Wearable computers and electric cars. Two things you might not think have much in common--but one app developer is exploring ways of linking the two cutting-edge technologies.
Glasstesla is the brainchild of software engineer Sahas Katta, and pairs certain car functions with the abilities of Google's unique augmented reality headset.
For the time being, reports Forbes, this has involved reverse-engineering Tesla's official Android app to work with Google Glass, as there's no official development toolkit available.
Katta--in the fortunate position of being one of Google's "Google Glass Explorer" beta testers and knowing a family member with a Model S--was able to put the two together, and rustled up something over the course of a weekend.
While Glasstesla has all the features of the regular Model S Android app, it focuses on those which are best used while the wearer isn't actually driving.
That means simple functions such as changing the car's temperature, opening windows, unlocking and locking the doors and managing charging can all be accessed through the futuristic spectacles. So too can a location function, just in case you've forgotten where you parked the car.
Katta's next target will be implemented when Google opens up a voice-activated interface for Glass. This would then allow app users to control functions of the car while it's driving, without having to revert to the Model S's huge display screen--opening the sunroof, or changing the temperature for example.
It could be useful when parked, too--"We’ll soon be able to do something along the lines of being able to say ‘OK Glass, open the trunk,’ for when you’re carrying groceries and your hands aren’t free," Katta told Forbes. Or the frunk, if you so choose...
Currently, the technology is relevant only to a limited number of people--Tesla owners who also happen to be Google Glass Explorers, essentially.
But there's little stopping similar apps being developed when Glass hits the mainstream, and for a wider range of electric vehicles too. “I think this absolutely highlights the potential of wearable technology and how it will interact with the tools we use every day,” said Katta.
As Forbes notes, the real problem then is getting legislators to accept computing that can be used while a driver is operating a vehicle.
Not that Google doesn't have a solution to that too--it is developing automated vehicles, after all...
[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]