Monday, March 17, 2014

First state government app for Google Glass is transit-related

Ever wonder when the next bus is going to arrive?  If you're in Utah, you can find out by putting on your glasses-- your Google glasses that is., the state's portal, has launched OnTime for Glass, the first-of-its-kind transit tracking app for Google Glass. (Google Glass is a wearable, voice-controlled Android device that resembles a pair of eyeglasses and displays information directly in the user's field of vision.) With OnTime, Glass users will be able to receive notifications for an approaching train or bus, view route information and track public transit vehicle locations in real time.

“OnTime for Glass brings Glassware to transit riders in a unique app that notifies them when their vehicle is approaching,” said David Fletcher, Utah chief technology officer. “Wearable technology is a huge opportunity to provide better online experiences for our citizens. And where better to focus than on mobile services where so much of what we do today can be augmented by technology.”

Utah is the first state website to create an application for Google Glass. Although the glasses aren't available to the general public yet, Utah has a number of people participating in Google's beta program, which the company calls "Glass Explorers."

 "We have a large development community in Utah," said Fletcher. "You can see people wearing Google Glass around here."

When smartphones first took off, Fletcher felt his state was a little behind the curve in terms of offering mobile services. With the arrival of wearable technology, Utah didn't want to find itself playing catch-up again.

"By creating a Glass app now, we can see what the interface is like and how people are responding to it, before it becomes mainstream," said Fletcher.

Do you think more state agencies should develop apps for Google Glass or do you think it's just a fade that won't last?  Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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