A new app for Google Glass has been prototyped, which intends to bring the conveniences of online reading — namely, quick definitions and translations — to the offline hard-copy book reading experience. The app is called Reader for Glass (not to be confused with Google Reader), and is being developed by Jacob Funch, a graduate school student working on his master’s thesis …

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The general concept here is that there are definitely upsides and downsides to reading in front of a screen. While on most platforms you have access to things like translations and definitions to dive deeper into the text, this isn’t exactly the case with a physical book. This project hopes to bring the best of both scenarios by way of Google’s Glass platform, making it quick and easy to get this kind of information even when reading on physical paper.

As you can see in the video below, all you have to do to interact with the app is highlight the word that you want more information about and then give a quick wink. In its current form, the app brings up a page that lets you confirm that it selected the correct word, and then swiping to the right from there will give you some information from Wikipedia as well as a translation. Notably, the app doesn’t necessarily need you to highlight the word as seen in the video; it will work by just pointing your writing utensil at the word.

Funch says the app will be released soon, but that he’s first interested in releasing a beta of the app to certain people to find “potential usability issues and to improve the application by their feedback.”

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