December 18, 2013
Taking A Picture With Google Glass? Just Give It A Wink
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
As Google Glass continues its beta period with a handful of early adopters testing the wearable gear, the search giant behind the device continues to roll out new functionality. This week Google introduced a wink function that allows users to blink an eye in order to snap a picture, which was part of a major update detailed on Google+.
Users of Google Glass can now take pictures just by winking, which is expected to make it easier to snap photos. "Glass is about helping you look up and experience the world around you without getting bogged down by technology. Based on this philosophy, we've got a new setting that lets you quickly and easily capture the moments you care about with a simple wink of the eye," it says on the Google+ page.
Taking pictures can serve both fun and functionality. This is especially true with Glass, according to the entry.
"Whether it's capturing an amazing sunset or an evening walk, or photographing your receipt for the lunch you'll need to expense, you can now stay in the moment and wink to take a picture instantly," the post explains.
The wink functionality can be turned on by swiping over to Settings. Before wink, users had to press a photo button or use a voice command.
Hints to the wink photo mode surfaced when developers dug up references to it in the glass firmware, TechCrunch reports. The subtle gesture of winking to take a photo brings up privacy issues as the person in the photos might not realize a picture has been taken.
Google intends to use the wink gesture for more than just snapping photos. The explanation offered in the update hints that a wink might complete a transaction in the future.
"We're starting with pictures, but just think about what else is possible. Imagine a day where you're riding in the back of a cab and you just wink at the meter to pay. You wink at a pair of shoes in a shop window and your size is shipped to your door. You wink at a cookbook recipe and the instructions appear right in front of you -- hands-free, no mess, no fuss," the post said.
While the post didn't get into more detail, the wink gesture could help a segment of users, such as disabled users, to complete tasks. Disabled users are already adopting Glass as an aid to perform tasks, including steering a wheelchair, according to a USA Today report.
The update to Google Glass includes a number of other enhancements including changes to lock screen, Hangouts, upload to YouTube and music. The update also includes an iOS app that lets iPhone users adopt Google Glass. While the rest of the updates are currently available, the iOS app will be available for download later this week.
The lock screen update lets users lock their screen, and then unlock the screen with a Glass handshake using taps and swipes. This addresses security concerns that someone could pick up Google Glass and use it without the owner's permission.
The Hangouts update allows users to make video calls and participate in Hangouts using Glass.
"Chatting with your best friend, messaging everyone from your ski trip at once, sending picture messages … all of it is now possible on Glass. You can enable the Hangouts Glassware and update your messaging preferences at MyGlass," Google's post said.
Users can also upload videos to YouTube. Those videos can be uploaded by enabling the YouTube Glassware on MyGlass. "Once you're done recording, either tap on the video and swipe to the YouTube share card, or say 'ok glass, share with YouTube.'"
Music is another enhancement for the Glass update. Subscribers of Google Play Music All Access can listen to playlists and radio, or use the Google trademark 'I'm feeling lucky' option to create a radio station based on listening history. Users also get to use voice or tap commands to choose favorite songs.