For frequent early adopters of new technology, perhaps the biggest questions surrounding Google Glass have been focused on what kind of interface the device would offer. Thanks to a new product demonstration from Google, we finally have a direct look at what using Glass looks like.
For months we've been teased with glimpses of the device in videos and, in one case, even on the New York subway. But we didn't know how the thing really worked. Then, in one high-profile interview, Sergey Brin indicated that the device operated via a touch control on its side. But in the official video released today, it's clear that the primary means of operating Glass is designed around voice controls.
Showing us what the wearer sees when wearing Glass, we're shown a tiny translucent square menu in the upper right-hand corner with voice-activated options for search, taking a photo, recording a video, starting a Hangout video chat and getting directions. Based on the video demonstration, it appears that all functions begin with the user saying "okay, Glass" to prompt the device to accept your next command, followed by one of the afore-mentioned menu options.
New photos of Glass also show the device being twisted to show its flexibility, hinting that the device may be as rugged as those thin plastic shades now common among professional cyclists and runners. Personally, I was most excited by the part of the demo video in which the user, while eating, asked the device to tell him how to say "delicious" in Thai. Glass not only delivered an audio pronunciation of the word, using Google's translation engine, but it also displayed the Thai characters associated with the word. Whether Glass turns out to be practical or not, this is definitely a device that is attempting to push us into the future.
Google is offering non-developers the chance to buy the device for $1,500 by sending in messages via Google+ or Twitter with the hashtag "ifihadglass" that must describe what the person would do with the device if selected. It is rather odd to ask people to apply for the right to pay such a large amount for a device that is still in beta, but we suspect there will be no shortage of applications. If you want to find out how to possibly get your own Glass device, check here, and you can see Glass in action in the video below.