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Google Glass, Augmented Reality Spells Data Headaches

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the waiting-on-google-smell-o-vision dept.

Google 44

Nerval's Lobster writes "Google seems determined to press forward with Google Glass technology, filing a patent for a Google Glass wristwatch. As pointed out by CNET, the timepiece includes a camera and a touch screen that, once flipped up, acts as a secondary display. In the patent, Google refers to the device as a 'smart-watch. Whether or not a Google Glass wristwatch ever appears on the marketplace — just because a tech titan patents a particular invention doesn't mean it's bound for store shelves anytime soon — the appearance of augmented-reality accessories brings up a handful of interesting issues for everyone from app developers to those tasked with handling massive amounts of corporate data.For app developers, augmented-reality devices raise the prospect of broader ecosystems and spiraling complexity. It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets — but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?"

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stream my stupidity... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542855)

24/7 to Google. meh, seems like a good idea. I'm in!

Re:stream my stupidity... (0, Flamebait)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41542953)

Here on Slashdot, where Android is the BFD, your sarcasm might be mistaken for Insightful.

In other news... (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about 2 years ago | (#41542903)

Google just patented "Google Lasek" where they replace the lens in your eye with an LCD insert.

Stupid premise (4, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | about 2 years ago | (#41542941)

It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets — but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?"

How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards. There are APIs. If they don't exist today, they will, necessitated for such issues.

Re:Stupid premise (1, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41543001)

It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets — but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?"

How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards. There are APIs. If they don't exist today, they will, necessitated for such issues.

In other words, Zynga, the authors of "Angry birds" and the like are the only ones that are fucked. A decent software engineer will certainly survive this complexity.

Re:Stupid premise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543543)

How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards.

Standards like HTML and CSS. No spiraling complexity there, no siree.

Re:Stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41544409)

In what world are html and css examples of "spiraling complexity"?

Re:Stupid premise (5, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#41544413)

How is this "spiraling complexity" in any way? There are standards.

Standards like HTML and CSS. No spiraling complexity there, no siree.

You're crazy. It's 2012. Everyone knows now that the best way to deal with lots of data is to encode it all into XM, then hack together some XSLT, and then pepper the output with JQuery. This way you get an inefficient data storage system, terrible performance, unwieldy code, and a rounded button with a gradient background. The gradient works in FF 17+, IE 9/10, IE 8 with an added hack, Safari maybe (we didn't actually test), and usually Chrome (it breaks every few releases and fixes itself in the following one).

Re:Stupid premise (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 2 years ago | (#41545923)

Yeah, funny, etc.

But the truth is that HTML/CSS is an extremely robust standard, one that works rather well in numerous environments for me TODAY such as my Linux Laptop, my Windows Laptop, my phone, and my tablet, and across multiple products. (Firefox, Chrome, IE, Android browser)

No standard is perfect. But teasing this standard is just silly - it's wildly successful!

Re:Stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41546433)

I think its far more likely for them to bung it all together in Python and XML, then just about everything is possible

Get Over It (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41542961)

Is all of the coding community really dreading the awesome complexity that seems to be our technological future? It is something they should be welcoming with open arms. I for one want to be one to push the boundaries and do something no one has done before, but apparently whoever wrote this would rather forget about the future, and huddle in their cubicle writing terminal programs for their 486.

Re:Get Over It (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 2 years ago | (#41543459)

See how TFA is a Slashdot BI story? The people having the headaches aren't the coders, but the IT people who support the cloud servers that support their products. The cure, presumably, is buying more business solutions. This is a "people are gonna buy stuff!" market-manipulating fluff piece, which is why it makes no sense to us as engineers. It boils down to "we're dumb enough to think the idea of a lot of people streaming video simultaneously is a non-trivial problem for existing infrastructure, and we want you to be that dumb, too."

HP Inside. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | about 2 years ago | (#41542979)

Something, something about Moore's Law.

What if it does? (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#41543025)

what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye

So what if it does? Dealing with different form factors is not exactly new when it comes to developing for most mobile platforms. And an input stream is an input stream - the only thing that matters is the kind of data in the stream. A camera is a camera, no matter where it's mounted - and presumably application developers are smart enough to use stream metadata to determine the input source in cases where it should affect UX.

Limited options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543051)

Whining is pointless. If smart watches and Glass catch on, there's exactly two things developers can do.

Adapt or die.

