http://www.kdtech.co KDtech

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Google Glass X-ray Vision

     One of the most wonderful and yet simple processes of Google Glass is the ability to view an IP address. This ability alone will permit any Glass test pilot ‘Explorer’ to view a security camera with a basic voice command. Taking that idea and attempting to advance it would be with the utilization of an application that detects the Glass pilot’s head position. Upon activation of the camera viewing app the pilot would be able look in the direction of the camera automatically pulling the feed into the viewer. 

     The capability of camera viewing based on head direction would open up all kinds of options. A home or business security system would easily be complemented by this feature. A security guard sitting at his or her desk would simply be able to look up in the direction of the room they wish to view. Based on appropriate camera positioning the Glass pilot would be able to view a room right through the wall. A simple voice request to view one room further would permit a connection of the next camera one more room further away and so on. Once the Glass pilot turns their head they would then automatically begin receiving a feed from the cameras in line with the current head positioning. The next step would be to tie in feed to a security drone hovering over the building.

     The same would work for a home security system. It would be a wonderful feature to hear the doorbell while being upstairs and immediately view the person standing there. The chime goes off, Glass knowns the pilot is home, and then the pilot is promoted just like any other message or they just look in the direction of the door. Otherwise the pilot would let Glass know the pilot wants to view the feed and the pilot would then be looking at the person standing at the front door. As the pilot moves their head around they would automatically switch between cameras to the one most in line with their view. Voice communication with the visitor would even be a possibility through Glass. The Glass pilot would not even have to be home and yet they could answer their front door.

     Glass camera viewing would help with various driving tasks once again giving rise to the idea of promotion of wearing Glass while driving. Parallel parking would become much easier and potentially completed with more precision and less bumper dings. The Glass pilot would give the voice command to begin parallel parking or maybe the car being placed in reverse would trigger the app. The pilot would then begin to receive various feeds from an assortment of strategically placed cameras throughout the undercarriage of the vehicle. As the pilot turns their head they will see right through the sides of the car giving them a view of the other car’s bumpers nearest to them as well as the curb. Audible signals could tie in providing tones based on distance to the nearest object. There would be no more wheel bumps on the curb as long as the pilot could see it. Google Glass has opened up a new and fascinating feature.

Dave Schulz
@Kraisy Dave on Google Plus
@kraisydave on Twitter

Glass Report

Google Glass Report 04/15/14

     Another successful day of wearing Google Glass has passed. The beginning started once again with a run while utilizing the Strava app recording my split times, distance, and mapping. Simultaneously, Google music permitted me to listen to some ‘Traveling without Moving’ via the earbud. Typically earbuds fall out of my ears while running forcing me to be very selective. Someone at Google made this earbud just right for me. The string like audio cord is able to be fed through a whole in the earbud until it wedges in the ear helping it to stay in place throughout the run. 
     
     Upon completion of the run I was able to successfully end the music this time. I made an earlier error of navigating right of the ‘Ok Glass’ screen. What I actually needed to do was navigate left bringing me to the option of stopping the currently playing music. It appears I missed the simplest of actions most likely due to being tired. A voice command to end music at that point would be wonderful.
     
     I have also turned on the ‘head detection’ software for the first time. The idea being that Glass would be able to detect the Explorer’s positioning of the Glass whether it be sitting on the table or actually being on one’s face. It turns out to be a very nice feature which only required the most basic initial calibration to work which Glass walks the Explorer test pilot through. A pleasant chime occurs each time Glass is removed or placed on the persons head. The best part is that the touch based commands are disable when removed preventing any accidental signals from getting through.

Dave Schulz
@Kraisy Dave on Google Plus
@kraisydave on Twitter

Friday, 11 April 2014

KDtech Google Glass Report -

First, thanks to the Google Glass group for all that you do. I only write this in order to help Glass evolve and not as a complaint. I feel it to be all Explorer test pilots responsibility to report use.

Strava Running App
Today, as usual, I took Glass for my morning run utilizing the Strava application. The app provides me with split times in my ear about every mile or on the screen simply by looking up while the app is running. My run is time stamped, measured, and placed on a Google map in my records on Strava’s website. There are many more features to explore including a paid version as well as one used for bicycling. The only issue I have had was when I started up the app the other day I had to go to the myglass interface on the phone or computer and toggle the app on and off. It was the only way I could log in with my Strava account. Since that time I have not had to repeat this action.

Google Play Music
Music has some room for improvement when compared to other systems out there already available in cheap bluetooth ear pieces using Android on the phone itself to power it. It appears there is no way to start music on the phone via the touch Android interface and hear it on Glass. In my case I prefer to listen via the earpiece so that I do not disturb those around me. I believe that the most needed patch would be one that looks only at the music on the phone verses trying to reach out to the internet. I live in the heart of downtown St. Louis under the most modern cell towers. Yet, the app will stall out leaving me without music for several minutes between songs while running on a stock GS4 on 3G or 4G. When I get it to connect to my phone stored music that problem is gone, but I have to be very specific in my voice request. Another issue is that an internet connection must be made simply to find music that is already on my phone. Once this has happened many cards populate for each song within a ‘CD’. Through the many cards I am unable to find a way to stop the music upon completion of my run. Today I was so tired that I just cut power to Glass to get it to stop playing music. There may already be a stop command just as one was recently added to maps for directions. Maybe I have just not found it yet.

