JetBlue Wants to Use Google Glass to Take the Flying Experience to New Heights

Via JetBlue Google+ Page

Without trying to sound like they’re cutting me a check for saying so, I love JetBlue. Not only do they provide noticeable amounts of more leg room, but they also give you a personal TV screen with basic cable, and overall provide the best service of any airline I’ve ever used.

The reason for this shameless shilling is to get across the point that JetBlue really do have an eye on making drastic improvements to the flying experience. That is now evident more than ever, thanks to the recent Google sponsored contest asking people to come up with their own uses for the upcoming Google Glass device through the twitter hashtag campaign #ifihadglass. While some amazing concepts have already spawned from the contest (such as 911 liveview assistance), one of the more complete visions of the Google Glass future comes from JetBlue.

Essentially they are envisioning a world where you can stay on top of your flight, and the airport experience in general, without ever breaking stride thanks to using Glass to do everything from the expected but awesome (check live flight status, know when your baggage will arrive, get a cab fare estimate) to the “HOLY CRAP, REALLY?!?!?” ideas such as viewing the capacity of the nearest parking garage and a tracker for the nearest available electrical outlet in the terminal.

This is all of course just a concept, and a very early one at that, but it not only shows how much more pleasant the flying experience could be with Google Glass, but is also slowly showing the world exactly the type of things this device is truly capable of, and why its upcoming release is set to be the biggest gadget release since the iPhone.

Chrome CR-48 unboxing videos are out

The Chrome OS notebook pilot program is in full swing, to the point that several applicants have received their laptop. I’ve looked through a bunch of the application videos, but this unboxing by Ed Albro from PC World seems to be the most thorough and clear so far. Check it out.

Nexus S drops December 16th

We’ve been waiting a long time to actually get a look at the Nexus One successor, and it’s finally here. The Nexus S, yes, based on Samsung’s Galaxy S, will on December 16th. The phone will be available unlocked for $529 or attached to a T-Mobile contract for $199. From what early reports are saying, this is the Android device to have.

The phone sports all the usual hardware – 1GHz processor, 5MP camera (720p capable), front-facing camera, hi-res display – but the real ‘Google experience’ is in the software. As with the Nexus One, the Nexus S comes with a ‘clean’ Android install (Gingerbread 2.3 on this one), meaning it’s unadulterated by the manufacturer or third-party vendors.

The Nexus S is also the first phone to market with built-in NFC support. Near-field communication isn’t such a big deal now, but it could easily become the way we handle quick transactions in the near future. It’s also a nice, fast way to send information between two NFC-enabled devices.

Google adds Goggles to its mobile iPhone app

Google Goggles for the iPhone.

Google is about the only company that can make me sad to be an iPhone owner. Any time Google rolls out a spiffy new app for the mobile market, I die a little inside, knowing I probably won’t get to use it any time soon. Take Google Goggles, the service that allows you to search by what the camera on your phone can see. It debuted last December for Android users, and it has just now made its way to the iPhone.

Despite the long wait, the app is as cool as ever. Google built the new function into the standard Google Mobile app, which already allows you to search by text and voice. Here’s the official word from the Google blog:

In the new version of Google Mobile App just tap on the camera button to search using Goggles. Goggles will analyze the image and highlight the objects it recognizes — just click on them to find out more.

Though Goggles is still technically a “Labs” feature, Google says it works well for things like landmarks and logos, and that it will continue to improve for objects like animals and food.

Official Google Voice app might already be approved

Google Voice logo.It’s been more than a year since Apple pulled the original Google Voice app from the App Store, claiming that the product “duplicated existing functionality.” Some third-party GV apps have since made their way to the App Store, thanks in part to Apple’s decision to release app guidelines to the public. If TechCrunch is right, it sounds like the official Google Voice app may already be approved, marking the triumphant return of one of the most anticipated applications to the iPhone.

