Glass Focus

Category : Life through Glass, Photo & Video · No Comments · by May 7, 2013

It’s difficult for people to visualize what it’s like to look through Glass, so I’m working on some videos to demonstrate it.

This one shows the difference between focusing on the prism and focusing on the projection.  Of course your eye can see the full projection because it is much closer to the prism.

GlassAppZ Review: Glass to Facebook

Category : App Reviewz · (2) Comments · by May 6, 2013

It’s here!  Post your Glass photos directly to Facebook with Glass To Facebook!

Tesseract Mobile, makers of hit Android games such as Solitaire Free Pack and Gin Rummy, brings you the first Facebook app for Glass.  It’s easy to set up:

1.  Go to and click “login”.



2.  Click “Okay” to the 2 authorization boxes:

1Access profile

2Post publicly

3.  Turn Glass To Facebook “On” in the MyGlass site.  After that, you can post your photos to Facebook straight from Glass!


There’s my favorite little photo subject right there on Facebook in under a minute!  Facebook is quite strict about app names – no use of the words “face” OR “book”, or even the letters “FB” are allowed – so the Facebook post will appear under the name “Glass Post”.

The photo quality is great, posting is quick and easy, who could ask for more?  Sure, I love Google+, but a lot of my friends and family are planted firmly on Facebook.  Now I can share the good stuff with everyone in seconds!

GlassAppZ Review: Glassagram

Category : App Reviewz · (2) Comments · by May 5, 2013

The first photo editing app on Glass has arrived and its name is Glassagram!

As an avid photographer and an Android app developer, I had thought about the logistics of a photo editor for Glass.  The problem is the delay.  If you edit a photo on Glass, it is not the same as editing it on your phone.  The photo is sent to Google, the instructions are sent to Google and the resulting image is sent back.  As a result, if you wanted to brighten your image just a bit, you’d have to wait a ridiculously long time to get visual feedback on a minor change.

So, for one reason or another, the standard UIs that we all know and love are not going to work on Glass.  How, then, do you make a photo editor that is fun to use?  Well, Glassagram thought of a way.  Glassagram makes 5 variations on your image, all at the same time.  You can choose your favorite and go from there.  Yes, you still have to wait for the image to go through Google, and yes that process still takes a few minutes, but once you get your bundle back from Glassagram you have 5 varied and interesting images to view and consider.  It’s not a perfect system, but it is a great plan for the confines we have currently.

Here’s the step-by-step:

1.  Go to

2. Click “Allow”, which will take you to this page.  Follow the instructions from there:


My experiences:

I sent a photo.  It looked like this:

Charlie 0

A few minutes later, I received a bundle back from Glassagram.  I recognized it as a bundle because of the dog-eared corner in the upper right.

Glasagram bundle

The message seemed quite confident, so I tapped Glass to open the bundle.

Charlie 1   Charlie 2

Charlie3   Charlie 4

Charlie 5

The filtered photos look quite interesting.  It appears we have a black & white, a sepia, a lomo effect, an increased contrast and a brighten…?  Well, I’m sure about the black & white and the sepia.  The other filters may reveal themselves more on different photographs.  A nice choice of effects, fun to play with.  Looks good to me!


GlassAppZ Review: Fullscreen Beam

Category : App Reviewz · (1) Comment · by May 5, 2013

Quick and easy video upload to YouTube is here thanks to Fullscreen Beam!  Here is a walkthrough of the setup process.  Their website looks very polished!

1. Go to


2. Click on Sign In.  That will take you to the Access page.  There are a lot of permissions for this app:


3. Setup preferences and click “Submit Changes”.  A green message should appear near the bottom of your screen saying “Preferences Updated”.


4. Turn Fullscreen Beam “On” in the Sharing Contacts section of the MyGlass site.  It was on the bottom of the list for me:


5.  Now when you go to “Share” a video, you will have the new option to share it to “Fullscreen Beam”.  This will automatically upload the video to YouTube with a title of the date and time and “#throughglass”.  Here’s mine:

My experiences:

The wifi at our house is not great, so my video showed no signs of uploading until I turned the Bluetooth connection on.  Then I re-shared the video to Fullscreen Beam and it appeared on YouTube a few minutes later.  I was curious if it had uploaded the new share or the first (wifi) share, so I uploaded a different video that was 8 seconds long.  I kept watching for the confirmation email, but I noticed the video had uploaded a minute or so BEFORE the email arrived.  That one took about 10 to 15 minutes to appear on YouTube.

So the app works, it is quick and easy to use, but it may take a little while to upload.  But that’s to be expected with video.  It is very convenient to send your video right to YouTube in a single step.  Sharing content just got easier!

GlassAppZ Review: Winky

Category : App Reviewz · No Comments · by May 4, 2013

Glass apps are sprouting up all over.  As we speak, I am waiting for 2 different apps to work so I can write up reviews for them.  In the mean time, let me tell you what I know about Winky.

