Designer: Mirror API for Glass 'awfully prohibited and closed'

A limited app-programming interface doesn't deter Toronto-based design firm from dreaming up uses for Google's tech-savvy eyewear.

The little engine that could, but can't just yet. Google

As Google chugs forward with Glass, there's a feeling in the air that we're on the cusp of a major revolution in wearable technology. However, Google's limited Mirror app-programming interface (API) for Glass leaves much to be desired, according to one Canadian design firm.

In a conversation with CNET, a rep with Toronto-based creative agency Playground said that the limited architecture of the Mirror API was "surprising" because it's "awfully prohibited and closed." To be sure, Google announced the API as a preview offering , even going as far as to ask developers to "come dream with us." However, the Canadian design company -- and surely many other developers -- want deeper access to Glass.

In a well-produced video, Playground shows how a future with Glass might appear.

Glass-enhanced scenarios include scanning bar codes of products and instantly seeing if the items are cheaper elsewhere; keeping a live tally of your spending at the supermarket; conducting an interactive 911 video chat with estimated arrival time for emergency services; displaying live scoreboards of sporting events; and showing player information while playing video games.

According to the Playground rep, who did not want to be identified in this story, the apps in the video are "technically feasible from every metric, but not possible with the current Mirror API."

Dave Senior, a partner at Playground, elaborated, saying: "The obstacles standing in the way of these applications are the limited software platform and the battery constraints of the Glass hardware. With a bigger battery, Glass could have a larger on-board processor, more sensors and run applications that were much more resource-intensive.

"Additionally, with a more robust device-to-device API, Glass could borrow processing power, bandwidth, and sensors from a smartphone to create new types of experiences," he said.

Read more of Senior's thoughts about the video and the potential for Glass.

Of course, with Google I/O kicking off Wednesday, Google may release a much more robust API package for Glass developers. Until then, we're left with our dreams.

 

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