Three New Google Glass Apps Make Toronto the Most Glass-Friendly City in the World

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Glass Eats, a Yelp-powered Restaurant app along with a Toronto Transit app and a BIXI bike-sharing app launch today as new Glassware for Google Glass.

Google Glass Explorer Tom Emrich

Google Glass Explorer Tom Emrich. Photo credit: Shlomi Amiga

I had a dream to make Toronto as compatible with Google Glass as possible so that when this thing hits the market, people will really understand why wearable technology is the next step in our technological evolution.

Toronto may be the most Google Glass-friendly city in the world with the launch of three new apps that enhance city living. Glass Explorers in Toronto, and those visiting the city, are now able to get restaurant suggestions from Yelp, check on TTC transit times, and find nearby bikes for rent at BIXI stations using Google Glass.

Making Toronto Glass-ready was a dream of Canadian Google Glass Explorer, Consultant and Tech Writer, Tom Emrich, who has been wearing Glass for about two months now. “When I first put Glass on, I was overwhelmed with the potential this device has in changing our everyday lives,” explained Emrich. “I had a dream to make Toronto as compatible with Glass as possible so that when this thing hits the market, people will really understand why wearable technology is the next step in our technological evolution”.

Emrich is the creator of two Glass apps both first-of-their kind to the space. He worked with digital agency, SplitElement to develop the applications using the Mirror API provided by Google to create Glassware for the device.

Glass Eats is the first Restaurant Finder for Glass powered by Yelp. This app was originally conceptualized as part of the Canadian Google Glass Hackathon which took place in July of this year. Part of Emrich’s team at the time was also software developer, Aaron Surty.

The Glass Eats app uses the Yelp API to generate its results making this app useful not just for Toronto, but for any location in North America. Users can ask for restaurant suggestions for places nearby or by restaurant type, like Burgers or Thai, using the devices location. When they do, they will be sent five restaurants according to their request. They can then either call or get directions by tapping on any restaurant card.

To help them get there, Glass users in Toronto can use the only Toronto Transit Glassware cheekily called Stay Glassy, TTC also created by Emrich. With this app, transit-goers can check on the estimated arrival times for the nearest TTC bus or streetcar using Google Glass. This Glassware uses the City of Toronto’s Open Data API to provide real-time results for transit around the city.

“Transit and restaurant recommendations are two must-have features for Glass which were missing before these apps,” said Tom Emrich. “It’s great to be able to bring these apps to the Explorer community to add to the rapidly growing directory of Glassware for Glass”.

Fellow Canadian Google Glass Explorer and independent game developer, Macy Kuang, created and developed the BIXI bike-sharing app for Glass. Aptly named BikeShare, this Glassware gives users information about nearby BIXI stations by letting them know how many bikes or docks are available. This app aims to help bike-sharers make quick decisions on where to rent or drop off bikes around the city.

Both Kuang and Emrich are two of only ten Canadian Google Glass Explorers in Canada. Google Glass owners can install the Glass Eats, Stay Glassy, TTC and BikeShare app to their Glass device today. Like all Glassware, these apps are free to install.

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About Tom Emrich
Tom Emrich is a Freelance Consultant and Tech Writer specializing in mobile and emerging technology. He writes for BetaKit.com and is a contributor for Techvibes.com, blogTO.com and theGridTO.com. He also owns and curates a blog that captures his fascination with disruptive technology at FutureTechReport.com. Tom is one of few Canadian Google Glass Explorers and created these apps out of his love for his mutual love for the city of Toronto and technology. You can follow Tom on Twitter at @emrichtom.

About SplitElement
SplitElement Inc. is a digital agency providing concept and production solutions to the advertising and media industries. Our focus is on discovering and utilizing innovative technological approaches for mobile / tablet application and public space installation development. With a heavy emphasis on experimentation and prototyping, SplitElement works to evaluate low-risk, highly innovative solutions on behalf of our clients. Leveraging our wide knowledge base and decades of collective experience, we strive to ensure that the most appropriate technology and approaches are used on a per-project basis.

About Macy Kuang
Macy Kuang is an independent game developer who has worked on titles such as Modern Combat, Asphalt and Fashion Icon while at GameLoft. In addition to programming, Macy is on the organizing committee for AndroidTO, the annual Android conference, and a regular contributor to the Google Developer Group, Toronto. Macy participated in the Google Glass Foundry in New York in February 2013 and is now a Google Glass Pioneer, working with developer versions of the hardware and associated APIs.

Photo Credit: Shlomi Amiga

Contact Tom Emrich
emrichtom(at)gmail(dot)com
647-746-2630

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Tom Emrich
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