Winky was big news a few days ago.  However, since most of the people reporting on it don’t even have Glass, they couldn’t verify if it actually worked.  Instead, they turned the story into another big PRIVACY scare.

Winky accesses the wink detection in Glass and allows you to take a photo simply by winking.  No movement of the hand, no voice.  Yes, people could be taking pictures of you all day long and you’d never know it.  In other words, Glass could be used just like one of those pens with the hidden camera that they sell for $30.  Except it isn’t hidden at all.  It’s right on your face.  And anyone can look at the screen.  And Glass costs a lot more money.

I was a lot more interested in whether Winky actually worked.  Just because there was wink detection in the code doesn’t mean that Glass has the hardware to detect if the user is winking.  I skimmed the Google+ post where Mike DiGiovanni, the developer of Winky, describes the app.  A lot of people comment and sound impressed.  They ask if he’ll share how he did it.  But nobody (that I saw) confirms that it actually works.

Well, in order to find out the truth, my partner Joshua Frank had to do a lot of technical stuff that is outside of my expertise, but after a lot of doubt and several hours of work, Josh finally installed the app.

Yes, it works.

The Glass screen does not even need to be on.  Just wink and it takes a photo.  I saw Josh do it.  I did it.  Winky works!

No, you can not do an quick, easy upload and start winking pictures in the blink of an eye.  It’s complicated to get Winky working on your Glass.  So complicated that Josh will have to write that article.

But, in the mean time, I can at least tell you that Winky Works.


Glass vs DSLR – Indoor Edition

Category : Glass vs DSLR, Photo & Video · (1) Comment · by May 3, 2013

Last week I released a photo comparison between Google Glass and my Nikon D5100 DSLR.  Those photos were all taken outdoors on a sunny afternoon, and many people said that Glass wouldn’t do nearly as well on indoor photographs.

Well, now we can find out.  I took these photos today.  The Glass version was taken at the same time as the DSLR version, and I was standing (or sitting, or crouching) in the same position for both shots.


























In order to recreate the wide angle view of the Glass lens, I used my ultrawide 10-24mm lens and set it to 14mm.  When I bought my DSLR, I got an 18-55 lens and thought that was as wide as I would ever need.  The only reason I got the 10-24 was to do Milky Way photography.  Most times, that lens is wider than I would want.

However, the idea with Glass was to get the wearer’s perspective.  They wanted the user to be able to capture the moment as he or she was seeing it.  When you use Glass, you’ll be grateful for this choice if only because it makes it easier to capture what you were aiming for.

The lack of a preview screen or viewfinder makes it difficult to compose SOME photographs.  If you’re trying to get certain things (or people) into the shot and keep other things (like a messy corner) out of the shot, you may end up having to use a trial-and-error approach.

However, with the wide angle view, you’re more likely to get the things you want in, and you can always crop other stuff out!


Glass does not do as well with direct light or high contrast situations. However, this problem is to be expected. When that factor is not in play, the Glass photos look almost identical to the photos taken with the DSLR, which is really quite a feat!  Overall, the color intensity was good, details looked nice, and the Glass photographs had depth and dimension.

It was rather difficult to find good subject matter for indoor wide-angle shots.  Those two things don’t really go together, so I set up some odd-but-colorful tableaus which should demonstrate various lighting conditions on a variety of textures and forms.  I hope it helps!

ps:  Today my photos uploaded rather quickly to G+, so I thought I would just download those instead of uploading them from the Glass device via USB.  However, the first one I opened (which was #10) was much smaller than the other Glass photos had been.  To give you a sense of scale, the “GLASS” logo and number were huge by comparison when I dragged them over in Photoshop.  Perhaps there is a secret to downloading the high-resolution versions from G+, or perhaps they’re never uploaded to begin with.

I’ll look into that further, but I thought I should make note of it ASAP in case anyone else tries downloading the G+ images as I did without having the larger versions to compare.  If your photos are not as high-res as mine, that might be why.

GlassAppZ Review: Glassnost

Category : App Reviewz · (2) Comments · by May 2, 2013

Glassnost – an exclusive photo club for Glass Explorers…

…At least that’s how I see it.  Kinda like that swanky lounge at the airport.  Or the high-limit room at the casino.  Post your photo on Glassnost and you are joining the most exclusive party since Google I/O!

It’s easy to get started:

1. Go to and sign up.

Glassnost 1

2.  Turn Glassnost “On” in the Sharing Contacts section of the MyGlass site:

Glassnost 2

3.  Go to a photo you’d like to share and share it to Glassnost.  Glassnost will appear as a sharing option just like any other circles or apps you have turned “On” in Sharing Contacts.

4.  Your photo will appear on the site almost immediately:

Glassnost 3

You can also view Glassnost content from Glass.  A card will appear in your history displaying your most popular photos and how many votes they have gotten.

