What does Google Glass do?

This post strives to be a comprehensive, up-to-date list of what cool things Glass can do, to help answer the common question people ask me: what does Glass do?

Hopefully, it will also contain a couple of tips/tricks newer Explorers may not be aware of.


  • Glass shows a small square in the top-right corner of your vision. It's transparent and only there when you tip your head up or touch the side.
  • You can say "Ok Glass" or touch the side to navigate the menu options.
  • "Google..." will search for what you say. If it's a contextual question, like "Ok Glass, Google, do I need an umbrella tomorrow?", Glass will reply to you, similar to Siri.
  • Conversational search is a neat feature here. Some examples:
  • "Who is the president of the United States?" "How old is he?"
  • "Should I wear a jacket today?"
  • "Do I need an umbrella tomorrow?" "How about this weekend?"
  • Google can also translate sentences, i.e. "say Hello in Chinese"
  • Take pictures by winking, saying "Ok Glass, take a picture", or pressing the shutter button.
  • Take video by saying "Ok Glass, take a video", or holding the shutter button
  • Send pictures, view and reply to text messages, make phone calls
  • Video call people on Hangouts
  • Get directions to places via walking or driving

Glassware (the official apps)

  • Translate words you see by saying "Ok Glass, translate this..." and looking at a word. The old word is blurred out and replaced with the translated one.
  • Evernote syncs with your Evernote account and makes quick notes.
  • Allthecooks Recipes lets you cook and see the recipe, without getting junk on your paper or phone.
  • Compass is a neat heads-up display
  • Stopwatch and Timer do exactly what you'd expect
  • Google Now will tell you the weather, traffic information, news, etc., on your timeline.

Things to point out

  • Glass only covers part of your vision, and really only when you look at it. By default, the screen is off, and even when it's on, it's a blur in your peripheral when you're not glancing at it. Much safer than looking down at your GPS unit, ahem.
  • Glass can have earbuds attached to it, but without them, it uses a bone-conducting speaker that sends sound waves into your ear. Physics.
  • Prescription (or even blank) lenses can be attached to make them look more natural.
  • The device is beta and a lot of cool new features are on the way.
  • No, we're not recording you. The battery life is too short for that.

Subject to be updated as I discover more, or as Glass is updated.

tl;dr: It's a super easy to use smartphone on your face.