35 Google Glass Project Concept Ideas

As you may have seen already, Google has come out with a short video on their new Google Glass project and some of the plans they have in store for it. They are already inviting users over to San Francisco and New York for hackathons. But you don’t need to be there playing with the Mirror API just to start planning your next project! We have some great ideas listed below that may, or may not, become a reality and you can get started working on some of these ideas now… even if it is just sketching out how they might work.

Now we know that some fundamental things. It has a camera, it can shoot video (which means it should be able to also capture stills), it can have Internet access which means it can link up to social media networks etc. Just from these basic items we can come up with some great concepts that should not be completely out of the realm of possibility. Let’s dive in!

The Google Glass Ideas List

  1. Facial Recognition Database – Here we can simply pick the points out on someone’s face, store that away in a database somewhere and maybe even associate it with their Facebook profile. Just in case you run into Mark Zuckerberg and are not quite sure if you are talking to him, you can run the software as you chat and it will come back with confirmation. Then of course you can hit him for all the crap he is pulling with the site.
  2. Spectrum Analysis – Point the glasses at a flame as it burns something and you should be able to get an idea of what compounds are in the item. It should be as simple as gauging wavelengths of color and get a chemical breakdown. Maybe you can go as far as infrared with an additional addon to the camera piece.
  3. Measure Movement and Velocity – Run the camera to capture video, take a bunch of stills at a timed interval and compare specific features. This should give you an idea of how fast the object is moving and perhaps a direction of travel as well.
  4. Ads in Video Clips – You remember hearing about that hypnotic suggestion trick where pictures can be placed in between video frames to get you to buy something or make you hungry for McDonalds? Well you can create software that captures these ads. You could compare each frame of running video looking for special markers. This would allow us to watch stupid kitty videos on YouTube without needing to play the whole video at the beginning.
  5. Bus Gateway Payment Capture System – Here in Vancouver they are implementing a turnstyle system that is electronic and is going to use pay cards. Heck why not have a symbol on the gateway that you can look at and have it deduct from your checking or something before you pass? You could use this type of thing for paying before you get on a bus based on the route symbol that might be on the exterior of the bus.
  6. QR Codes – Just like your camera can do already, you will be able to look at these symbols and see the related content without even having to lift your phone.
  7. Visual Measurement – This would require the software to have something like a cross hair in the middle. You line up the cross hair with an edge of something like a board, have it anchor that point and move your crosshair to the other edge and anchor. Then it could tell you how long something is or how high up it is.
  8. Word Search Solver – You look at the word search letters and it would run an algorithm looking for words in it, then circle them on a snapshot of the cross word. Yeah it is cheating but sometimes you just don’t have time to search for things.
  9. Book Retail Lookup – Ever started reading a book and want to know where you could buy it? Create a program where you can start reading a book and it will use the passage to then lookup the book and present you with retailers that you can order the book from. This would work with posters, funny t-shirts you see on some drunk guy at the bar or anything written really.
  10. Animation on Real Life Background – You could create some animation that could sit over top what you see in front of you. Then you could record it and essentially put cartoons right in your real life scenery.
  11. Color Picker and Font Recognition – Ever see a color or font you really liked but didn’t know what it was? Well this program could snap colors like they do for paint shops and also identify fonts based on characters. It would then look them up and return the name of the color or font.
  12. In Picture Magnification and Snap on Sampler – This one would be cool. You would have picture in picture magnification of what you are seeing. Essentially what some photo manipulation programs do right now like Photoshop. The snap on sampler would be a device that sits over the camera that would contain a small sample of something… dirt, plants, water samples etc and it would magnify it like a microscope.
  13. Fit Line to Data in Statistics – You see a field of dots but what might those dots mean? You could fit a line to the dots, determine who the outliers are and what might be the average of several data points.
  14. Auto Form Fillout – This one is rather simple but can save you a ton of time. You look at a standardized form (perhaps tax form?) and it will fill it in visually and when complete you can send it off electronically. This could work for government forms, surveys to enter yourself into contests etc. It is essentially the roboform or auto complete you see in most browsers now, but just forms you look at. Perhaps if you mark the form with a symbol at the top it will know exactly what type of form it is and fill it out for you.
  15. Image Correction Filters – These would be your typical image filters you see on photoshop or instagram. Change contrast, desaturate, change huge or color balance etc. Perhaps add a snap on tool to the camera as you film and it will alter the image as you look around.
  16. Translation of Written Material – Got some written material that you need to run through Google translate as you read it? I know that Google Translate is not going to be 100% accurate but if you are traveling to a distant land on vacation it may help read signs etc.
  17. Injury Assessment – You stumble upon a scene where someone has broken their leg and bleeding all over the place. Luckily you have you Google glasses on and you can look at the injuries and get instant medical advice on how to treat it and lets you know if perhaps you are doing something wrong. Tie it into a database or network of real life medical professionals and they can assist you.