Re:Limited options (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41543345)

Whining is pointless. If smart watches and Glass catch on, there's exactly two things developers can do.

Adapt or die.

...or continue to develop for other platforms (e.g., servers) which aren't directly threatened by a couple of new mobile form factors becoming popular.

So, the three things a developer can do are...

A new layer of abstraction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543135)

Are the questions in the summary rhetorical? I mean, really. If it's a problem they'll do what they've always done: add another layer of abstraction. { Class InputDevice...}, blah, blah, blah... Sheesh!

Pffftt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543181)

By data headaches you really mean jobs...

Re:Pffftt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41546367)

By data headaches you really mean jobs...

No he is dead!

More importantly the headaches are from tiny print and tiny fonts
that only rare young kids with ideal vision can read.

Those of voting age need not apply and thus
the images are all likely to involve kids under 18
so caution caution caution....

Patents patents patents (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543229)

Of course they need to patent it. Stupid f-ing assholes. I don't even want to hear about what's in the patent. It SUCKS and it shouldn't be allowed. I really hope all patenting corporations die along with this stupid fucking system of stifling creativity.

Shut up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41543261)

Such fail. Just be quiet.

Not hard (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#41543269)

It's one thing to build an app for smartphones and tablets â" but what if that app also needs to handle streams of data ported from a pair of tricked-out sunglasses or a wristwatch, or send information in a concise and timely way to a tiny screen an inch in front of someone's left eye?

Handling streams of data from glasses or a watch is no different than handling any other stream of data. So that problems mostly solved.

Sending data in a concise and timely way doesn't really depend on the size or location of the screen (unless its someplace that is hard to communicate with, e.g., deep underwater [making most broadcast mechanism troublesome] in a place where it is inconvenient to run a cable.)

UI, on the other hand, is going to need to be dealt with, and, yeah, there's going to be some interesting challenges in UI design for apps that interact through devices like Google Glass (either the glasses or the proposed watch.) But its not like either of these will become ubiquitous overnight. There'll be plenty of time to work on the UI issues and develop reasonable early UI paradigms when the devices are in very limited distribution, and then UIs will evolve with more experience just like they have with every other kind of device.

UI (3, Funny)

jcfandino (2196932) | about 2 years ago | (#41545545)

We just need health on the left and ammo on the right.

Time to drive (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#41543301)

Do not use one of these things while driving please. It's a little know issue of "looking but not seeing". That is to say, you may be aware of the red light in front of you, but your attention is not focused on comprehending its meaning. Big problem!

Re:Time to drive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41544059)

Which is why Google is also working on their self-driving car.

Re:Time to drive (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41544107)

Screw you. I want that while driving.

Not facebook. not IM's. Not text messages. Not movies.

I want a HUD. With a simple compass showing my heading and velocity.

Possibly with the distance and an alternate heading to my next waypoint as preconfigured inside GPS.

When velocity is 0, it /may/ be acceptable to stream relevant notifications such as proximity alerts to colleagues.

Just because you and yours don't know how to use tools safely doesn't mean the rest of the world should be denied them.

My model for this may have been set by doing bomber runs in the first starsiege tribes game, but I've wanted it ever since I learned to drive.

Without having to look down, my eyes could at least be near the road instead of looking down to check speed every few seconds.

Just because you idiots are unsafe is no reason to take that from everyone else.

Re:Time to drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41544317)

Without having to look down, my eyes could at least be near the road instead of looking down to check speed every few seconds.

If you need to look down to check your speed every few seconds, maybe you shouldn't be driving. How do you find time to check the mirrors and look ahead of you if you're checking the speedometer so often. I check the speedometer every few minutes at most, and am generally going the speed I think I am when I check.

Re:Time to drive (2)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 2 years ago | (#41544653)

HUDs of one form or another have been available in automobiles since 1988. source [wikipedia.org] . These are factory systems. I'm sure its also possible to get aftermarket versions as well.

Re:Time to drive (1)

sweBers (2469450) | about 2 years ago | (#41547863)

I can see this replacing windshields for a full HUD. Billboards will be blue/green screens, with ads superimposed by the HUD. Coming soon, male enhancement graffiti.

No handedness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41548417)

Cars in the future drive themselves, problem solved, go back into your video coma.

