Google Glass Hits UK in Trial Medical Tests

By Gary Cutlack on at

Google's Glass system is being used in a small medical trial here in the UK, with researchers using the head-mounted gadget to help give sufferers of Parkinson's disease a little more freedom and some assistance with their day-to-day lives.

The Digital Interaction team at Newcastle University uses Glass to help remind wearers to take their medication, plus the system's voice activated tools are actually useful for once, as they allow patients who couldn't otherwise interact with technology particularly easily to access the apps and web stuff Glass introduces to out faces, also letting some control smartphones they may otherwise find unusable.

The resulting research paper [PDF] is interesting not just from a healthcare angle, but also in the way that the wearers explained how they felt uneasy when wearing Glass in public. Quotes such as "They were staring. I found it quite hostile, it was almost like 'you’re up to something'" and "I’d be worried that someone was going to whip them off me" don't really tally with Google's repeated reassurances that wearing Glass in public is actually a completely normal thing to do. [YouTube via Engadget]