Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Offers Sneak Peek At Latest Google Glass Software Update

April 16th, 2014

Google Glass owners have been waiting since December for what used to be monthly software updates. The wait will be over later this week.

Google offered a preview of the changes that are coming in the XE16 software update, which is due to be pushed out to Explorers later this week.

The biggest change mentioned is an upgrade to KitKat, the current version of Android software, as the underlying software that Glass will run. With it, Google says battery life will improve and Glass will be more reliable and easier to update in the future. It also means Glass developers can take advantage of the current Android developer features.

Also noteworthy is Google’s decision to drop the video calling feature from Glass. The company says fewer than 10 percent of Explorers use Glass for video calls, and the feature just isn’t up to par. It may return later, but the more likely scenario is that third-party developers will make apps that offer a similar feature.

Although the final list of updates isn’t known, Google also shared details about new features like photo bundles, photo replies in Hangouts, easier feedback from within Glass and automated sorting of voice commands.

XE16 will be released later this week.


Eyes to the future: UW Vet School has started using Google Glass

March 25th, 2014

In an effort to find a method to record surgical videos from a first person point of view, University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine is one of the first schools to implement Google Glass technology.

Last semester, Tyler Gregory, an instructional designer at the School of Veterinary Medicine, was approached by several clinical professors to assist them in recording surgical videos from a first person point of view, which gave him the idea to use Google Glass. Google Glass is a wearable, voice-controlled device that resembles a pair of reading glasses and displays information directly in the user’s field of vision.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Jason Bleedorn, began recording his surgeries using Google Glass technologies earlier this year.

“The genesis was mainly to try to capture the surgeon’s perspective for teaching students, residents and other trainees,” Bleedorn said.

In the past, Bleedorn said they had various pictures and videos from cases taken by a person leaning over his shoulder, or even more cumbersome, he would have to step back, allow someone to take a picture, then return to his surgical procedure.

Bleedorn said he wanted something that he would be able to control himself and allow him to get genuine footage during his procedures.

Bleedorn is currently working on constructing an online learning module that will allow students to follow every stage of his work with a patient from initial examination to surgery, Gregory said. The process involves compiling photo, video and Google Glass footage and converting them to teachable resources, he said.

Both Bleedorn and Gregory said they are optimistic about ways this technology can be used in a surgical setting. They said they see potential in the technology for use ranging from filming video for student instruction to using it as a direct part of the treatment by displaying X-ray images on its screen during surgery, or even as a way to broadcast real-time footage to locations outside of the operating room.

Bleedorn works specifically with small animals and said when he operates only about two or three residents can be scrubbed in at a time. The only way students can view the surgery as it happens is through live-streaming footage through a camera mounted in the ceiling, he said.

Despite his initial apprehensions, Google Glass captures wide-view, high-definition footage rather than narrowly focused, low quality video, Bleedorn said. Being able to broadcast the footage he captures from his own perspective would provide a better service to his students, he said.

However, with every new form of technology, the early phases include rapid software updates and bug fixes and Bleedorn and Gregory said the technology is promising, but has some flaws.

“There’s still some fine-tuning involving limitations with the current software. You can only record a short segment of video,” Bleedorn said.

In a surgical setting, sterilization is a crucial requirement for safe practice, Bleedorn said. Right now, Google Glass is programmed to turn off after a short period of time to preserve battery, which is not ideal in surgeries that are ongoing for up to several hours, he said.

Gregory said he has already sent requests to programmers to attend to these issues and believes upcoming software updates will resolve them.

Bleedorn and Gregory said they could see this technology benefiting complementary programs at the med school or even programs or research projects in the school of engineering.

“One of the big draws to me to veterinary school and specifically Wisconsin was to be on that forefront and be moving things forward … I think we have a service to the animals to provide a better quality of care and new techniques,” Bleedorn said in a video published on the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine Youtube channel.


Kayak Renews Contract with Google’s ITA Software

February 7th, 2014

“Our relationship with ITA is continuing,” Robert Birge, Kayak’s chief marketing officer, said today. “We currently utilize fare information from Amadeus, ITA, Travelfusion, airlines and online travel agencies.”

“In order to ensure the most accurate and comprehensive flight search results in the industry, we obtain data from multiple sources and continually optimize our global flight search technology and data requirements.”

At one point, loss of ITA technology would have been considered a punch in the gut to Kayak, but it isn’t considered as critical as it once was because Amadeus’ Meta Pricer product appears to have gained some ground. Amadeus currently provides Kayak with a majority of its international airfares, and supplements ITA for domestic fares.

The consent agreement in Google’s acquisition of ITA Software called for Google to renew Kayak’s ITA agreement on similar terms through October 2016, but Kayak noted last year that if ITA doesn’t provide the same enhancements that are available to Google’s own flight product, Google Flight Search, then Kayak “may be unable to operate our business effectively and our financial performance may suffer.”


Get Adobe Flash player