Who said that Google‘s fashionable wearable computer is meant to be used only for reality, real or augmented? As Android developer Mike DiGiovanni shows, Google Glass can also be used to give an augmented gaming experience, demonstrating it with the popular game Grand Theft Auto.
What Mike has done was to practically display the game’s in-game GPS interface right on Google Glass as the rendering (not a real picture) above illustrates. An app on the PC captures the part of the screen showing the in-game GPS and transmits that image via WiFi, which is then received by an Android app running on Glass, which in turn displays the image as a sort of faux GPS system. Currently, the setup runs at 10 frames per second only, not really ideal in a fast-paced game like GTA. However, given the limitations, especially with Google’s Glass SDK, or lack thereof, it’s a mighty convincing hack in itself.
But more than just a (hopefully) fun project, it is also a powerful proof-of-concept. More and more games and consoles these days are using mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, turning them into secondary displays or interfaces that adds a bit of flair, if not utility, to the gaming experience. A secondary game visual display or interface would be a perfect fit for Glass. You don’t even have to worry about legal issues as long as you’re playing at home, although Mike says players might still accidentally run into virtual pedestrians.
As it is now, the system is limited to the PC version of GTA, specifically GTA 3 from way back in 2001. Maybe we’ll see a better and more updated version once Google releases a real Glass SDK and when Glass itself becomes more widely available next year.