Wearables

Field Trip for Google Glass illustrates the perks (and creepiness) of being a cyborg

Field Trip for Google Glass il...
Field Trip is a Google Glass app that notifies Glass wearers of nearby historical and practical landmarks
Field Trip is a Google Glass app that notifies Glass wearers of nearby historical and practical landmarks
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The big tradeoff of Google Glass is that you have to look like this
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The big tradeoff of Google Glass is that you have to look like this
Woot! Augmented reality road trip!
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Woot! Augmented reality road trip!
On an exploratory road trip like this, Field Trip could prove handy
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On an exploratory road trip like this, Field Trip could prove handy
Oh no, don't do it, bro! This is the Russian River!
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Oh no, don't do it, bro! This is the Russian River!
Yes, you too can find cyborg love with Field Trip and Google Glass
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Yes, you too can find cyborg love with Field Trip and Google Glass
Field Trip is a Google Glass app that notifies Glass wearers of nearby historical and practical landmarks
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Field Trip is a Google Glass app that notifies Glass wearers of nearby historical and practical landmarks
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It isn't hard to imagine how useful Google Glass could be. But so far that usefulness has been mostly limited to our imaginations. That's party because very few people own the wearable device, but it's also because its pre-launch laundry list of capabilities is still pretty short. However, a new port of the iOS and Android app Field Trip gives us a clearer glimpse of just how much of an impact Glass could have on our lives ... for better or worse.

Field Trip looks like it could be a killer app for Google Glass. The app taps into a database of location-based landmarks, ranging from the historical kind to the diner kind. When you're near something interesting, it pops up a card with some basic information about the landmark.

Woot! Augmented reality road trip!
Woot! Augmented reality road trip!

In the video embedded below, we see a group of hip 20-something friends (isn't that always who stars in these videos?) go on a road trip. Our Glass-wearing protagonist receives notification cards about everything from hot air balloons to bike rental shops to natural geysers. Naturally, his augmented reality ultimately helps him to score a sweet date with the cutie pie he's been exchanging smiles with along the way.

Questions

As much as we like the smartphone version of Field Trip, we're going to hold back our praise for the Glass version until we get a hands-on. First, the iOS and Android version has been known to be a battery hog. When you add it to Glass, which (at least in its pre-release form) already reportedly has sketchy battery life, well, then you'd better complete that road trip in three hours or less.

It's also still hard to get past the fact that Glass makes you look like a distant cousin of Geordi Laforge. Notice that, in the video, nobody but our hero is wearing Glass (and he's almost exclusively viewed from a first-person perspective). If his love interest was also wearing Glass, would we just find the whole thing creepy and inhuman?

The big tradeoff of Google Glass is that you have to look like this
The big tradeoff of Google Glass is that you have to look like this

There are other questions posed by this otherwise compelling video. Can you really have such a Google Glass road trip while still fully experiencing the day? Might it disconnect you from those very surroundings you're researching? And isn't it a bit unsettling that nobody in the group seems to mind that our cyborg hero is filming their every move? Questions like these may surround Glass until we know whether it's the next iPhone or the next Segway.

You can check out the full Field Trip promo video below, and check out the source link for more info.

Source: Field Trip

Field Trip on Glass

View gallery - 6 images
18 comments
Anne Ominous
I don't give much of a hoot about Google Glass. I'd like to see the same functionality in a smartphone.
Paul van Dinther
With "Creepy" being the operative word. Just like turn by turn navigation makes you NOT know where you are, this technology makes you notice LESS of what really matters. I dislike it when people that look at their phone all the time when socializing. Those goggles makes it worse. Even in the video you can see how the actor actually fails to notice things as he's too absorbed by facts dished up to him. Half the fun on a trip is discovering things rather then being told. Yes, you might miss half the facts but instead you have your eyes out there and your heart and soul into the experience and the people around you. I was in town the other day and noticed how half the people on the side walk had their smart phone in their hands looking at the thing. On a square sitting enjoying the sun, still staring at their screens. That is depressing enough.
Mia Holton
I think this can be useful for some situations, but if overused, I can't help feeling that this will limit your experience of the environment somewhat. As a videographer I often film dance and theatre performances and I know that even though I am there and seeing the performance, experiencing it through through the lens is not the same as being an audience member, and I lose out on a lot of the overall visual and emotional experience of the art form because my focus is through the lens. I've also noticed when I'm travelling that I have to be careful not to get too involved with my camera, and let myself experience it through my own eyes and other senses, else I end up with lots of great photos, but not much of a sense of what it was like to be there.
Will Etherington
For this sort of use, count me out. However... ...in a technical field? I'm all in! I'd love to download an app that gives me all the details on how to work on my car for example Just pop the hood and it recognises what's where and what I need to do to fix a particular thing, lists of tools required, etc. I think it could also be useful from a medical point of view with a cut down/streamlined version for use in surgery or in the military. Flame away as I'm not that up on what these things are capable of. Always willing to learn though...
Scion
I love the "sci-fi" nature of it but can't help but be a little negative about it. Instead of enjoying the moment, looking at the beauty of nature and your date you are seeing pictures that other people have taken? It is like the people at concerts watching the show through their mobile phone as they try to record them. Don't we want to engage in our environment?
duh3000
I once read the line (from some clever AC-loving urban celebrity) , " The 'great outdoors' is the space between your apartment door and the taxi." Today, the "environment" is the space you engage by taking pictures with your moblie telephone.
StWils
This kind of technology has a lot to offer for military use but as others have noted, and as we have all seen many users are enveloped by the screen in front of them. In a tactical setting paying so much attention to viewing, gathering, and sharing info might seem useful but can leave plenty of time to put cross hairs on you. A distracted soldier can easily become a pop-up target for the opposition.
randomray
I suppose this could work in certain cases for me as I already wear glasses . BUT , I think it would cause a huge disconnect between you "me" and your "my" environment most of the time . You're looking even more traffic accidents and people walking in front of moving equipment . Over all it's going to be for mentally lazy people who can't be bothered to think or plan ahead .
Bob Smogango
too distracting. NEXT....
Fritz Menzel
If this sells, what's to stop them from writing an app that accesses the Kama Sutra? BodyTrip.