Why Google Glass is a perfect play by Google

Google Glass is the best thing Google has done for many reasons. It is much more important than their Android OS and no one even knows it yet. Why google glass is a perfect play by Google begins with the fact that they have first mover advantage. But it goes far beyond that, it spiders into everything Google and that is why it can become their most important venture, if it is done right!

Google Glass like iTunes has first mover advantage. There are no competitors in the market yet and what that does is allow Google to develop their 1.0 product and perfect it long before anyone gets a clue and joins the party. It is a huge advantage for them because when the device does become more popular and competitors appear Google will already have a huge head start. I compared it to iTunes because iTunes existed long before the iPhone, iPad, App store, etc. ever came about. It was just yet another media player. This afforded Apple the time to work on it, implement and get things working while having it work on Macs and Windows. Then when the mp3 craze hit and iPods became a craze it became the gateway to media and a way to control the device. The iPhone, iPad and app store then just increased the place iTunes plays in the complete package.

Now think about how Google Glass will tie into all of Google’s enterprises. It will allow the person wearing it to use Google’s search engine whenever they have a question or quandary. Google will have images from all over the world with Exif data. Images that can be incorporated into Google Maps for up to the minute data of locations. Apps developed for Goggle Glass will tie into the Android ecosystem enticing developers to push the platform further. The glasses will enable users to use all of Google’s services without effort. It will have the same effect as buying apps or music for 99 cents in iTunes. The low price makes the purchase an afterthought and that is what makes it so easy to shop. In the same way the ease of use of Google Glass will make the use of Google services an afterthought.

There will be some hurdles though, the first of which will be society. The possibilities of being recorded at anytime will call privacy into question and that is a very big hurdle. There might be indicators of when the glasses are taking a picture, recording video and/or audio. However hackers will quickly and easily be able to remove those indicators I’m sure. Then as with anything else there is always as much use of it for less than moral things as there will be for the use intended. Use of the device by voyeurs, spies and not to mention the criminal element will demand systems in place to counteract those possibilities if possible.

Yet another hurdle will be the need for people to talk to their devices. Whether asking questions, searching for things or dictating an email. There are already digital assistants that respond to voice, Siri and Google Now are just a few. Yet like the first bluetooth headsets most people still feel uncomfortable using them in very public places. The stigma of talking to yourself still exists along with the fact that private and personal things would need to be said instead of written. Things that people may not want to be public knowledge but perhaps like privacy, which is in a very different place now than it was years ago due to social networks and other online services. The whole attitude about talking to our devices might change and maybe Google Glass is the thing to push that shift. If that happens we might just end up knowing a lot more about each other more than we care to know in some cases.

If Google is able to market the glasses properly and get over the hurdles it has great possibilities. Schools would be a great place to have Google Glass for each student. It could eventually enable students not to take notes but instead to listen to the teacher/professor during class. The glasses’ OCR would pick up the written material on the blackboard and transfer it to a document while the student listened to the lesson. Then talk about an easy way to catch up on missed classes students could just borrow the video from a friend and share the electronic notes. The possibilities are just endless, malls could have their layout in a code that would be scanned by shoppers. Then when you need to find a store it’s as simple as looking it up or asking the glasses for directions. Shopping in a store and need to know the price of an item just scan the tag. These things for the most part are available now in more rudimentary ways. The best part for Google is the company will become the purveyor of all data!

This is why Google Glass is a perfect play by Google. But it will all depend on how it is handled so Google better hope they don’t drop the ball on it’s development and roll out. How we react to Google Glass depends on the user experience, how it is advertised and how accessible it is to customers aka price. So I guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out in time.

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Google Fiber everywhere

You have inevitably hear about Google Fiber by now. It has launched in Kansas City, will be expanding to Austin Texas and was announced to be heading to Provo Utah.  Google Fiber is using Google installed fiber optics to bring internet and TV service at Google says 100 times faster. The hope is that Google would eventually step into the ring as an Internet Service Provider(ISP) and bring Google Fiber nationwide. However many posts have been written about the enormous cost it would take and also the roadblocks and hurdles Google would face to take on such an endeavour. However there is a way that there could be Google Fiber everywhere.

