Google’s Project Glass

Google has posted a video about Project Glass – a concept technology that enables a heads-up display through a pair of wearable glasses. Termed Google Glasses by some, this product will enable users to access Google’s growing basket of services through a combination of voice and gesture commands.  This product, which is rumored to hit the market by the end of the year (plausibly in a less finessed form?) and is being tested in the wild, will provide augmented reality displays by pulling data from Google Search, Maps, and Plus, and also have calendar, contact book, music player, and video conferencing capabilities. Images of the glasses show a rather minimalistic design, thus it is possible that the glasses will connect to a base station (an Android phone perhaps?) via bluetooth for memory storage, GPS, phone and internet access capabilities.

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YouTube adding more free Indian TV content

Google’s India strategy has taken another critical step forward with the addition of 19,000 episodes of 300 Indian TV programs in six different languages. These programs come from YouTube‘s TV partners –  Sony Entertainment Television, Colors, ImagineTV, Star India, and VikatanTV.

This addition of content comes on the heels of the huge success of Google’s YouTube BoxOffice, which offers free Bollywood movies.  As I had mused earlier,

The rapid growth in internet users, expected proliferation of smartphones, and increasing availability of free, legal online content in India can together have potentially massive impacts on consumer viewing & consumption habits. Is Google’s offering of free Bollywood movies just a strategy aimed at growing internet adoption or a harbinger of the future?  A future where copious amounts of digital advertising will make Indian movies free for online consumers? A future where the internet will become a viable 3rd channel for production houses and movie studios in India?

Image via Google

Read more at YouTube Blog: 19,000+ episodes of Indian TV on YouTube Shows.

Google Search history provides a snapshot of the present

This infographic by Google showcases the real-time changes in what people were searching for on Google during this year’s Super Bowl. This offers an interesting snapshot into the how people researched the teams prior to the event and changed their searches according to the on field action during the event. Most interestingly, there was a huge movement towards mobile search during the event.

This makes one wonder, if scientists of the future will one day be able to piece together our present by scanning our collective Google search history.

Image via Google

See the original Google article and infographic here.

More recap of news from Google

Besides the Great Google Data Merge, the past couple of months have seen some other interesting news about Google. It was business as usual as Google announced the discontinuation of several products and the introduction of some others. Google Sky Map was open-sourced into a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University (similar to the App Inventor model with MIT), and Picknik and the Social Graph API were retired. On the other hand, Google released updates for the Google Bar and Google Docs for Android and introduced Chrome for Android. There was also the small issue of receiving approvals from the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice for its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility.

 

 

 

MIT launches App Inventor Beta

Google‘s App Inventor has been reborn. The MIT Center for Mobile Learning has announced the opening of the Beta version of App Inventor to the public.

App Inventor provides a graphical interface for programming, thereby allowing users to create Android apps without the need for fancy programming skills. While Google discontinued its support for App Inventor on December 31, 2011, it tied up MIT to opensource the project.

Català: Interfície App Inventor

Image via Wikipedia

MIT’s involvement in the project has made it more class-room and educator friendly. MIT also plans to add several learning resources to its APP Inventor website.

App Inventor will now be suitable for any use, including running classes.

A list of education resources for App Inventor can be found here.

We will also be developing more resources and support for using App Inventor as a learning tool. We look forward to working with you over the coming months to build the community of App Inventor educators.

Read more at Announcing: MIT App Inventor Open Beta Preview | App Inventor Edu.

The Great Google Data Merge

Just over a month ago, Google announced a major change in the way it manages its customers’ data and thus does business. Google announced that it was updating its privacy policies and Terms of Service.

 

we’re rolling out a new main privacy policy that covers the majority of our products and explains what information we collect, and how we use it, in a much more readable way

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

Image via Wikipedia

 

This change involved an explicit merging of user data across all Google services. Thus the content of a message on Gmail can now be used by Google to provide more relevant search results to the user.

 

Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.

 

 

While this change has many user experience benefits, it also raises several privacy concerns. Data protection agencies in the European Union are already suggesting that these changes may fall foul of EU law. In the mean time, Google has launched an aggressive campaign to ‘educate’ its users about its new policies. These changes came into effect on March 1, 2012.

 

 

 

While we’ve undertaken the most extensive user education campaign in our history to explain the coming changes, we know there has been a fair amount of chatter and confusion.

 

 

 

 

 

Read more from Google here and here.

 

 

 

 

Google’s continuing SME agenda in India

As part of its continuing push to grab market share by growing the Indian online market, Google has released a new video. The video, termed ‘Tanjore – The web is what you make of it’, depicts the opportunities and potential of having a web presence.

Inspired by the real story of G. Rajendran, an artist from Tamil Nadu (Southern India) who used the web to bring the dying art of “Tanjore” paintings back to life and became a successful businessman in the process.