NEWS

Canada's first Google Glass hackathon this weekend in Toronto

07/26/2013 06:01 EDT | Updated 09/25/2013 05:12 EDT
Macy Kuang wears her love of technology on her sleeve, and also on her face. She is one of the few people in Toronto who owns Glass, the Google eyewear that works like a smartphone.

The highly anticipated Glass is not commercially available yet, but Kuang pre-ordered her pair at Google’s I/O technology conference. She can now send and receive emails while walking to her office, search directions while riding her bike or make a phone call without dialing a phone — all through her glasses. (She recommends taking off Glass while looking at a computer though.)

But overall she wanted to make Glass a richer experience.

So she organized Toronto’s first-ever Google Glass Hackathon, a weekend-long workshop where software developers and designers collaborate on applications for the brand-new glasses.

With four teams working with four pairs of Glass, Kuang hopes to produce four new Glass apps by Sunday.

The apps will greatly differ from those currently found on iPhone or Android, as the Glass screen measures 0.375 square inches and appear less than an inch from the user’s eye.

One app that Kuang says she will work on will be a language learning app.

“In this app, users are able to scan text with their Google Glass, or talk to Google Glass to get it translated into different languages,” she says. “We can use the results to build a test to help people enlarge their vocabulary in other languages.”

The three other teams will be conceiving of apps starting Friday night and will work to develop the applications by Sunday.

There have been many concerns raised around the wearing of technology like Glass, from privacy issues to the growing dependence on both technology in general and on Google as company. But for Kuang, Glass is a revelation.

“For decades, we’ve been imagining a world we can directly interact with information with touch, voice or even thoughts. I never thought this technology would have came to us so quickly,” she says.

“Google Glass will change the way people interact with information.”

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