Exploring expert guidance through Glass

Google Glass is more than just a wearable camera -- it's a way to receive real-time coaching with video chats. CNET's Bridget Carey dons Glass and gets a lesson in archery while in a Google+ Hangout.

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In this special edition of CNET Update, I put Google Glass to the test as a coaching tool. Since I need to learn archery to become a proper heroine (e.g. Katniss, Merida, Lara), I wanted to try an archery coaching session through a Google+ Hangout.

I reached out to CoachUp.com to find a coach that was willing to go on this tech adventure with me. CoachUp connected me with M.J. Rogers, an archery coach in South Dakota who has worked with Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

I traveled to Pro Line Archery Lanes in Queens to do the video chat with Rogers. Once we were connected, I could see Rogers talking from his webcam in my Glass display. But I discovered it was hard to hear him with other people talking in the room.

Rogers and I did several Glass Hangout tests before, and it was easy to hear him from my quiet office. At the indoor archery range, Rogers could hear me just fine, but the Glass speaker wasn't loud enough to overpower the few people talking in the room. That's because the Glass speaker rests against your head behind the ear -- not in your ear. Without a way to turn up volume, it would be nice to have the option to attach earbuds.

While at Pro Line Archery, the archers around me were kind enough to stop talking so I could hear the Hangout better.

The Google Glass team is working on this audio issue, according to Steve Lee, a project director for Google Glass. In the meantime, there is another way to talk in a Hangout. If someone at their computer types a message while in a Hangout chat, the text shows up on the Glass display.

Although the Glass camera doesn't show my true point of view, Rogers said the camera did provide a helpful perspective for him to judge how I'm holding the bow. He could tell I needed to work on my pose when I release the arrow.

Pro Line co-owner Neil Kucich was able to see some problems with my stance that Rogers couldn't see from the Glass camera. I would need to have a mirror near me for Rogers to get the whole picture. Nevertheless, Rogers said he could give coaching tips just from what he saw through Glass -- especially for judging perspective in relationship to the bow.

Using Glass as a learning tool goes far beyond archery. I'll continue to bring you stories about Glass as I spend more time with this wearable computer. If you have suggestions for a good use for Glass, or if you have an idea for a CNET Update Glass adventure, e-mail update@cnet.com.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead. Subscribe to the podcast via the links below.

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