Arkansans Look Through Google Glass, See the Future

by Lance Turner  on Monday, Jul. 29, 2013 12:00 am  

Put Google Glass in the hands of Dr. Christian Assad and he can shoot point-of-view video by voice command, teleconference with colleagues and instantly search the Web.

He can also see the future.

Assad, a cardiologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, is among 8,000 people in the United States (and a handful in Arkansas) who are part of Google’s Explorer Program, which puts the search giant’s eye-catching, $1,500 wearable computer onto the heads of early adopters.

To qualify for the program, Assad had to submit a 50-word essay explaining how he would use the device. Winners were chosen in March, and Assad traveled last month to Google offices in New York City to buy his glasses and take a quick tutorial.

Since then, he’s been putting Glass through its paces. But it’s not all fun and games. Assad has been thinking about how Glass could upend the health care industry, improving how doctors train, interact with patients and manage electronic medical records.

Assad estimates that 30 percent of his time is spent dealing with outdated medical systems that limit his productivity. He thinks that Glass, part of an emerging category of wearable technology, could recapture that wasted time.

“I hoping that Glass can actually change that, and it’s something I want to be a part of,” he said.

Inside Glass

Google Glass is a lightweight headset packed with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology that can connect to the Internet and link to a smartphone. Using a tiny lens on the front corner just above the eye, Glass shoots high-quality 720p video and 5-megapixel photos.

Glass also allows users to post photos and videos to Google+, videoconference via Google Hangouts, search the Web and use turn-by-turn navigation powered by Google Maps. Amazingly, all this data — photos, video, search results, menu options, maps — is displayed on a tiny, centimeter-wide display perched just in front of the user’s right eye.

Glass is operated by voice commands and finger swipes. The device conserves its limited battery by going to sleep during periods of inactivity. Users wake Glass with a tilt of the head and a quick command: “Okay Glass: Take a picture.”

Video: Glass Explorer Brant Collins shows Lance Turner how Glass works



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