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The other Google Glass thread seems to mostly be about pros/cons of the technology and whether or not people agree with using it.

In this thread, I'd like to start a separate brainstorming discussion to come up with ideas for sailing-related applications and tools, and to discuss their related details. That way, people can start development, and there could be useful, sailing-related apps already available for the Glass upon its official release.

However, I'm pretty new to sailing - I don't have much experience yet, and I have a no-frills dinghy. As such, I don't have the benefit of the knowledge and experience that the rest of you have to know what's useful and what's not. But I'm a serious technophile, so I'm really excited about Glass and its potential uses.

What I do have is software development experience, a desire to create tools that members of our community can benefit from, and a Glass prototype that should be arriving sometime this week.

I expect my first experiment will be to create a simple HUD that will display available data (course? speed? other stuff?). But once I "get my feet wet" with that, I plan to move on to more complicated things. Which is the reason for this thread.

For those of you that are open to using something like Glass, I'd love to hear your ideas for apps, tools, interfaces, etc. I can't promise that I can make them happen, but I think it would be worthwhile (and fun) to try.

For those of you are that are opposed to this technology, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. But I'd like to ask that you not voice those opinions in this thread, but rather, use the other thread. I would prefer that any criticism here be constructive and dedicated to identifying or refining ideas for future tools/apps.

Thanks!
Bill
 

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Bill,

If I was going to use it, I might divide use into 2 programs. One for off shore work, like a HUD for the chart plotter. And one for coast wise use.

I think that the coast one would not take much more than displaying the "ActiveCaptain Companion" data. OR the display from "Smart Chart AIS" app.



Greg
 

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For sure one function would be to get a bearing on an object you look at and describe. For example "R 16", or water tower. If distance was also available, so much the better.
Not your bailiwick, but the lenses should be "transition" and polarized. The glasses should come with a new yet to be developed but very comfortable retention device.
I will think of more.
Nice idea,
John
 

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I was accepted into their Explorer program - but at $1,500 I just don't see the appeal.
 

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Not your bailiwick, but the lenses should be "transition" and polarized.
John

Polarized yes. Photochromic - absolutely not.

Such lenses have been identified as a contributing factor when the Ouzo was run down by a freighter.

The seaman lookout’s glasses
The lookout’s photochromic glasses were sent to University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology to assess whether they might have had an adverse effect upon his night vision.

The glasses were examined and a report was prepared (Annex 1), which concluded that the optical transmission of the lenses was no more than 80% efficient and, taking into account all of the other known factors, was probably less at the time of the accident. This compares to 94.7% and 99.4% optical transmittance of ordinary uncoated and coated lenses, respectively. This was a startling result as the consequences of such a reduction in night vision had not been fully appreciated by opticians and ophthalmologists before the investigation of this accident.

The report also stated that it would be correct to assume that a uniform reduction in brightness due to the optical density of the lenses would decrease the likelihood that a subject would detect the lights of shipping vessels.

It appears, therefore, that the lookout’s glasses would have been a contributory factor when considering why Ouzo’s lights were not seen earlier. However, there are no rules or guidelines concerning the wearing of such glasses on the bridge of a vessel at night. This incident has raised a serious concern that glasses fitted with photochromic lenses are inappropriate for use by lookouts on the bridge of merchant vessels. It also raises the question of applicability of use by operators in other modes of transport.

The MAIB also requested the Institute of Ophthalmology to test lenses from the major tinted photochromic lens manufacturers to determine whether the concerns raised in the initial report regarding the lookout’s glasses were widespread, and not just applicable to that particular pair or manufacturer (see Annex 2). The report concluded that all of the photochromic lenses tested showed significant reductions in the amount of transmitted light.
However the lenses of the glasses supplied for test by the MAIB were significantly inferior to the other currently commercially available lenses indicating that either manufacturers have improved the performance of their photochromic materials, or that the performance of photochromic glasses is reduced with time. As at least one manufacturer only guarantees the performance of lenses for 2 years, the latter reason may be the most likely.

This is obviously an additional concern regarding photochromic lens glasses, however it is outside the scope of this investigation.
Marine Accident Investigation: Ouzo
 

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Off hand the first place I can see adoption is by racers who have big toy budgets already. So I would look at duplicating the data of something like a tac-tic repeater. My wish list would be speed, wind speed, course, lifts and throws.

Long term adding chart plotter data, active captain data, ect would be great. But I see cruisers being slower to adopt that a racing crew.

I could also see something like a LAN, where the skipper could give a command to tack, and everyone would get a warning, what type of set at the mark, possibly voice communication... I am not familure enough with the capabilities of Glass to be sure what is even possible. But I can't think of a few boats that wouldn't blink at spending $1,500 a crew member if they could all get this type of capability.
 

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Polarized yes. Photochromic - absolutely not.

Such lenses have been identified as a contributing factor when the Ouzo was run down by a freighter.



Marine Accident Investigation: Ouzo
Thanks Jack. I had no idea that the situation was that bad. The reason I said "transitions" is that I have two sets if these glasses, one transitions and another a no name Chinese product. The transitions were great (for more than five years), but the no name product was slow to react and after 10 months the photochromic layer began to separate and the glasses became useless. I now use regular tinted glasses or my regular untinted glasses. But that is good information.
John
 

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What I do have is ... a Glass prototype that should be arriving sometime this week.
I hate you so very, very much right now. If my jealously could be given form, it'd look something like this:


That aside, I too am an Android software developer and would think that the first, most important thing to get working would be obtaining & parsing the NMEA communications form boat devices. From that, you get most of the "cool" details at which point it comes down to UI design.