Well at least here in North America. The problem is just one word “Greed” but you’ll understand more about that when we get into it. It will take many billions of dollars to bring Google Fiber to all the cities in North America. A huge cost even for Google but if you think about what fiber and that 100 times faster internet means there is a way that it might happen. The recent talks of the new video game consoles Sony’s Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s XBox 720 or whatever it will be called brought up a very interesting idea. The idea that games would be streamed to the consoles making a fast and stable internet connection a must. Then if you think about the topic of streaming music like Matt Weber imagines again Google Fiber would make it a more attainable goal.

Google might not have enough money on their own to tackle this project but if they roped in Microsoft, Sony and some of the other big companies who stand to gain from Google Fiber. Then it could very well become a reality and along with it crazy internet speeds that would enable gaming consoles to stream games like butter. The North American market is huge for video games and since the casual market and mobile devices have gained in popularity gaming consoles are not what they once were. So they stand to gain in a very big way from having Google Fiber in as many places as possible. However like I said the problem is going to be greed. When you have so many big companies in one venture it will undoubtedly lead to them arguing over who gets a cut of what. Parties will threaten to go to the existing ISPs who will be shaking at the thought of Google Fiber. That would be the huge monkey wrench that smashes the possibility of innovation and advancement and that’s too bad.

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Archie is Awesome! – The 3 Cast #119

Archie is Awesome, even if Vince doesn’t know it. This week we talked about Nintendo’s failure, Social Media brevity, and the end of the Modern Warfare series.

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Hosts: Matthew Weber, Vincent Hui, Ricky Williams

Topics: Nintendo, Social Media Failures, and the end of Modern Warfare.

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Google+ Has Nearly 360 Million Users

If you were trying to get a buzz on what social media platform is most popular, it’s likely that you would guess that Facebook is clearly number one, with Twitter gaining ground from the second spot. In fact, you’d likely claim that Google+ was a complete failure. It turns out that Google+ is currently the social media platform in second place, with 359 million active users.

It’s a wonder that Google is able to boast such high numbers. It’s likely that a large chunk of users are just Android phone owners who use occasional features such as the +1 link on many apps and web pages. Google has been working on integrating all of their services such as Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and Google+ for the past couple of years, which was all a part of the original vision for Google+. It was supposed to offer connectivity to nearly every web service that we use, but Facebook has become so integrated with other sites that nobody really looks for Google+ integration other than Google themselves.

Speaking of Facebook, they have now passed 700 million active users.

Another benefit of Google+ has been the Google Hangout feature. That is likely where most of the buzz for Google+ has come from over the past year, as that feature has begun to get more and more popular. Twitter is getting a lot of media buzz and is generally more active per user, but it only has 297 active users.

One major benefit with Google+ is that it is the best of the social media tools to find complete strangers who share similar interests. Where Facebook is great at connecting you with people that you know, and Twitter is heavily influenced by connections to celebrities, Google+ connects the world wide web with each other in a way that the other platforms fail to do.

It has been nearly two years since Google+ launched. Despite many claims that there is no value to the service, it still has managed to stay ahead of Twitter for the second largest social media platform on the web. They still have a lot to do before they catch Facebook though.

Source: Business Insider

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Should Businesses Allow Access to Social Media at Work?

I’m sure we’ve all had that job where it seems like the day never ends. In a world of increased connectivity, work can oftentimes be the one place where we’re no longer connected to the world around us. Many business owners want to keep it that way. They don’t want distractions coming in and slowing down productivity. Lately though, many employees have started to lash back and demand access to social media while on the job.

In the business world, it’s all about the bottom line. If they can find a way to increase productivity while keeping costs low, they will find a way to make it happen. In some fields, allowing employees access to social media can damage the image of their customer service. Some job markets, such as in construction, require that an employees attention be solely on the job at hand.

