Google released the first video footage shot with the wearable computing device Project Glass Friday, showcasing the project’s potential for capturing visual media in addition to its much-discussed smartphone-like – or smartphone-interfacing – functionality.
Earlier Project Glass materials, including a promotional video sporting a dubious visual overlay, have focused on pulling up directions, information and social network data, much like modern smartphones. The new video suggests that Google engineers are interested in using the headset to capture and share, as well as augment, experience.
And that’s an idea that could raise interest among so-far unimpressed market segments.
Photographer Nicole Young, who got a chance to snap some still photographs using a Project Glass prototype at the Google Plus Photographers Conference, wrote that the device “opens up so many doors and possibilities for creating photographs.”
Young didn’t feel the product was on par with pro photo equipment, but was impressed by the possibilities introduced by a form factor that measures up to familiar visual perspective.
“While I don’t expect it to be a replacement for my “professional” camera, it allows new opportunities for creating authentic imagery of everyday life,” she wrote. “Things that we normally wouldn’t photograph or videotape, especially when a camera is inconvenient or just isn’t fast enough to grab and get turned on in time, will be able to be recorded with Glass.”
That flexibility is emphasized in the new video, which shows a first person perspective of a person bouncing and performing backflips on a blue trampoline, surrounded by greenery. The glasses stay solidly attached to the performer’s head during the routine, leading to comparisons to other wearable recording gadgets like the GoPro.
The video and photographic capabilities of the device could also be a feint to the left, after virtual and augmented reality specialists weighed in to say that Google was likely setting up unrealistic expectations for the device in earlier announcements. The company has at turns been secretive and enthusiastic about the glasses, which have now been spotted on several company executives.
The release of video recorded with a Project Glass prototype is also the first major release from the secretive project since Google officially acquired consumer electronics manufacturer Motorola, opening up the possibility that Google intends to release the headset through that company.