Hope this helps…

Dave Schulz
@Kraisy Dave on Google Plus
@kraisydave on Twitter

www.KDtech.co

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Google Glass - Preventing accidents one wink at a time.

Google glasses or “Glass” as they are known have grown in attention so much that politicians have hastily considered regulations even before Glass is publicly released. Currently Glass has reached quite a few hands via the “Explorer” program. I happen to be one of those in the test pilot program as an “Explorer”. As a former federal law enforcement agent, EMT on an ambulance, volunteer fire fighter, security consultant, and military officer working on my third degree in emergency services I see Google Glass as one of the best technological safety advancements of many years. Glass has the capability of greatly reducing vehicular accidents. Vehicle accident prevention is particularly important to me after spending the last 15 years responding to 911 emergency calls.

Distracted driving is one of the ever growing contributors to vehicle based accidents. Distraction.gov evaluates the act of texting labeling it as the largest contributor by removing one’s eyes from the road for 4.6 seconds. “At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.” (Distraction.gov). Various governmental organizations have attempted to curtail this issue by outlawing the active use of cellphones while driving. Some outlaw just the act of texting while others completely outlaw the use. Yet others permit hands free operation. Even with all of these laws it appears that continual use is more likely than not. People are now found to move their cellphone to their lap while driving in an attempt to not be seen by law enforcement. Focusing now to the lap area only increases that time away from paying attention to the road. Google Glass can reduce this issue and improve on other safety concerns as well. The world is speeding up requiring the governments to modernize with it or get left behind.

Glass has almost an unlimited potential for development of safety based applications. Yet some worry that Glass may prohibit the viewing of the open road. Glass in no way limits one’s viewing angles of the road. I personally tested Google Glass over a 3600 mile road trip passing through some of the most difficult road conditions in snow covered mountainous areas. Peripheral vision is unobstructed. Glass permitted me to maintain my full normal fields of vision including uninhibited use of all mirrors. The screen on Glass consists of a small prism placed just above the right eye. At that distance the prism appears like a flat piece of glass presenting a clear view no different than when a person looks out their own window. Even the images appear in a translucent or transparent state permitting a person to look straight through at objects ahead of them. Glass not only fails to inhibit one’s vision, but it actually enhances the driving experience assisting in the natural short comings of the distracted driver.

While on my 3600 mile Google Glass test pilot trip I encountered various hazardous road conditions. The weather was the worse, but I even had to manage to find a path around a closed section of highway due to a wildfire. Glass alerted me to incoming snow storms, the wildfire, construction, and even pleasant conditions without ever forcing my eyes off the road to reach for my phone. Glass provided all these alerts based on my selected needs via the translucent image just above my eye. Never once did my head turn away from the road in front of me while getting all of these alerts. 4.6 seconds was reduced to zero. All I needed to do was continue to look forward.

Many people within various jobs require them to look off into the distance while still focusing on what is right in front of them. The modern helicopter pilot utilizes a specialized heads up display with one eye while the other looks outside of the cockpit to the horizon. Google Glass eliminates this strain by allowing both eyes to focus on the road and receive the information making Glass operation even safer than the advancements in pilot technology. Yet, Glass can still provide vital feedback including a future which permits more specialized road condition reports, weather, and even distances to the vehicle in front of a person. According to drivingrules.net it will take about 6 seconds to stop at 55 mph. If 4.6 is already gone to texting then 1.4 seconds is all that is left not providing nearly enough time for a person to react. Glass will not only help to keep ones eyes on the road, but it also has the potential to alert a driver that they are following to closely to the car in front. What if that same person would have been looking away at their dashboard attempting to adjust the radio? Through Glass they not only would be alerted to look up, but it is likely the situation would never have happened since Glass has the potential to permit voice control of the radio volume. 

Over the course of the road trip I found myself getting tired. Generally I would stop, but what if I had not judged my sleepiness correctly? Glass is able to detect that so well known head bob that occurs when a person begins to fall asleep while being upright. Now that sleepy person will receive a visual as well as audible alert waking them with the potential of a vibration alert. Not only will Glass notify a sleepy driver of their condition, but it is also packed with the potential to anticipate sharp turns, speeding, fuel levels, and even medical emergencies. Should a medical issue such as a blood sugar change arise Google Glass could provide an early alert to the driver or even alert emergency responders if the issue were to become serious preventing the manual dial of 911.

Google Glass provides a handsfree interface controlled via voice commands, a head nod, or even a wink. Texting is read to the user and responded to though speaking. The potential to prevent car accidents is only a small fraction of the great future for Glass. Yet, life saving technology should never be under appreciated. It was speculated that politicians would try to outlaw the wearing of Google Glass while driving. Due to a misunderstanding of the technology they may contribute to accidents that are actually preventable by allowing Glass to advance and be developed all before it is ever released. 

Dave Schulz
Android Test Pilot
kraisydave@gmail.com

www.KDtech.co

Friday, 28 February 2014

KDTech Returns!

KDTech is returning after a break! Life took me away from the company for a bit, but we are bringing it back. Standby for the latest in tech tips via KDtech.co and Twitter @kraisydave. New products on the way to accompany custom software, security issues, and reviews. You deserve to get the most out of your tech!