University Part of Google’s Glass Explorer Program
March 6, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan is one of the first universities in the state
to be accepted into Google’s Glass Explorer program, a test program that Google launched
in 2013 to explore its latest innovation: a voice activated smart headset that displays
information on the lenses of stylish eyewear. Thanks to University Librarian Karen
Schmidt, students and faculty can devise Glass Explorer projects to test the potential
of this new device for Google.
Google Glass is similar to a smartphone in that it displays the current time and weather
in your location, but can also look up the status of airline flight times, provide
you with directions, answer your questions, translate your voice, take photos and
record videos with the simple command: “OK, Glass” followed by a specific request.
The tiny computer is built into several styles of eyewear frames, and comes in five
colors – charcoal, tangerine, shale, cotton and sky.
Google, Inc. plans to release Glass for purchase by the general public later in 2014,
but is currently seeking candidates for the Explorer Program, which Schmidt recently
applied for. She said she was both surprised and happy to be selected, and after conferring
with members of the campus community, she decided to accept the Glass and donate it
The Ames Library.
“The opportunity for our students to develop creative uses for Google Glass was too
good to pass up,” said Schmidt. “The environment at IWU invites exploration and creativity
among our students and faculty, and introducing Glass to our ‘campus laboratory’ seems
like a natural fit.”
Thus far, music and business administration double major Todd Anderson, ‘14, has used
IWU’s Glass for research he has developed with Elisabeta Pana, associate professor
of business administration.
“As Google Glass Explorers, we search for opportunities to use this cutting edge technology
in higher education. We are excited that our ideas have been met with a lot of interest,”
The Ames Library is currently working with the Office of the Provost to develop a
process to invite and review ideas for usage of IWU’s Glass that might intrigue Google.
According to Provost Green, Glass could prove to be a valuable tool for the group
of faculty who are investigating a design initiative.
For additional information regarding the Google Glass project, contact Schmidt at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (309)-556-3834.