For a sneak peak at the future of home search, check out this video:
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I came to the Google I/O Conference in 2012 expecting to find old friends, cool technology, and maybe something special. But this was over the top.
I stood inside the large auditorium at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and as a stunt person hurled himself out of a plane wearing the new Google Glass prototype, I watched it all happen from his perspective via the device’s embedded video camera. The jumper eventually landed on the roof and came into the venue with an entire group of stuntmen. As Jason Gilbert of Huffington Post put it, it was one “of the most insane things I’ve ever seen at a tech demo.”
The decision to reserve my spot as an “explorer” – becoming one of the first 2,000 people to get Google Glass – was an easy one.
One year later, I couldn’t contain my excitement as I finally laid my hands on the prototype. I chose the slate gray color thinking it was low key, which now seems comical since Glass seems to bring a reaction out of almost everyone. There’s nothing low key about wearing a piece of cutting-edge technology that’s so rare.
It was lighter than I expected and included some cool accessories like darkened lenses that can be attached when it’s sunny out. I spent the first few days getting acquainted with the user experience, walking around the neighborhood to get a feel for how Glass provides information.
Jeff demos Trulia for Glass for NBC News
After spending three weeks with the device, I can say this technology is in its early days, but there’s no denying it has the potential to be an incredibly powerful platform. And because real estate shopping is such an inherently mobile experience, it’s perfect for a Trulia app.
Google has done a really nice job with the Glass Mirror API, and as a result, I was able to build Trulia for Glass in about a week.
What makes the technology incredibly powerful is that it allows users to either continue what they are doing or engage with new information being provided to them. For example, Glass notifies me when I receive a message, but nothing appears or impedes my vision. The idea is to provide just enough fresh information that is personalized for me and relevant to my location.
It’s a very different experience than having your head buried in your phone while the world passes by.
Looking at a listing on Trulia for Glass while sitting in the park
With that in mind, I’ve added features to Trulia for Glass that help people learn more about homes that should interest them, when it’s convenient. Specifically, with Trulia for Glass, you can:
- Get notifications when you’re near a home that meets your predetermined search criteria, such as neighborhood, number of bedrooms, and price range
- View property listings easily and scroll through pictures with the flick of your finger
- Have the property description read to you if you decide you want to learn more
- Save properties to My Trulia so you can follow them anywhere on Trulia, whether on the Web or any of the mobile apps
- Get directions to a home if you want to see the property yourself
- Call or email the real estate agent directly from Glass
The Trulia team is continuing to tweak and improve Trulia for Glass, and we hope that sometime soon it will be available for Google Glass wearers to download. Watch for future updates, and feel free to ask for a demo if you see me wearing it around town.