Though Google Glass has been put on hold, these awesome apps had great potential to make the product an envious one.
While everyone keeps saying wearable is “in,” it’s probably difficult to feel cool with computer hardware sitting directly on your face. Since Google stopped selling Glass in early 2015, it seems this may be partially true.
Glass was criticized for being obstructive and potentially invasive, not to mention for getting people kicked out of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit at the local movie theater, making people feel uncomfortable in coffee shops, and even spurring a Glass hate crime.
But potential pitfalls and suspension aside, there were actually various fun applications that could have made the hands-free device useful and enjoyable. Here’s some of our favorites Google Glass apps, should it rise again in the future.
1. Glass Meme Generator
Ever walk down the street, see something funny, and caption it in your head? This Google Glass app could have let you actually take and create memes without even having to touch a camera or a keyboard.
Created by GitHub contributor Azhar Bande-Ali, this app works pretty simply: Glass wearers would say “OK Glass, make a meme,” select the image, add a caption, and share on Imgur, where — let’s face it — you’d have probably been upvoted and achieved Internet fame.
Too bad that ship has sailed.
2. Where Did I Put My App
Memory fails even the best of us when it comes to little things like car keys, cell phones, and wallets. Glass wearers, however, would have been able to beat this annoyance with this Google Glass app, which remembers the location of requested objects.
Glass wearers need only say “OK Glass, remember where I put [object name],” after which Glass would take and store a snapshot for recall later. Just say “OK Glass, where did I put [object name],” and you’d be able to locate that hidden box of cookies in no time.
Just don’t misplace your Google Glass. Oh wait, you can’t.
3. Moment camera
Capturing the right moments on camera isn’t always easy, even for people with nice equipment and good eyes. Moment is a Google Glass app that uses Glass sensors to pick out Kodak moments — for example, when the camera is still, the lighting is good, and (according to their website), when the kids aren’t fighting.
It would basically be like having a tiny personal photographer living on top of your nose. The app would get smarter as you work with it and evaluate its photography skills, and even compile albums so you could share the best results.
Too bad you’ll have to stick to Instagram.
4. Word Lens
Word Lens by Quest Visual is seriously awesome Google Glass app that should have even the most righteous hater itching to go back in time, buy some Glass, and jump on a plane to Timbuktu.
Word Lens translates text into your language of choice in real time, without the user even needing a network connection.
Luckily, you can still said goodbye to travel dictionaries and playing it safe at foreign restaurants. Word Lens is available on mobile, though there’s something about direct augmented translation that would have been really, really cool.
5. Glass Praiser
This simple Google Glass app, which boosts the ego of wearers, could have helped reverse — or at least even out — those fears and doubts they had about getting aboard the Glass train. Glass Praiser would have pinged you a message once a day with a feel-good note assured to build confidence.
Whether or not these messages include “You are rich, male, and (probably) white!” is unknown.
But now you’ll just have to get your compliments elsewhere. Mom?
In some senses, Google Glass had the potential to be advertiser’s wet dream. Though the last thing users want is augmented advertisements plastered across their scope of vision, the Google Glass app Blippar found a way to use advertising in a way that serves users, by allowing them to interact with products if they choose to.
Using image recognition, products are overlaid with relevant information and details pertaining to purchasing and using the object in question.
This could have been great for the everyday Glass-wearing Joe that sees a shirt he likes, but also pretty sweet for the Don Drapers of the world.
BONUS: Creepy Google Glass apps we may be better without
- Video Black: Allowed videos without anyone knowing, and save battery while doing it!
- NameTag: Allowed the scanning of faces to find out loads of information about them (not supported by Google.)
- Glance App: Allowed vision through your partner’s eyes during sex, because that Glass Praiser app must have been working unfathomably well.
This post was originally published on February 27, 2014. Updated on February 18, 2015.