Google encourages more users to wear Glass in public with new travel apps

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The closer you are to San Francisco or Silicon Valley, the riskier it is to wear Google Glass in public. Anti-tech sentiment runs high, and if you ask any Glass Explorer in the Bay Area if he or she feels totally comfortable wearing the smartglasses while walking down the street, you’ll hear comments ranging from, “It gives me pause” to “Not since that one tech reporter had Glass ripped off his face on a Mission District sidewalk.”

This is a shame because Google Glass is actually most useful when you’re on your feet, walking to some important destination, and can’t easily stare down at your phone, let alone type.

On Wednesday Google announced three new pieces of Glassware that, if nothing else, may cajole a bit more public use of Glass—if not from cowering Bay Area Explorers like myself, than perhaps from people who don’t live where technology is alternately celebrated and reviled, depending on who signs your paychecks.

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The FourSquare vignette.

Glassware versions of FourSquare, TripIt, and OpenTable are now available for installation. To start using the apps, make sure you’re signed up with each service, and then turn on the apps in the Glassware Gallery of your MyGlass smartphone app.

The FourSquare app lets you scout out nearby restaurants and bars, and then “check in” to them with a simple “OK Glass, check me into” voice command. FourSquare, of course, has spun off its check-in platform to a separate smartphone app called Swarm, but on Glass the two features remain combined. 

TripIt, meanwhile, is a central hub for airline information. The Glassware version delivers vignette cards alerting you to arrival and departure times, and gate information. And OpenTable is one of the nation’s most popular restaurant reservation platforms. With the Glass app, you can search for nearby restaraunts, and book reservations with a simple voiced “Make a reservation” command.


TripIt shows essential travel info.

So imagine all the possibilities. Glass is already useful for taking photos and videos while traveling, and now these three new apps expand the platform’s utility as a vacation companion. When your hands are already full of luggage at the airport, you can now check your gate information hands-free. And when you’re exploring a new city, you can book a dinner reservation literally while walking down the street.

Just be careful about doing so in San Francisco. And always watch where you’re going. Glass isn’t a self-driving car, after all, so collision detection is all on you.

This story, "Google encourages more users to wear Glass in public with new travel apps" was originally published by TechHive.

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