Google Glass: Directions

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Comments by Leslie Fisher in Glass, Interface

I think its important to note that Google Glass on its own does not have an Internet connection, meaning it cannot handle directions on its own. It depends on a tethered iOS or Android device or WiFi for its Internet. For GPS, it needs to be tethered to an Android device that has GPS capabilities activated. 

I have a terrible sense of direction. I spent one night in Iowa lost because I missed the turn. That was back in the days that printing directions in MapQuest was high end technology. 

So, when I saw the directions feature in the Project Glass One Day Video I was excited. I constantly look at my phone now for walking directions when I am on the road and do not get to enjoy my surroundings as much as I would like. 

I must admit I am thrilled with how Google Glass handles directions. It is almost my favorite feature with them so far. What is my favorite feature? Stay tuned AKA hope Leslie gets around to writing a second blog post.

Here are the steps and visuals I use for directions to my local Subway using Google Glass. 

1. With Google Glass running, I tapped once on the touchpad and the following screen appeared: 

2. I then spoke:  "Ok Glass. Get directions to Subway"

3. My spoken words appeared on the Google Glass Screen. I then got a choice of Subway locations, but, for some reason could not get a screen shot of that. 

4. I then tapped on the Subway I wanted to head to and it generated directions.

Mine defaulted to walking directions. I could have changed it at any time to Car, transit, or bike. 


A map popped up and off I went.

The map moves with me and quite quickly. I was able to quickly see if I was pointing in the wrong direction. There were also audible directions which would tell me to turn right, etc. 

The map becomes the default screen when its generating directions. So, if it fell asleep a simple touch would bring the map up instead of the standard "Ok Glass" screen. 

Tapping on the touchpad once it was generating directions returned me to the options of Drive, Bike and Transit, but, I now had choices to Show Route (a zoomed out version showing the entire route) as well as Stop


So, there I was walking and pretty happy with the results and thinking about how this will be a great help when I am on the road as well as thinking how other directionally challenged people will love it too. I then saw a bike zip by and realized how awesome it will be for them.

Then, I hear what I think is a car accident. 

It sounded like it was near my local park which would be 5 minutes in front of me. 

Sure enough. A car had plowed into the fencing of one of our horse trails. 

I was happy to see no one was hurt but was surprised at the damage. Part of the fence flew to the other side of the street. 

There is a quick shortcut to take photos and record video in Google Glass. I was in the directions part of Glass and figured this shortcut would make sense here. 

There is a button on the top of Google Glass. Tapping this takes a photo and holding it down for a second starts a video. This can be done instead of speaking those commands verbally. You can see the button at the top right of this stock image. 

So, I clicked and held the button down and recorded a video while I strolled by: 

It was interesting / nice to simply walk and record video. It did feel a little odd but once I saw the driver doing the same I thought, why not. 

While I did not see anyone in the cars or hurt, my local city showed up in force. While walking I used the camera button to take photos while they zipped by.


I really liked the fact that I could take videos and photos while I walked without having to whip out a phone, etc. It was a lot easier and more natural.

The other nice feature was the map would pop up again after the images were taken and would audibly repeat the next actions. 

While most would think I made it to my destination, I really did not. I ended up craving a turkey burger and walked another half mile down the street. 

I really liked using Glass for directions. I enjoyed how natural it seemed and how I was not constantly looking down at the map on my phone. It allowed me to enjoy the environment more. 


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