Google Glass meets the Container Terminal



Tjerk Smit, Frontend Developer, De Voorhoede, Amsterdam, Netherlands


In 2012, Google introduced a new type of wearable technology called Google Glass, a small, smart device that is worn the same as any pair of average glasses. Google Glass, or simply ‘Glass’, is part of the ‘wearables’ revolution that is happening in the contemporary era. All kinds of small wearable devices are entering the market such as smartwatches, smartbands, as well as the aforementioned glasses. These new devices are not only for recreation, they can also assist people in their working environments, and what’s more, this type of technology can provide new possibilities for port software solutions. In this article I will elaborate on these possibilities.

The design

Google Glass features a small screen above the right eye and is a so called optical headmounted display (OHMD). This means that the display is transparent and in the user’s field of view. The screen has a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels and the perceived size of the screen can be compared to standing three metres in front of a 25-inch television screen.

Google Glass features an integrated camera for taking pictures and recording videos, and with the combination of the OHMD and the camera, one can use functionalities such as remote first person perspective or remote device perspective. For example, with remote first person perspective, a remote expert can watch through the eyes of an employee who is working in the field with Google Glass. Remote device perspective on the other hand makes it possible to display a camera stream from another device on the Glass screen.

Glass is controlled by voice commands and a touchpad on the side of the device. The voice commands make it possible to control the glass handsfree, a fundamental concept of Glass. If you are to say “Okay, Glass” the technology is activated and Glass will await a voice command. To film a video, one should say “Okay, Glass, take a video”, and similarly, a picture can be taken by saying “Okay, Glass, take a photo”. These are examples of what are known as microinteractions. Microinteractions are contained product moments that revolve around a single use case. This is what Glass is all about. When you wear Google Glass you have short interactions with it throughout the day.


With Bluetooth and WiFi, Glass can be connected to other smart devices (for instance, a smartphone), and it is possible to receive and make calls whilst

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