The Verge is reporting that Google has brought the Behavio team into the fold. For those not in the know, Behavio is a real-time analysis system which compiles all available data from mobile devices, including location, other users’ proximity, current noise levels and more. Their Funf framework allows Android developers to leverage that data within apps.
How does this clarify the future of Glass? By injecting steroids into the already awesome Google Now. While Google is the expert at parsing contextual clues from text interactions, Behavio lends that same approach to all of the other forms of data readable in mobile devices. By adding more “real world” clues to the available data pool, Glass can move beyond simply being a new form factor phone strapped to your face, and make the leap into true augmented reality.
It’s quickly apparent all of the ways in which this analysis becomes useful as part of the Glass overlay. Got an appointment for dinner with three friends? Now can feed a real-time update into Glass letting you know that one of them is too far away to make it in time. Like getting bargains? Now can feed a real-time localized price comparison on the product you’re scanning from nearby stores. On a call or Hangout? The Behavio augmented Now can make real-time decisions about volume adjustment and noise suppression, and be reactive to environmental needs. Environmental awareness also means that your Glass camera can make smarter decisions about shutter speed and focus based on your current lighting and movement.
And that’s just the basic boring stuff.
Gaming with Glass will get gamers out into the world, with game developers free to pull real-world data into the experience. Imagine if the free-running game “Mirror’s Edge” replaced button tapping with actual free-running, recording your movement and speed, and sharing leaderboard data from local “boards” around the world. Ingress is awesome; Ingress on Glass will get the most couch locked WoW players in the world up and moving, with animated overlays projected onto a real-world view. Comparing real-time visual data with existing GPS data also means that Google maps become accurate down to the square foot, as users interact with specific geographic locations.
While there are countless exciting app development projects ahead of us, the marriage of Behavio and Google Now signifies a commitment to making Glass more than just a new type of mobile device. The Project Glass team has emphasized repeatedly that Glass is intended to make our mobile tech less intrusive, by taking the data out of our hands, and putting it just outside of our normal field of view; with Behavio and Now, it’s also taking that tech out of our phones, and into the real world.
In other words, my childhood dreams of having a Tricorder are closer than ever to being fulfilled.