What about those desk jobs that so many people have though? I work as a technology technician on a college campus, and I get quite a bit of downtime in between tasks. I’m allowed to surf the web and check Facebook, but many people who have similar jobs aren’t granted that privilege.

In fact, recent studies show that employees are most productive if they’re allowed social media breaks. Compared to employees who were allowed to take breaks but weren’t granted internet access, those who had access to internet for their breaks have been found to be 16% more productive.

It has become time that we get past this idea that Facebook is toxic for the work environment. There should be no reason why social media should be banned during breaks. In fact, even Wal-Mart employees are told not to use social media while they’re at work, even during breaks. This old school way of thinking needs to change. As our society has embraced social media, so too should our work culture.

Using our own technology at work has its benefits, and allowing that access to the outside world will help workers be in a better mood. If this is a free and easy way to raise productivity, then we should let our employers know the facts. Let’s bring social media with us to work!

Source: BusinessNewsDaily

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The Controversial Role of Twitter Breaking News

As I was about ready to go to bed on April 18th, I decided to turn to CNN to see if the mainstream media updated any additional photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects that had come out earlier in the day. Right as I was about to turn off the news network there was a brief scroll of an M.I.T. police officer being involved in a shootout. CNN wasn’t really covering the shooting so I decided to take to Social Media to see if there was a rare chance that the MIT shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing were somehow related. What played out over the next 12 hours was surreal and showed the ups and downs that can occur with Twitter breaking news.

User Reports
Within half an hour of the MIT shooting, a Twitter user posted an aerial picture of the crime scene as taken from his upstairs  apartment or classroom window. The medics were still working on the downed officer by the time this picture had been viewed by thousands of people. Soon broadcastify and TuneIn links to the Boston Police Department scanner were popping up in the Twitter breaking news feed and users could follow the action in real time as cops tried to comprehend what was going on.

It wasn’t long until reports of a carjacking surfaced, then words of a gunfight and explosions that rang out in Watertown, MA. Panicked cops called for bigger guns to combat the assault rifle fire they were taking and ordered their fellow officers to retreat as the suspects had bombs. The #Watertown hashtag was updating literally every second but yet not MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, or any other media outlets had even broke to coverage of the event. It wasn’t long until a YouTube video of the gunfire exchange was uploaded.

A Twitter user snapped this photo of one of the suspects as he was fleeing the police.

Mainstream Media Checks In
Twitter had already broke the news that the MIT shooting suspects were also involved in the Boston Marathon bombing. The power of the Internet was evident in that anonymous sleuths had made the correlation that one of the fugitives was a Brown University student who had been missing for months. The names were even reported over the BPD scanner, unfortunately as we’d find out hours later, this information was false. There were also false reports initially of the descriptions of the assailants. One of the problems with anonymous Twitter breaking news is that nobody fact-checks a Tweet and by the time it’s passed on to thousands of other people it’s accepted as a fact.

Twitter Breaking News Helps the Suspect
As the surreal manhunt continued, eventually authorities took down the online police scanner feeds. It was rumored that the suspect who was still on the lam was actually staying ahead of officers by following their moves online! Therein lies another problem of real-time Twitter breaking news, it puts law enforcement officials in jeopardy.

TwitPics of the locked down, deserted Boston Streets littered the Twitter feed and Instagram

The speed and ground zero reporting of Twitter breaking news is one of its biggest assets. Unfortunately in the quest for up to date information we tend to rely on false reports. If anything, Social Media reporting may prove to be a Kickstarter for the main street media to pick up their game.

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Facebook chat heads are coming soon on iOS

I love that today Bloomberg reported that Facebook was working with Apple to bring Facebook Home or elements of it to iOS. Then The Next Web says Facebook is not in discussions with Apple. Low and behold if you were to look for app updates on iOS it seems the Facebook chat heads are coming soon on iOS. The chat heads are one element of Facebook Home and it looks to be coming to both iPhone and iPad soon. Just gotta love how the tech industry works, many people saying many things and then after denial it turns out to be true.

