Better living through Google Glass

The MusiXmatch glassware app helps you identify song lyrics.

Yes, Google Glass has an app that allows you to identify songs on the radio so you can sing along.

One of the benefits of wearing Google Glass every day is you quickly discover ways in which it’s useful. Otherwise, you may fall into the trap of just using it to document your life pictorially. In my last post, I shared some of my favorite ways to use it at work. Here are some of ways in which I use Glass personally.

  1. News feeds. Many newspapers and media outlets now offer Glassware apps. If you are a headline junkie, subscribe to The New York Times, Mashable or Guardian and you’ll get an RSS feed of titles with images on your Glass. If you want full stories, CNN, Umano and Marketing Land give you headlines with the option of hearing the full stories read to you as you drive, walk about or go about other business.
  2. Directions. Have an appointment? Look something up on Google Maps before you left work? Your Glass will give you the option of getting directions via car, transit or footpath. Because prompts appear above your eye, you don’t have to search for your phone to see where to go. And the screen isn’t live the whole time, just before you need to take action do you get the next instruction, so it’s less distracting than Garmin or in-car navigation systems that never shut up.
  3. Suggestions on things to do. Glassware apps offer guidance on local events (Google Now), cool things nearby (Field Trip), even full-on self-guided tours (GoGuide). Load up your favorites and explore.
  4. Calendar. I’ve synched my Google calendar to my iCal and made it my default so now any appointment I create will show up as a prompt on my Glass. If someone in your G+ circles has a birthday, you’ll also see a reminder on that day and be able to send them a special message just by using taps and voice prompts.
  5. Shopping lists. This is one of the first requests I made in the Google Glass Explorers chatrooms. When ShopX became available I downloaded it immediately. Now, before I go to the grocery store, I say “Ok glass, take a note with ShopX” and list out what I need to buy. By the time I pull into the Kroger parking lot, my list is sorted by category and available to me on cards I can check off or add to whenever the need arises.
  6. Workouts. My favorite is Zombies, Run! (You can read my review here.) But LynxFit and Strava offer more programs. So whether you’re an avid cyclist, runner or are just looking to get in shape, Glass has fantastic options that range from self-motivated timers to personal trainers.
  7. Digital notebooks. Who says you need paper and pen to write? Do you love to journal? Memoirs and Path Glassware apps let you create a string of personal memories you can capture and transmit with Glass. If you’re more of a note-taker, Evernote synchronization means that you’ll never lose a random thought again. Video Voyager lets you pin 10-second videos in virtual space for other Explorers to discover. Poster Boy does the same thing for public photo sharing.
  8. Being social. Ok, so you will take a lot of photographs and videos with your set of Glass. But instead of having to upload things via mobile, you can instantly caption and share to Twitter, G+, Tumblr or Facebook using Glass. Although be forewarned: The audio capture can be unreliable, especially in noisy or outdoor locations, so be prepared to cancel that caption before it goes live. (I’ve seen some pretty funky translations of innocuous phrases I’ve uttered that ended up being NSFW.)
  9. Figuring out song lyrics (finally). It’s a constant source of amusement to my husband that I don’t know what the lyrics are to any song (especially my favorites). Enter the musiXmatch app! Now I tell Glass to recognize a song and it pulls up a lyric sheet for me. It’s the little things. 🙂

If you’re interested in learning more about how I use Glass and reading reviews of Glassware apps, please subscribe to this blog. And let me know what you’d like to hear more about!

Twitter notifications are displayed on Google Glass.

It’s fun seeing that friends are sharing #yaypym love while I’m out for a jog.

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3 amazing ways you can use Google Glass at work

Google Glass streamlines social moderation during presentations or webcasts.

I love being able to see tweets on Glass while on conducting Hangouts on Air webinars, because then I don’t need a second screen to moderate social feeds during broadcasts.

The most shocking thing I’ve heard from other Google Explorers is that they only use their set of Glass for taking photos and videos. Glass has so many other applications. But if you don’t wear them regularly, or if you feel awkward about wearing them in public, you may never discover the unexpected benefits. That’s why I’ve worn my set every day. These are the most useful ways I’ve found to use Glass at work.

