‘Okay Glass, read aloud’

20130312-112215.jpgA tantalising glimpse of newspaper consumption in a Google Glass world came this week at SXSW where the search company showed off some of its planned app integrations with Glass, including Path and Evernote, but most notably the New York Times.

Timothy Jordan, Google’s senior developer advocate, showed how users of the The New York Times app, for example, will be able to see news headlines. Images overlayed with text appear in a timeline, in the form of a horizontal scroll of notifications floating in the user’s peripheral vision.
By tapping the device (or nodding one’s head, it wasn’t exactly clear), the user can read a short summary of the story or listen to the full article by telling Glass to “read aloud.”

How distracting that short summary will be – well, that’s one of the many questions still to be answered with this technology. I’m not sure which is worse: people walking into you while staring at their phone, or people walking into you while staring zombie-like at some point in the corner of their peripheral vision?

More intriguing is the potential for the business of finding news using Google Glass. Bye bye reporter’s notepad, voice recorder and camera. Forget being quick and accurate, just be present – and charming!

For more on Glass demo at SXSW, see this article from TechCrunch.

For a glimpse of the Google Glass UX, see this video from The Verge’s writer Joshua Topolsky, who was lucky enough to get some early playtime with Glass.

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