For background, read my first post on augmented reality captioning.
I picked up my Google Glass last Thursday. It's certainly an impressive bit of hardware, and I'm very excited about the possibilities for captioning, but of course it's still a prototype device; the consumer models won't be released until after a year of additional quality testing and user feedback. The first pair they gave me had an unresponsive touchpad, and the second pair (the one I have now) seems to have some kind of optical defect that results in a lot of light scattering and glare, which I didn't notice with the first pair. I think I'm going to have to go back to Google to see if they can either repair the problem or give me another pair. The light scattering is just obnoxious, though. It doesn't actually prevent me from using the device. The voice recognition is about as good as one would expect (which is to say, borderline okay when one speaks slowly and deliberately, but pretty terrible with casual speech); no surprises there. It comes with a nice clear plastic lens insert, which will be good to protect the user's eyes in potentially messy situations. It's more lightweight than I expected, and the interface is pleasantly intuitive.
But the really exciting thing is that it seems to be caption-ready pretty much out of the box. I just started a hangout with myself, using my personal Gmail account on Glass and my professional Gmail account on my computer. My computer got video from Glass's camera (which was pointing over the top of my computer monitor, into my apartment's foyer), and Glass got video from my laptop's camera, which showed my own face wearing the admittedly dorky-looking Glass. I muted my laptop's microphone to test the sound quality of Glass's microphone and was impressed with its clarity, though of course we'll have to see how that alters depending on background noise and how far away the people we're captioning stand from the person wearing Glass. Best of all, though, when I typed into the hangout's chat window, the text came up instantly on Glass, with perfect clarity. So even though I haven't actually tested it with my steno machine yet, I think that as long as I use Plover or Eclipse with the Keyboard Macro setting turned on, I'll be able to send captions to Glass without having to commission any additional software. The Wi-Fi in the place I'll be using it is fairly reliable, but if it isn't I can always use my 4G hotspot as a backup. And if the microphone proves to be as good as it seems to be at first glance, I'll be able to caption remotely instead of having to stand next to my client, cramming myself into tiny spaces and generally making a nuisance of myself. The only downside is that I'll have to press "Enter" on my steno machine (which I've mapped to R-R, because it uses the two strongest fingers of the hands) after everything I write. But that won't be so terrible. I actually had to do that when I captioned a webinar two weeks ago, using Plover with the closed captioning feature built into InstantPresenter.com. It's a little tricky to get into the rhythm of pressing Enter each time, but it's certainly not a dealbreaker. More concerning is that Glass's display is designed to be above and to the right of a typical user's line of sight, forcing the user to glance upwards whenever they want to read anything on it, which might result in some eyestrain after constant use. I also haven't tested the battery life yet, though I'm hoping that Glass's battery will be able to withstand at least an hour or two of constant video chat. It's all very promising. Now I just have to get that optical defect sorted out, and then start testing it out with clients!
Our accessible cyberpunk future is so close, I can practically taste it.