Pratt students got a look at one of the newest pieces of technology this week, even before it’s readily available on the market.
Google Glass is a wearable computer that takes pictures and video, records audio, sends email and accesses the Internet. It can be triggered with a wink, by nodding the head, tapping or swiping the side of the device or by voice command.
Anything you can do with a smartphone, you can do with Google Glass, said Katie Ann Wilson, technology teacher at Liberty Middle School. She received donations to purchase the $1500 device for her classes.
The device was made available to testers in 2013 and sold to consumers for a limited time period beginning April 15.
Students in Heather Teasley’s Southwest Elementary kindergarten class visited Wilson’s seventh grade technology class on Monday to work together on a project, with the older students serving as helpers.
The younger students were happily coloring pictures — flat, two-dimensional pages that became three-dimensional. Fireworks exploded. Carousels turned. The magic happened with an augmented reality app on their iPads.
Teasley’s students had used augmented reality in other assignments. They especially like the flash cards that bring up three-dimensional images of dinosaurs, allowing them see replicas of the beast from all angles.
Seventh graders learn keyboarding, computer applications and ways to use a variety of technology in real life.
Augmented reality is used a lot for advertising, Wilson said, and in the movie “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Before it was released in 2012, fans could download a Spider-Man augmented reality app for a preview.
On a practical level, augmented reality is used in science and medicine, to show the layers of the body, Teasley said.
She was excited about Google Glass as a tool to take notes in conferences.
There are some “glitches.” Wilson said she has to wear her hair in a ponytail to keep the device in direct contact with her skull, and the noise level in the combined classroom was too high to use voice commands.
There are also privacy issues. Some companies have reportedly placed signs in their businesses preventing the wearing of the Google Glass.