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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Google Releases Specs and Developer API for Glass

The Google Glass wearable device will have a high-resolution display equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from eight feet away, and will capture 5-megapixels images and video at a resolution of 720p, according to technical specs released by the company on Monday.

The device will also also support 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and has 12GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. In total, the device has 16 GB Flash.

The battery will support one full day of typical use although Google says that some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive. Charging is through an included Micro USB cable and charger.

Finally, the device is compatible with Bluetooth-capable phones. The MyGlass companion app, which enables GPS (Global Positioning System) and SMS (Short Message Service) messaging, requires Android 4.0.3 or higher.

The initial Google Glass devices will boast similar features to a smartphone, but will still need to sync with a handset in order to work.

Google has notified some users selected under its Glass Explorer testers program that some of the US$1,500 glasses were being produced and shipped in phases.

Google also gave a developer preview of Google Mirror API, which allows developers to build Web-based services, called Glassware, that interact with Google Glass. It provides this functionality over a cloud-based API (application programming interface) and does not require running code on Glass.

Information on Google Glass is separated into items on a timeline. The timeline contains items or "cards" that display information to the user. Users navigate through their timeline by swiping backwards and forwards on Glass, revealing cards in the past and future.

Each timeline card contains information pushed to Glass devices from various pieces of Glassware. In addition, there are default timeline cards that are "pinned" to a timeline, so they always appear in the same place. The card that displays the current time and the card that displays all of the tasks that Glass can execute are examples of pinned cards.

Many timeline cards have additional interactions associated with them that are accessible with a single tap. Developers can define these menu items to allow users to execute actions such as deleting or sharing a card.

To interact with the timeline, developers call the appropriate RESTful endpoint to carry out the action that they want to do. RESTful are services that transmit information to and receive notifications from Glass devices. Developers can create new cards on a timeline; update current cards on a timeline; receiv user-initiated input exposed through a card's menu and; subscribe to notifications from Glass devices to be notified of user actions.

Google has released user interface guidelines, a developer guide and reference documentation on the API for developers.

The terms of service for developers prohibits them from charging users for downloading their client or from sale of virtual goods. Developers cannot also display advertisements through their Glassware clients, or use data from the client for advertising purposes. Developers are also forbidden from selling data collected through the application to third parties.

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