In Pictures: 12 cool apps for Google Glass

What’s Google Glass worth without apps that make use of its technology?

  • While Google’s futuristic eye-worn computing device is set to come with its own native apps, third-party developers have begun cooking up their plans for the new form factor. Even though some of these are just concepts at this point, many will be ready to use soon.

  • Recognize friends by clothing Facial recognition is a viable technology for Google Glass, but it isn’t very useful in large crowds. InSight, developed by Duke University researchers, solves this problem. A smartphone app takes images of a user’s clothing to be used as a reference for the Glass app, which identifies friends by their outfits and displays their names in video playback on Glass, New Scientist reports.

  • Time travel in real-time History buffs are excited about the advent of augmented reality (AR), and with a head-mounted display its potential will only grow. History Pin uses AR to overlay historical images on a smartphone over real-life landscapes, allowing a user to see a view of Times Square in the early 20th century while standing in it modern day. Another concept app called Time Travel aims to do the same with crowd-sourced images.

  • Facial recognition for healthcare MedRef uses facial recognition on Glass to identify patients and bring up medical records or other information immediately. Glass could go one step further than tablets in the healthcare space, further eliminating paperwork and time-wasting processes while freeing up doctors and nurses for multi-tasking.

  • Augmedix Another healthcare-focused app for Glass, Augmedix has received a lot of attention from media and investors alike. The company has yet to release many details as its product is still in development, but it has raised $55,000 as part of its seed funding, and has released this teaser video to drum up additional interest.

  • Starfinder The Starfinder app turns star-gazing into a game. It was one of the first official games developed for Glass, and it challenges users to identify constellations faster than other players.

  • SkyMap for Glass Similarly, hacker Jeff Thomas adapted the popular Android app SkyMap for Google Glass. While the project is still in development, the aim is to make the experience the same on the Glass headset as it is on an Android smartphone.

  • Ingress Almost immediately after Google introduced Glass, fans of the popular AR-based massive multiplayer Android game Ingress were speculating about the potential for the game on Glass. While no official app has yet been released, this video by Android Police bloggers shows how to run Android on Glass, including Ingress, albeit with a few glitches.

  • Lock screen for Glass Glass comes with a native option for Guest Mode, which prevents friends from seeing users’ information and messages when trying out their headsets. But the lock screen app, called Bulletproof, was invented for those concerned about theft, or even just nosey friends or co-workers trying to sneak a peek at their Glass.

  • Two-factor authentication If the lock screen isn’t enough, GlassAuth uses the ZXing Android barcode scanner to bring two-factor authentication to Google Glass. More information is available at Github.

  • Thirst news app Although Glass will come with a native New York Times app, Thirst Labs developed a more comprehensive news aggregator for the device, Mashable reports. Rather than receiving headlines from the Times only, Thirst allows users to customize the types of news and the sources they like to read, creating an individual news stream directly to the user’s Glass screen.

  • Hermes social sharing Wearable technology has the potential to radically change how social media users communicate. Hermes is an open source project to create social tools for notifications and messaging that make the best use of the Glass form factor, along with other wearable formats.

  • Launchy Built by developer Mike DiGiovanni, the same mind behind GlassAuth, Launchy is an easier way to retrieve and re-open apps that the user has already launched on Glass. On the GitHub page, DiGiovanni says Glass defaults to its Home screen the screen has been shut off. With Launchy, users can access the apps they had open without starting from the beginning on the home screen.

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