It’s interesting to see what other people are photographing.  You can vote on a photo by “liking” it on  There’s a popularity ranking based on “likes”.  In fact, the photo I uploaded today is currently #6  :-)


Category : Life through Glass · (1) Comment · by May 2, 2013

Come with me as I explore the Glass Timeline.

Scrolling back a couple of hours, I can see a Times update, a photo, and the results of a Google search:

Timeline 2h

Go back several hours and you’ll see more Times posts:

Timeline 9h

If you have to scroll a long way back, you’ll often get blank cards.  They’ll usually fill in after a moment or two.

Recent timeline

On the other hand, I’ve noticed that photos and videos that I’ve removed from glass by uploading them to the PC leave blank cards behind.

Rather than wait for the photos to upload to Google+, I prefer to use a micro USB to attach Glass to my PC and do a cut and paste to transport them.  I would have thought the “cut” would remove them altogether, and it does remove the image, but the card remains unless you delete it.

last week

Here are some of those photos I took at the gardens last week and…

Last post

….here is the end of the line.

Yes, it appears the timeline only goes back 1 week.  In fact, during the time I’ve been writing, several more of my photos from last week’s garden trip have disappeared.  Not to worry – they uploaded to G+ long ago – but I’ll never again be able to see my very first Google search on Glass.  I’ll never reminisce about my every action from Day 1 as a Glass Explorer :-(

This is really quite a relief, since I’d been wondering how people kept their timeline tidy, what with all those infernal New York Times updates popping up every hour and all those blank cards just taking up space.  It’s nice to know that they will someday be swept away into oblivion.

Like any good problem, I ignored it, and it went away.  Funny how that works out sometimes.

Glass in Action

Category : Photo & Video · (1) Comment · by May 1, 2013

Here are a few Macro shots of the Glass screen in action.

This one will give you a sense of scale:

Glass Bokeh

This is the Glass screen.  The projected image is out of focus, but you can see the top, bottom, right and left edges of the prism clearly.


Now look at a photo of Glass where the message is in focus:



The shots are taken from the back.  That is to say, if you were facing the wearer, this is what you might see on his screen.  To give you a sense of scale, the Glass prism, which is about 1cm high, takes up the entire height of this photo.



And here are the search results.  Of course the ultra-high resolution Glass screen looks much better, and from the front the image looks significantly larger.


It is strangely difficult to photograph the screen from the front.  I’m still working on it, but the focus point is nearly impossible to locate.  Once found, it has a strange effect of being larger on the inside than it is on the outside.  That’s an odd way to say it, but maybe this horrible photo will demonstrate it a bit:


Like I said, I’m working on it.

This photo of Glass was taken from the front – the wearer’s perspective.  The purple blob is the whole screen area, but the card that is displayed here is easily four times larger than what you can see.  It’s a restaurant called Balabans.  I’ve never been there, and I don’t know why the card is there, and I can’t seem to get rid of it.  The card shows a photo of the restaurant on one half and the name and hours on the other half.  You can read “Open until ?0:00 PM” on the photo but, as I said, that’s only a fraction of the card’s content.

So how is it that your eye can see the whole card but the camera’s lens can only see a portion?  Maybe that rumor about Glass projecting an image onto your retina is based in fact…?

Well, I’ll find some way to bring you a better view of the Glass screen!


In case you’re wondering how I get app screenshots, like the ones I used on the New York Times app review, they are screenshots from my phone.  The MyGlass Android app can “Screencast” the Glass content onto my phone’s screen :-)

Don’t stand so close…

Category : Glass vs DSLR, Photo & Video · (1) Comment · by May 1, 2013

This is a quick Glass vs DSLR that illustrates Glass’s limitations in the world of close-up photography.

This is the Glass photo.  The closest flowers are out of focus.  I was standing a few inches away but this is as intimate as the image would get.

Glass Dogwood


The image below is the DSLR version shot with my Nikon D5100 with 60mm Micro Lens:

Dogwood dlsr

Of course you might say “Why are all the flowers in the background blurry?”  If you’re not into impressionistic blur, bokeh effects or other Macro techniques, Glass may be perfect for you.  It’s all just a matter of personal taste.

I remember showing two very different flower photos to my mom once and having her say

“I like the second one better because the background isn’t as blurry.”  Alas, she didn’t know that I had taken a dozen photos of the same exact scene, the only difference being aperture which controls the blurriness of the background.  I picked the one that I thought was just right, then showed it to her along with a completely different image taken from a different angle with changes to the lighting and composition…  In the end, the most vital aspect to her was the blurriness of the background.  She liked less, I liked more.  It’s just personal taste.

So if you like less blurriness, just remember not to stand too close.  Below is a cropped version of the Glass photo where I removed some of the excess clutter (at least I saw it as clutter):

Glass Dogwood crop

And now I will admit that, after seeing the Glass version, I rather liked the deeper focus too.  It would be nice to go back and get a shot that was somewhere between the Glass shot and my original DSLR shot.  Maybe tomorrow…