Glance app makes sex – among other things – more interesting

The new Google Glass prescription frames rest on a table at the Google Glass Basecamp space at Chelsea Market, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

BEIRUT: Product design student Sherif Maktabi made a lurid entrance into the realm of software development when he came up with an application called “Sex with Glass” for the Google’s new eyewear technology.

Maktabi, 22 and a Lebanese student at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, caught the attention of British media this month for developing a playful Google Glass application that would spice up things in the bedroom. The app allows couples wearing the glasses to see themselves in the act from their partner’s perspective.

Now under development the app’s iPhone version will also offer plenty of non-erotic uses.

“It’s the idea of using Google Glass to have a more intimate experience,” he told The Daily Star.

Google’s Glass technology is Internet-connected eyewear that includes a small camera allowing users to record what they see as well as view images on a small screen over the right eye.

Maktabi first devised Sex with Glass back in November at a Hackathon, an open event bringing together designers and developers of different backgrounds to meet and create. Since then, the original idea has undergone some serious changes, the first of which was a new, less risqué, name: “Glance.”

When Glance is complete, it will allow users to activate the experience by telling the voice-activated glasses “Ok glass, lights off.” The application will also offer a little Kama Sutra by showing possible positions on the command “Ok glass, give me ideas.”

The original software received mostly positive feedback. Some “99.999 percent were people saying things like, ‘This is amazing. This is so cool. I want to try it. Where can I get it?’” Maktabi said.

A designer – not a developer – Maktabi has since teamed up with graphic designers to see the Glass application through to fruition.

He also realized the ability to view and record two perspectives simultaneously has plenty of non-erotic potential.

Glass technology has in general proved difficult to design for, part of the reason why Maktabi’s innovative use of the eyewear made such a media splash – the other reason being its obvious sex appeal. And he sounds more excited for the array of platonic uses of his future application.

“When we were experimenting with the prototype, we had such a fun time using it for other purposes. It has so much potential,” he said.

He offered the example of a child’s first day at school. Instead of simply getting the parental perspective of a kid walking away toward class, the child’s perspective of the parents letting go is also a significant moment to record. To push other uses for the dual-perspective technology, Maktabi has thrown his energy behind an iPhone application of Glance, which is due to be released in mid-February pending Apple’s approval.

“When you go to a concert and you want to capture the concert, you either film yourself with lots of people going crazy behind you or you video the musicians on the stage. This would allow you to do both,” he said. “As a designer what I care about is making something simple and useful to see two perspectives at once.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 30, 2014, on page 2.




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