The size of the Glass display isn't fantastic, so I'd personally go with a display of wind speed/direction, boat speed/direction, and perhaps depth sounding if present. These are things I want to know right now, chart plotting is cool and all but much harder, requires more data, and you need the NMEA comms to put you on the map anyway :)

Been sketching out ideas on this for a while now, so feel free to hit me up via PM if you want a longer discussion.
 
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The size of the Glass display isn't fantastic, so I'd personally go with a display of wind speed/direction, boat speed/direction, and perhaps depth sounding if present. These are things I want to know right now, chart plotting is cool and all but much harder, requires more data, and you need the NMEA comms to put you on the map anyway :)
Right.. and low-power Wifi might be easier than Bluetooth to serve the NMEA data from a central server (with alert inputs) to more than one headset simultaneously.
 

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After reading the replies so far, I think the BEST would be to be able to pick what I want to see, and then select where on the screen to see it. That way when on one type of cruise I can use set one set, then when racing I could select another group.

One of the BEST games I ever had was a "Pinball" maker program. I could select from a lot of items and place them on the screen where I wanted them, then play the game.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your ideas so far. I'm not ignoring you, I've just been playing with my new toy ;)

Here's some feedback based on your ideas. Keep in mind, this is just off the top of my head, so answers/details could change after I start researching.

Also, I'm not trying to "poo-poo" anyone's ideas - just thinking out loud, and trying to identify any areas that might be problematic so we can start thinking of ways to get around the issues.

I think that the coast one would not take much more than displaying the "ActiveCaptain Companion" data. OR the display from "Smart Chart AIS" app.
I think this would be great functionality to have. Though, so far, there doesn't appear to be a way to create an interface/display (of the type needed anyway) for someone else's app. So unless those apps are modified by their creators to make use of Glass, it will likely require creating competing apps from the ground up.


For sure one function would be to get a bearing on an object you look at and describe. For example "R 16", or water tower. If distance was also available, so much the better.
I think this would be possible to some degree, but I wonder how accurate/usable it would be with current technology. I don't think giving it a verbal description would work well, but it could possible identify "likely" targets that you could then choose from. Not sure- definitely something that I'd like to look into though.

As for the distance - based on what I've seen, that should be possible, though I'm not sure what the margin of error would be.


Off hand the first place I can see adoption is by racers who have big toy budgets already. So I would look at duplicating the data of something like a tac-tic repeater. My wish list would be speed, wind speed, course, lifts and throws.
Being a HUD for tac-tic should be straightforward since it outputs NMEA. It should just be a matter of figuring out how to get the data to the Glass (I still have a lot of reading to do about NMEA, CAN, etc), and parse it.

I could also see something like a LAN, where the skipper could give a command to tack, and everyone would get a warning, what type of set at the mark, possibly voice communication...
Basically visual cues and alerts, instead of shouting back and forth at each other. That's a very interesting idea.


That aside, I too am an Android software developer and would think that the first, most important thing to get working would be obtaining & parsing the NMEA communications form boat devices. From that, you get most of the "cool" details at which point it comes down to UI design.
I totally agree. I'm slightly familiar with NMEA, but only direct via serial (handheld GPS), so I've got to get up to speed on CAN and whatever wired/wireless protocols are typically used. Then once the learning curve is dealt with, I'll have to either acquire or mock up a data source. And I guess eventually find a way to get data to Glass from devices that aren't wireless (maybe a simple wireless bridge made out of an arduino or something - or maybe there's already something off-the-shelf - I haven't looked yet).

Been sketching out ideas on this for a while now, so feel free to hit me up via PM if you want a longer discussion.
Thanks, I'll do that. :)



After reading the replies so far, I think the BEST would be to be able to pick what I want to see, and then select where on the screen to see it. That way when on one type of cruise I can use set one set, then when racing I could select another group.
I think separate customizable display profiles are a great idea.

I used to have a little real-time diagnostic computer for the car (until it was stolen :mad: ) that you could choose what data values you wanted to display, where on the screen, and on what "page" (there were multiple screens that you could flip through). Really nifty.




So with all of that said, I'm going to get experimenting with the device, and start digging into NMEA related stuff.

In the mean time, feel free to post any other ideas, wishes, etc., that you come up with.

Bill
 

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Thanks everyone for your ideas so far. I'm not ignoring you, I've just been playing with my new toy ;)
Congratulations!.. Sounds like fun :)

I totally agree. I'm slightly familiar with NMEA, but only direct via serial (handheld GPS), so I've got to get up to speed on CAN and whatever wired/wireless protocols are typically used. Then once the learning curve is dealt with, I'll have to either acquire or mock up a data source. And I guess eventually find a way to get data to Glass from devices that aren't wireless (maybe a simple wireless bridge made out of an arduino or something - or maybe there's already something off-the-shelf - I haven't looked yet).
From the limited knowledge I have, if I were in your position, for prototyping I'd suggest sticking with serial NMEA0183 output from something like a Tacktick unit and using Bluetooth serial modems for your "wireless" link. That'll be fine just to get a single GG system going and should be easier to fault-find than CAN/Wifi straight up (not to mention, an awful lot cheaper).

How to Setup a Wireless RS232 Link Step-by-Step : Serial Data Communication by U.S. Converters LLC

You can worry about the networking later.
 

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Gosh it seems so obviously. Just take what you see on a Magellan GPS charter/plotter with blue tooth integration of on boat instruments. Glass displays various screens on voice command, plus it can take pictures and videos. This negates the need for on board displays and any crew member with Glass can see what they wish, where ever they are, if they have Google glass. Glass becomes only an interactive display unit. All computation and reception by an auxillary unit.
 
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