Developers “sneak peek” at Google Glass SDK excites

The initial steps towards Glass development have been slow due to its limited access through the Glass Mirror API – albeit still impressive considering. With the dedicated SDK; aptly known as the GDK (Glass Development Kit) developers will have a whole new set of tools to play with.

Shown at a Hackathon in Google’s San Francisco offices; Timothy Jordan, senior development advocate, unveiled the new SDK to whet the appetites of those following the wearable device.

Previously, applications required an “always connected”-state. With this new release; developers can finally develop offline applications with a real-time user response without any calls to the Cloud.

Direct hardware access is also enabled; further increasing these offline (and online!) abilities through use of the built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers. As you can imagine, this was one of the major complaints of early developers. From now, expect plenty more AR applications.

Another feature - which will especially benefit these AR apps – is a new “immersive” mode; which takes over your entire display for innovative applications. One of the initial implementations is by translation app ‘Word Lens’ which will automatically translate text you’re looking at.

In this mode, the rest of the Glass timelines “fades away” and the typical gestures which controls the UX is replaced by app-specific controls.

For gaming, the perfect example which combines this new immersive mode with the accelerometer and gyroscope functionality is ‘Spellista’ – a word scramble game where you select letters by looking at them in your field of vision.

Whilst plenty of new goodness for developers; there are a couple of user-facing updates which will be instantly beneficial to the Glass experience.

One of these is “live cards” which can live to the left of the home screen and update live as it’s running – such as a stopwatch ticking off time until cleared or accessed with a swipe.

The Strava for Glass app is an example of using this new "live card" view — it lets you view details of your jog or bike ride, to the left of the Glass home screen. It will track distance and MPH, uploads to your account, and can notify you of predefined "segments" such as a challenging section of your ride that you want to see if you beat your PB (Personal Best).

What do you think of the Google Glass SDK and the device’s overall potential?

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