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‘OK Glass’ – The Google Glass Era

Ever wondered how it would be to see directly through the eyes of a reporter? Google glass has made this possibility real. Journalism has reached a new level with these fashionable wearable computers enabling storytelling in a first person video point-of-view. This revolutionary technology, though still at the dawn of its development, can become a powerful tool for journalists. Google Glass can bring to journalists three key elements:

1.     Freedom of Motion

Journalists are the eyes and ears of the public as they act as a mirror of the world surrounding them. But in order to broadcast the events happening around the world, they require numerous devices including smartphones, laptops, tablets or professional recording devices which can be burdensome. This is where Google Glass comes into play as it frees the journalists from the encumbrance of carrying all this equipment around. Hand-free, journalists can experience reporting without restrictions such as conveying more intimate tales as they are non-invasive towards their subjects. No more taking notes as with Google glass you can capture everything hands free.

A Vice reporter, Tim Pool, has tested the Google Glass by covering the Istanbul protests back in 2013. His first impression was that he could focus more on what was happening around him rather than being head down using bulky equipment. As reported by Tim Pool, “ When there’s a wall of police firing plastics bullets at you, you’re running through a wall of tear-gas, having hands free to cover your face, while saying ‘OK Glass, record a video’, makes that recording process a lot easier”.

2.     First person viewpoint

By using Google Glass, not only can the reporter obtain a first person perspective but he can easily transfer the device to another person. This would enable us to see the scene in a whole new way. “With the field of journalism, technology is always changing how we report the news,” said the journalism professor Jennifer Ware from the Michigan State University.

3.     News consumption

The way news is perceived will certainly change with the introduction of Google Glass. One interesting feature of Google Glass is geo-tagging which enables the reader to look at a building whilst Google Glass provide relevant information on that building. For example, any recent events related to that particular building or the company’s stock market position. “It’s the next evolutionary step in mobile, and the opportunities are near limitless when it comes to storytelling, engaging and informing our communities,” said Professor Robert Hernandez from the University of Southern California. However, Google Glass can be considered as a prototype thus, leaving way for several possible upgrades.

Perfecting Google Glass for Glass Journalism

  • Editing: In order for journalists to deliver a top-notch broadcast to the world, they require high-definition imageries and videos which can be easily edited. With Google Glass, one can upload a video on YouTube by means of the Fullscreen Beam app but it is impossible to edit those videos.
  • Battery life: An average reporter normally would need extensive hours of recording while Google Glass has a battery life limited to a couple of hours. This could be highly problematic for journalists nevertheless, with the fast-changing technology, Google design team is probably already working on this issue right now.
  • Simplified features: For the moment, Google Glass has a set of commands available such as ‘OK, Glass,’ ‘Take a picture,’ and also ‘Record a video.’ However, journalists would require the capability of customizing their own voice commands as well as the gesture commands.

The Verdict: It can be said that the introduction of Google Glass has dazzled many among us and by means of this pioneering technology, journalists can further enhance newsgathering. Even though, some alterations are needed to perfect Google Glass for Glass journalism, this device has high potential for the future of journalism.


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