The Problem (3, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#41543313)

It's not that there's "too much data," or "too many differing sources/devices," it's that there's too many goddamn proprietary standards that make universal cross-compatibility impossible. Hell, if we were to collectively ditch all proprietary formats in favor of universally accepted standards, this would be a non-issue and we could, as a species, stop wasting so much of our precious time waxing philosophic about the perils of cross-device compatibility, and just get shit done.

The stagnation of progress in the name of profits pisses me off to no end, can you tell? I want my fucking Omni-Tool!

Re:The Problem (2)

spatley (191233) | about 2 years ago | (#41544323)

Excellent, a universal cross compatible standard for everyone!
http://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]

digital memory (1)

simula (1032230) | about 2 years ago | (#41543363)

Glass, recall the last conversation I had with Tim keyword spaghetti. Skip ahead 2 minutes. Start point. Double speed. End point. New email to Bob. Bob, here is that spaghetti recipe that I told you about. Glass, end email. Insert video segment. Send email.

Re:digital memory (3, Funny)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#41544359)

Glass, recall the last conversation I had with Tim keyword spaghetti. Skip ahead 2 minutes. Start point. Double speed. End point. New email to Bob. Bob, here is that spaghetti recipe that I told you about. Glass, end email. Insert video segment. Send email.

Email to simula. I asked for a freakin' recipe not a 5 minute conversation with Tim. Would it be so hard to send me a transcript?
Send email. No. not sandymail. S-e-n-d email.

Re:digital memory (1)

simula (1032230) | about 2 years ago | (#41544451)

Glass, search emails keyword spaghetti recipe. Open email to Tim. Open video attachment. Transcribe to spaghetti.txt. New email to hawguy, Hey hawguy, here is that transcript you asked for. I hope you like it as much as Tim did, yummy! Glass, end email. Insert spaghetti.txt. Send email.

Re:digital memory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41546849)

Glass, search emails keyword spaghetti recipe. [Sorry Simula, the network is overloaded now. Please try again later].

Sigh.

Wristwatch (1)

gnomff (2740801) | about 2 years ago | (#41543379)

The summary is silly, the real story here is the wristwatch. From glancing through the article and the patent it looks like Google Glass, but on a transparent LCD screen that you look through instead of VRD. That could be cool for people who feel uncomfortable with a laser projecting an image onto their retina. (Not me though, I'm hoping to replace my tv with netflix streamed to a VRD asap)

Wearable touchpad (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41544101)

It's not in the patent or article, but one use I see for a wearable watch is to serve as the trackpad for the AR glasses, or in other words, a wearable wireless computer "mouse". If I understand the GooGlass design correctly, navigation is either via voice or by fiddling some controls place behind the left or right ear piece of the glasses. A wristwatch should provide more finger surface besides being a gadget in its own right. Control GooGlass via the wristwatch should be technically more feasible than a AR gesture-based system where you control GooGlass by clicking directly at the icons you see projected in front of you.

Re:Wristwatch (1)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 2 years ago | (#41548623)

Dick Tracy's watch just keeps getting better and better.

And this is why... (1)

Galestar (1473827) | about 2 years ago | (#41543991)

REST APIs are your friend. If you follow solid design principles, such as seperating the view from the model, and use open protocols, adding a second UI is trivial.

I'd Still Like... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41544479)

I'd still like a set of skydiving goggles that put accurate altitude and heading in front of my eyes. I doubt it'd cost much more than another digital altimeter to use as an audible warning. There are some ski goggles with something similar, but the max altitude is too low and they look pretty bulky for skydiving. I'm also not sure the altitude in them updates frequently enough to be useful on a skydive.

Get on it, Google!

Why must we make EVERYTHING uniform for app devs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41544989)

I get the part about app developers whining about having unportable code when moving from iOS to Android or vice versa, but what is with this silly expectation that an app for a smartphone also must work on an augmented reality HUD? This is completely new technology unlike we've had before, and I expect app developers to do something creative with it. Last thing I want is a compatibility layer that allows me to run all my Android fart apps on Google glasses. This will make developers choose the lowest common denominator functionality between devices and code against that, rather than truly innovating for a new platform. I, for one, call for the new technology to bring with it a new app ecosystem, separate from smartphone apps.

If I'm Wearing Google Glasses... (1)

LurkingSince1999 (2698703) | about 2 years ago | (#41548001)

Can't it just show me a VR watch on my wrist when I look down at it? Make mine a Patek, please, in 18Kt.
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