Glass Journalism

Hack: Google Glass + Spritz

When I saw Spritz emerge a while back, I immediately thought of testing it on Google Glass to read articles, including long form.

The test had been on my list for some time and I even tried a few ways on getting the experience onto Glass… and while I failed at some known hacks, I did an even simpler trick.

Using Quicktime I screen captured the Spritz animation at 500-words, uploaded it to YouTube and emailed the URL to myself. There, I read the email via Glass and *poof* I brought the Spritz experience onto Glass.

Again, this is a hack to test the validity of ‘speed reading’ on Glass. 

My thoughts after trying it out on myself? It works well!

Certainly more formal test to come, but here is the video if you want to try it:

Other speeds:

300 wpm:

700 wpm:

A flood of media coverage

Once Mashable and Fast Company published their pieces, there was many requests for interviews and write ups. Here are a few I captured:

WSJ: USC Is Planning a Course in ‘Glass’ Journalism

Coca-cola: Shaping the Future of News: Journalism Schools Evolve in the Digital Age

Android Community: ‘Glass Journalism’ at USC brings big news to small screen

Campus Technology: Exploring New Frontiers with Google Glass

Journalism Now: Google Glass: A window to the future of Journalism?

ABC News: Google Glass Journalism Course

Daily Trojan: Annenberg offers Google Glass course for fall 2014

Reason TV: Google Glass: Privacy, Journalism, and the Dawn of Wearable Technolog

Tech News Today 971:

Fast Company profiles me and my Glass Journalism class


The photo is a bit too much, but I am honored to have been profiled by the publication… they even had it as the front page cover story at one point.

The article led to me hosting a live Q&A chat:

ScribbleLive profile piece on Glass Journalism + Me

Whether you’re using it or not, technology like Google Glass marks a sea change in both the ability to gather stories and the number of people who can participate in the storytelling process. With that in mind, we reached out to a leading thinker in the digital storytelling field and talked about what’s here, how it’s being used — and what’s coming next.”

Glass Journalism interview by Richard Aedy of Media Report


I had a fantastic conversation with the Media Report’s Richard Aedy about Glass Journalism and my Fall 2014 course. 

Go to the segment here:

Or heard the segment directly via this MP3:

USC Annenberg Glass Journalism course


I’m excited to announce that in the Fall I will be leading a Glass Journalism course that will produce news apps – from creation of journalistic content to the consumption of optimized content – for the wearable device.

The class will consist of teams (Journalist, Designer, Developer) working together to research and develop different types of news apps designed specifically for the Glass platform.

We have some pretty impressive media partners, already have some devices and there is a chance we might get some additional grant funding.

This class will explore:

  • How will these new devices disrupt journalism?
  • How can we create journalism content with wearables?
  • What is the future of the “article” on this platform?
  • What unique experiences can be created for this device?

The Glass Journalism course is going to be innovative and experimental in a variety of ways… the first step is on the collaborative way I’ve decided to shape this class:

If you are a USC student interested in this course, come to Annenberg room 204 at 3:30PM Monday, March 3 for a course planning meeting.

In this class we’re not talking about the future of journalism, we’re building it.

Email me if you have any questions: / @webjournalist / @glassjournalism

Google Glass + Driving = ???

I’m sure you’ve heard about Google Glass Explorer Cecilia Abadie’s (@cabadie) run in with the law, where she was given a ticket for wearing Glass while driving.

It seems like everyone has written about this … and it seems like all my friends have written to me about it too.

Here’s the thing: Google Glass is FANTASTIC while driving!

Remember, Glass is made for light information that doesn’t distract and is perfect for getting driving directions.

Glass is not immersive. It’s a small screen in your entire field of view.

I’ve driven with it before, but today - perhaps in solidarity - I drove in to work while wearing my pair. (I also tested out the vignette photo feature too):



I even tried to do a G+ Hangout with them while driving, but no one answered.

Look, I’m not stupid. I wouldn’t do this if it weren’t safe.

So, committed to testing it out, I tried again on my drive home today.

Thanks to my friend Kim Bui (@kimbui), I tested out a video call through Google Glass. And, as I expected, they were not distracting. Here’s a screenshot Kim captured via her phone:


And here is a screenshot from her desktop:


Here are some thoughts:

1. The call quality was very not good. That’s my nice way of saying pretty bad. Kim, who called on her phone then on her desktop, said the video was pixelated. The audio was also delayed, ranging from 5 to 20 seconds.

2. Audio is hard to hear. This is why the next iteration of Google Glass is getting the mono earphone.

3. Completely hands free. I answered (or could have declined) the call via voice command. Making the call is a little trickier if I don’t have the contact in my immediate contact list.

4. It did not distract. Seriously. With Glass, I have to choose to look up and engage. I chose not to during the call, expect when it was completely safe. It’s the same common sense you should use when driving with or without the radio on.

I don’t know what will happen with Abadie and her ticket. I, like others, hope she fights it. But the truth is people are fearful of this device because they haven’t used them yet and are projecting their concerns. The U.K. has already banned them while driving, even though they haven’t been offered there yet.

Clearly, I hope that it’s not made illegal here and common sense prevails. But, in my opinion, it is safer for me to see in front while driving, completely hands free, rather than looking down to my phone trying to get directions.

"Nerds playing kickball"

One of my at bats during the first ever Journo Kickball Tournament in Los Angeles. I got on base! You can see me advance from second to third base here:

I organized this informal media tournament, in which three teams battled for a belt. The teams included KPCC’s “Pledge Drivers,” NBCLA’s "For the first time…" and a mashup of USC Annenberg and Los Angeles Newspaper Group that formed "FUCLA."

After a final match between Pledge Drivers and FUCLA that went extra innings, the final winners were KPCC’s Pledge Drivers.