actually deliver at the event — developers will receive their Google Glass at the hackathon, where they will be given the opportunity to build all sorts of apps and products.

There have been prior attempts at an augmented reality tools, as well as head mounted displays. But so far, these attempts have not been successful in the market. Glass Project lead Babak Parviz was earlier interviewed to hint that the company expects developers and users to find the platform interesting, although there are still doubts as to the actual applications. The hackathon is meant to explore these different possibilities.

As a recap, the Glass Project was introduced to the public during Google’s I/O developer conference in June last year. The prototype presented had audio and video capability, a built-in compass and accelerometer. Users can control the device with head movements. Since then, it has been used by Diane von Furstenberg during the New York Fashion Week. Models filmed the audience while they walked the runway. Other improvements and plans include voice commands, a touch pad and phone call capability.

At Glass Foundry, agenda for the first day will be about developing the software for the AR platform. The second day will be for showcasing the demos, where special guest judges will decide on the best ones.

Target date for the actual release of Google Glass to the public is by the end of 2013, and it is expected to sell for the same price as a smartphone. The $1,500 developer kit includes a working Glass, as well as tools and the API for the device, which should enable developers to build apps and interfaces for the wearable tech. Developers can pre-register for the event  until January 18, and the event is set either for January 28-29 in San Francisco or February 1-2 in New York.

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