Here’s what TC had to say:

The App Store review office at 1 Infinite Loop has officially frozen over: we’ve gotten word that the official Google Voice application is on its way to the iPhone in the next few weeks. In fact, we’ve heard from a source close to Google that it’s already been approved — Google just needs to revamp the application to work with the iPhone 4 and iOS’s multitasking capabilities. If you’re a Google Voice user and you’re on an iPhone, this is great news.

No word from Google, but I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time.

Stephen Colbert talks with Eric Schmidt

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Eric Schmidt made an appearance on “The Colbert Report” last night to talk a little bit about his company’s algorithms, what it’s like to be a billionaire, and his “Want privacy? Change your name!” joke that no one on the planet seemed to get. It’s a funny, sort of awkward interview.

Google Instant will be in your browser soon

Google Instant.Google unveiled its latest product this week at the Google Search event in San Francisco, Google Instant. Instant works by listing search results as you type – think of it like the recommended searches but beefed up with actual results right away. It’s really cool, and something that’s been in the works for quite a while. What’s going to make it truly great, though, is browser integration.

Google’s Marissa Mayer said it will be coming in the next few months. You have to imagine that Chrome will get it first, seeing that it’s a Google product. It will be interesting to see how Google handles the current Omnibox situation, because users can both search and type addresses there. My guess is that it’ll stay the same, which should work fine. It’s rare that I’m visiting a bunch of sites I’ve never visited before just by typing, so when I type the first two letters it accurately autocompletes. I’d guess instant search wouldn’t hinder that process too terribly.

Google Goggles is coming to the iPhone

Google Goggles.It seems like I get asked this question nearly every time a tech challenged person sees that I have an iPhone. “Do you have that app that lets you look stuff up by taking pictures of it?” The first few times it took a while to figure out what the inquirer meant. Now, I answer before the sentence is done – Google Goggles? Sadly, no.

It’s not that I want GG all that badly. From a functionality standpoint, it’s not all that great. It does have great wow factor, though, so I was thrilled to find out that the camera-powered search would be coming to the iPhone this year. The app has been Android-only since release, but Google will be developing a proprietary app for the iPhone, not just some crappy port.

From here, it’s just a matter of getting it to work all the time.

App Inventor gives non-programmers a toolkit for making Android apps

Google unveiled a new Android product today that is bound to make all of the wannabe app developers in the world happy (that’s not meant to be disparaging – I’m a wannabe myself). It’s called App Inventor, and it’s basically a GUI for designing Android applications.

For the best idea of what this thing is, check out the video below. While “hellopurr” may not be the most creative use, I’m sure the creatives of the world can come up with some pretty cool stuff. This thing alone makes me wish I had an Android phone. I love the iPhone, and the iPhone 4 has been really good to me unlike many others, but the way this opens up the Android platform is really cool. Sure, a lot of the applications that get made will be really, really crappy. But there will be good ones, and who’s to say the good ones can’t get picked up by more prominent developers and given full support?

On the whole, I think this is a great play by Google and will certainly give them even more cred with the nerd world. Nicely done.

Google drops $100 million in Zynga

Zynga.Everyone knows Farmville as a Facebook phenomenon, but the people at Zynga are getting to know it as a cash cow. The Facebook game has gotten so much attention that Google has decided to invest more than $100 million in Zynga, supposedly in preparation for the launch of Google Games.

Can Zynga really stand as the cornerstone for Google’s Games operation? Absolutely. The company is projected at $350 million in revenue for the first half of 2010, half of which is actual operating profit. Total profit for 2011 is expected to be over a billion dollars. A billion, people. With a “b.”

Here’s TechCrunch on why Zynga is so important for Google:

Zynga continues to work on high level strategic business development deals. The reason these deals are so attractive to companies like Yahoo and now Google is this – Zynga allows them to rebuild the massive social graph, currently controlled by Facebook. For whatever reason people love to play these games and get passionately addicted to them, coming back day after day. That’s helped Facebook become what it is today. Google, Yahoo and others want some of that magic to rub off on them, too.

Who knew a silly social game could make such a huge impact.