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Tom Simonite

A View from Tom Simonite

Google Glass Teaches Sergey Brin the Value of SnapChat

Google’s cofounder says the wearable computer Google Glass has taught him the value of communicating using only photos.

  • July 3, 2013

Can it be long before Google adds photo-based messaging to its wearable computer Google Glass? The New York Times reported this week that after recently snapping a photo of his food using Glass, Google cofounder Sergey Brin began to think about the value of sending messages consisting only of photos:

“It was fascinating to see that I could just reply to a text message with a photo,” Mr. Brin said in an interview. He didn’t need to type or say anything; the image was enough.

Sending photos as messages is hardly something new. Brin is surely aware that picture messaging has been possible using cell phones for a long time, and every day 200 million photos are sent via the photo messaging app SnapChat.

However, Bring seems to be arguing that Glass makes purely photo-based communication more practical. A person wearing the device can take a snap just by looking at something and saying “Okay, Glass, take a picture” (or winking if you use this hack).

Glass doesn’t currently have a built-in feature for purely photo-based messaging, nor does there seem to yet be an app for it. Whether Brin is to make it happen or not, the fast growing popularity of SnapChat suggests that will likely soon change. On Google’s part, it’s plausible that a photo-messaging feature could be added to the company’s social network Google+, which is closely integrated into the Glass software. Third-party app developers—perhaps even those at SnapChat—are also likely to release photo-messaging apps for Glass before too long.

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