Now you might remember that I said in a post that Apple probably wouldn’t get the full Facebook Home treatment but it would probably get elements of it. Well so far it seems that is just what might be happening. When I did an app update today on my iPad there was an update for the Facebook app. It lists “chat heads” as available for everyone soon.


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Facebook Home Download Now Available

Facebook has made its brand new launcher, Facebook home, available to specific devices. You can now go download it for the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III, and Samsung Galaxy Note II.

In order to use the “full” Home experience, you must have Facebook messenger installed, and the Facebook application installed. One thing you’ll notice if you download this is that it is very hard to get to your notifications. Any FB notifications will show up, anything else will not. If you want to actually get to your notification drawer, you’ll have to enter an app to do so.

We’ve had some reports that people aren’t able to download the launcher yet, and we assume it’s because the servers are overwhelmed. Also this is only available to US device owners at the moment, so the rest of the 7 billion people on the planet will just have to wait.

The Facebook Home download is available here.

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Why the iPhone wont get the full Facebook Home experience

Today Facebook unveiled “Facebook Home” a new Facebook experience that will be available on the newest Android devices. The idea of Facebook Home is very cool, its fluid it enables you to get at your Facebook information no matter what you are doing on your phone or what your phone is doing. Will the same thing come to the iPhone and other iOS devices not the way it is on Android.

Watching the video about Facebook Home the first thing they show is that from the lock screen of the device you are able to see Facebook updates and swipe to access other things, Photos, Friends, etc. My very first though, security alert, when that device is lost or stolen how do you protect that information? It is bad enough protecting the data that is inside the phone behind the lock screen now you’re giving up access right from the get go? Would you leave a computer at the library logged in with your Facebook and just walk out? Regardless if the user must put in their pass-code to update status or reply to messages the information is still accessible merely by looking at the screen. This is one feature that I am almost sure Apple would never allow on their iPhone no matter how great a relationship they have with Facebook. This is why the iPhone wont get the full Facebook Home experience.

Over at Cult of Mac there is a post about “Why Facebook Home won’t come to the iPhone” which has some great points. Though I think that there are also some really cool elements that Apple might allow in an iPhone version Facebook Home. The “Talking Heads” is great it allows you to continue doing whatever you are doing on the device while still talking to your Facebook friends. This is pretty much what people have wanted in iMessage and something I could see Apple potentially allowing. Just like how Twitter and Facebook are allowed access to the Notification Center which no other third-party applications are allowed access. When asked if Facebook Home would come to the iPhone Zuckerberg clearly put the ball in Apple’s court saying it would require their collaboration. So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: Cult of Mac

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40 years of mobile phones

There have been quite a few posts on T3KD lately talking about the mobile industry. Where is it going, what new hardware is out, better battery life, etc. So I thought with all this talk about better battery life among other features we’d love to see. Why not take a look back since it’s now been 40 years since the first mobile phone call was made. A look back that might bring perspective on how far we’ve come and why we don’t have it so bad after all.

So Gizmodo did a post on the 40th Anniversary of the first mobile call with a Yahoo post expanding even further on the information. They are both definitely worth a read and could possibly bring back some nostalgic feelings, if you were alive back then or older than 10 years old. I wont re-hash everything in the posts but instead highlight the important thing that struck me about how far we have come in the 40 years of mobile phones. I’ll also include a Motorola video that pretty much predicted the mobile phone trajectory in the future which is now our present!

The first call was made by Martin Cooper, April 3rd 1973 with a Motorola DynaTAC. The DynaTAC was nicknamed the “Brick” because it was 9 inches tall and weighed 28 ounces or 1.75 lbs! It had 30 circuit boards inside and 10 hours of charging gave you about 35 minutes of talk time! Can anyone even imagine that, in comparison the very first iPad weighed 1.6 lbs while most smartphones these days will last at the very least 4 hours on a single charge. It is just mind-blowing to look at the difference. Well enjoy a few pictures and video of mobile phones that had their moment in the spotlight.

Did you own one of these?

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Source – Engadget

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