  18. Company Lookup by Logo or Ticker Symbol – Ready to go eat at Burger King? Perhaps you have ethics and don’t want to eat at an establishment caught up in a scandal. You could look at their sign outside and it would instantly bring up their current stock price, twitter chatter and current news on the company. Oh crap! They got hacked! No whopper for me!
  19. Fast Count By Eye – I really like this idea. Let’s say you have a series of identical objects in front of you (like if you work at a warehouse and need to count inventory). You line up your sight on one of the items, capture it and then look at the whole group. It would then quickly count all items. Think about capturing thousands of marbles at once! Those businesses that do the whole “Guess how many beans are in this jar and you could win a trip!” won’t be doing that anymore.
  20. Picture Help like Yahoo Answers. – Have a question? is a picture the best way to ask it? Have Google Glass take a snapshot and submit it to a Q&A site like Yahoo Answers or Google Answers and someone can quickly reply telling you about what you are looking at.
  21. Visual Desk Checking and Compiling – Great for programmers! This will allow you to look at source code and quickly spot syntax errors and perhaps even able to compile it on the fly to tell you if it works or not. Great for peer reviews and desk checking on programs when perhaps you are not in front of a development machine.
  22. Animal Identification – What is that frog with all the little red spots? Look at the frog and have Google Glass tell you all about the frog, the species it is and maybe hook up the picture with local wildlife experts. Heck, if you catch Sasquatch you can get experts to analyze it and tell you it is just your Uncle Jimmy who doesn’t shave!
  23. Save Restaurant Menu Database – Ever want to see a menu for a restaurant you want to try, so you go to their website only to find out they don’t put it online? Or perhaps they change it all the time. If someone else had gone to the restaurant earlier that week they could have looked at the menu, uploaded it to a database and then when you look it up it will be current. You can then decide if you want to go or not.
  24. Product Recall During Shopping – At the time of this writing, two food recalls were recently announced at Safeway and Loblaws for contaminated frozen beef patties. You would know this if you had Google glass looking at your products as you shop for groceries. It could also give you cooking instructions, menus from the product’s website and any nutritional info not on the label.
  25. Virtual Tour Notes – I once went to a Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit where I had headsets with an audio clip. With Google glass you could team up the audio with extra images that are displayed as you look at various exhibits. Perhaps each item has a symbol on it that looks up additional information about that item to add to the experience. Washington DC could use it for all their monuments.
  26. Visual Landmark Counter – Who has been there? With this project each landmark would have a special symbol (like on a sign or something) where you can see people who might have looked at the same thing. Perhaps show your friends on Facebook who saw what you are seeing. Almost like a visual guest book.
  27. Solving Rubics Cube – Look at a Rubics Cube and it would advise you what the next move would be based on the colors it sees and their given orientation.
  28. Note taking and Teacher Transcription – Didn’t catch everything the professor put on the board or too tired to really listen? Fall asleep while wearing the glasses and it would record what they are saying as well as deciphering their writing on a board or projector.
  29. Star Identifier and Constellation Connections – This project would allow you to look at the sky on a nice dark night and identify major stars and be able to connect starts that you can see to form the constellations. It may also help you find planets etc.
  30. Visual Graffiti – We don’t condone vandalism, but what if we could have it so that you could draw virtually on the side of buildings and create artwork and then others with Google Glass could see them when they look at the building or vehicle?
  31. Accident or Crime Scene Reconstruction – Here we look at a crime scene and able to catalog all items without needing to take a picture. What if we look at the scene and take pictures but also get coordinates based on a typical grid system? All done in a split second.
  32. Fingerprint recognition – Here we dust for prints and run it through the crime lab’s fingerprint database while we continue to process the rest of the scene.
  33. Sheet Music Player – Here we look at some sheet music as some music plays (may need an ear piece) and as it plays the various notes it highlights them on the sheet.
  34. Movie Actor Catalog – So you are watching a really great movie but you don’t know who the main actor is. They are really good! Have the glasses recognize the face and look up the actor on IMDB and present you with some of their latest works that you might be interested in.
  35. Clocks From Around the World – Have a program that can look at a standard clock face and it will pull up the time in various other time zones that perhaps you are familiar with.

So those are my 35 project ideas for Google Glass. Some might take more work than others to get going, but with a few APIs and mashups, perhaps a hardware addon or two and they could become reality. We won’t know until we all get access to the Mirror API and see what is possible.

If you liked these ideas, you will like the ideas in my new ebook The Programmers Idea Book which has over 200 ideas for all kinds of applications. It features a ton of content on how to tackle the projects, difficulty rating, additional expansion ideas and more!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

About The Author

Martyr2 is the founder of the Coders Lexicon and author of the new ebooks "The Programmers Idea Book" and "Diagnosing the Problem" . He has been a programmer for over 25 years. He works for a hot application development company in Vancouver Canada which service some of the biggest tech companies in the world. He has won numerous awards for his mentoring in software development and contributes regularly to several communities around the web. He is an expert in numerous languages including .NET, PHP, C/C++, Java and more.