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A peek at the Google Glass Developer Kit

By Paul Williams / June 27, 2013


With the Google Glass hardware still in a public beta phase, Google has played coy with an actual release date for the Google Glass Developer Kit, but a late summer or early fall arrival is probable.

Marketers and developers clamoring to experiment with this new tech currently use the Mirror API to create apps for Glass. However, the functionality is limited to web services and rendering content to the Glass display. According to a report in Engadget, the Glass SDK will allow Android apps to run on the actual Glass hardware and utilize device features like location detection and motion recognition.

Considering the unique presentation offered by Google Glass, brands need to decide if it’s better to port their current Android apps to Glass or tailor it to the wearable experience.

How the Mirror API simplifies Glass development

Google first mentioned the upcoming release of the Glass SDK in a Google I/O session called Developing for Glass. The session mostly served as an introduction to the Mirror API, which leverages common programming and protocol standards. If you or your developers have a simple idea for a Glass app, the Mirror API is probably a good choice.

Glassware, web services developed for Glass, are Cloud-deployed and accessed by Glass without running code directly on the device. Google recommends building your first piece of Glassware on top of one of their starter projects using your choice of Java, Python, PHP or another supported language. Start tinkering with Glassware or the Mirror API now and you’ll be well prepared for the full developer kit that’s coming.

Google Glass Developer Kit adds extra functionality

According to Google, the Mirror API can provide almost 90% of what it takes to make a quality Glass experience. The Glass SDK will get your team the rest of the way by offering your programmers the ability to build offline apps that actually run on the Glass hardware. While some pundits are excited about the SDK’s potential to bring popular Android apps to Glass, others can’t wait to see what new and exciting native apps will pop up once developers truly embrace the Glass user experience.

Either way, it’s a win/win. So if you plan on exploring the new Glass ecosystem, the Mirror API will serve as an excellent introduction while Google finishes up the Glass SDK.