  1. As a Bluetooth headset. Google Glass tethers to your phone via Bluetooth, but it didn’t occur to me that I could use them for hands-free calling until someone rang me at work. Aside from the novelty of being able to say “Ok glass, answer call,” I found it very useful to be able to answer the phone without having to drag it out of my purse, especially if I was typing or driving my car.
  2. To monitor social media. I frequently present at conferences and via webinars. Because Google Glass is linked to my Twitter account, I can see when people send me @messages. This is awesome for receiving live feedback and eliminates the need for a second screen to look at the social chatter. A whole host of Glassware apps are being developed specifically for conference speakers to connect with their audience and get real-time feedback. I haven’t tested those out yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
  3. To listen to music. I’m easily distracted, so when I’m feeling pulled in a million directions, nothing helps me focus as well as putting on my headphones and listening to music. Problem is, if I have to open iTunes up or search my phone for a playlist, I often forget to turn the music on. Also, my back is to my office door, so if I do have music going on the headphones, not being able to see people as they enter has given me a shock more than once. That’s why I really enjoy listening to music on Google Glass. The monobud doesn’t cancel out everything, so I can listen to music andand be aware of my surroundings. Before the Pandora Glassware was approved, I felt stymied by my lack of Google Play music. Now, I can just turn on Beastie Boys radio or whatever else I’m in the mood for and listen for hours before I need to recharge.
Since getting Glass, I mainly use my cell phone to help me apply lipstick when there's no mirror about.

Since getting Glass, I mainly use my cell phone to help me apply lipstick when there’s no mirror about.

Those are my three favorite work-related ways to use Glass. Are you an Explorer? Let me know how you use your set at work. An aspiring GlassCat? Feel free to ask me any questions you might have in the comment section. I’ll be happy to answer then.

In my next post, I’ll share some of the everyday/personal ways I love to use Glass. Until then: Stay #glassy!

Which #glasshole glossy do you like?

One of my favorite conferences every year is the Social Media Tourism Symposium (SoMeT)  because, although it’s for destination tourism marketers, I always walk away with cool new tech tools and community-building ideas to share with my Plan Your Meetings readers.

Last year, Robert Patterson from MMGNY spoke on Google Glass and passed out signed 8×10 glossy shots like this one.

This signed #glasshole print inspired me to offer my own as an Indiegogo incentive.

This signed #glasshole print inspired me to offer my own as an Indiegogo incentive.

When I ran my Indiegogo campaign to get Glass, I said donors at the $50 and above level would receive a similar shot from me. A couple of weeks after I got Glass, I attended a conference in San Francisco where attendees could get professional headshots done during a break. I couldn’t resist getting one with Glass.

Here are the two he took. Which one do you like best: Option A or Option B?

Google Glassware review: Zombies, Run!

If you're going to outrun zombies, my philosophy is you should pick an atmospheric location like this.

When you’re going to outrun zombies, my philosophy is you should pick an atmospheric location like this.

If you’re lightly active and are looking to get back into a fitness routine, what you really need is to get chased by zombies a few times a week. At least that’s what I’ve been doing with the Zombies, Run! Glassware for Google Glass, and it’s been pretty awesome.

Why Zombies, Run! rocks.

  • It works with or without music playing in the background (using Google Play or Pandora Glassware).
  • Novelist Naomi Alderman has helped game developers Six to Start create scripts for each mission that give your brain riddles to puzzle through while you run.
  • As you’re outrunning zombies, you don’t really feel pressure to move faster than a “slow shamble,” but if you do, the app tracks your speed and mileage.
In the first mission, you're shot out of the sky while on military transport and must run past a herd of zombies to Abel Township.

In the first mission, you’re shot out of the sky while on military transport and must run past a herd of zombies to Abel Township.

At first I was afraid that I’d soon tire of the three missions and abandon the app, but I haven’t yet. I think it’s because of the narrative. Every time I go on a mission, I hear something that I missed before or pick up on another clue that gets my inner gears turning about who my character (Runner 5) really is and what my true mission might be.

You receive alerts in between transmissions that there are zombies nearby. If you choose to extend your workout, you'll continue to encounter special items to collect and zombies.

You receive alerts in between transmissions that there are zombies nearby. If you choose to extend your workout, you’ll continue to encounter special items to collect and zombies.

The Glassware is a slimmed-down version of Six to Start’s more dynamic mobile phone apps, which let you custom-create missions and see where all the random items you pick up on your missions go. I contacted them to see if more missions  for Glassware are forthcoming, and they said no.

So, that’s the worst thing about getting into Zombies, Run! for Glass: It will tempt you to go back to your phone so you can run with the full versions.

For now, at least, I think I’ll resist and just review more running Glassware. After all, running without wires is a real revelation.

The verdict

If you could customize missions for Google Glass like you can on the mobile versions, this would be a 5-star review, no question. But options with Glassware are limited. Plus, if you experience GPS disruption, the mileage isn’t counted accurately and the zombie encounters go away.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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What do you think? Sound off below! (And let me know if you have suggestions for something else you’d like me to test.)