Google Adds Intriguing New Features to Glass

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Although Google has still not set the actual release date for Glass, the company continues to stoke interest in its proprietary smart glasses by adding intriguing new features. The feature that has gotten the most media attention is Wink. As Google explained on its Glass website, Wink “lets you quickly and easily capture the moments you care about with a simple wink of the eye. Whether it’s capturing an amazing sunset on 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.”

Although Google is starting with pictures, it is already envisioning other uses for Wink, such as riding in the back of a cab and winking at the meter to pay, winking at a pair of shoes in a shop window and having your size shipped to your door, or winking at a cookbook recipe and having the instructions appear in front of you.

Google announced that it has added the ability to lock the device’s screen. “Just like with your laptop or phone, no one can use your locked Glass until you enter your secret Glass handshake using taps and swipes,” the company said on its site.

Other new features can be accessed through the device’s proprietary “Glassware.” For example, “Hangouts,” is a messaging feature that allows Glass wearers to chat with friends and send group messages and picture messages. Enabling the YouTube Glassware allows wearers to easily upload videos to YouTube by either tapping on the video and swiping a finger to the YouTube share card, or saying “ok glass, share with YouTube.”

Subscribers to Google’s +Google Play Music All Access service can listen to music from their play-lists and radio, or try “I’m feeling lucky” to create a radio station based on previous listening history. ■

—Andrew Karp