Published: 05 February 2014

Computing student ahead of the curve with Google Glass

Surrey student Irina Tsyganok is one of the few people outside the US to have developed an app for Google Glass, the wearable computer technology.

Wearable computing is set to be one of the biggest technology trends of the next few years, with the launch of Google Glass – glasses that give users instant access to all types of information on-the-go – eagerly awaited around the world.

Keen to be involved in this exciting new form of computing at an early stage, Irina Tsyganok, a final year Computing and IT student, has become one of the first UK computer technologists to develop an app for Google Glass.

Irina’s ‘TinyRhymes’ app, which she has developed as her final year project, is a karaoke platform featuring nursery rhymes. Aimed at young children and their parents and carers, it features live streaming of user-selected video content onto the user’s Glass timeline. The nature of the app, which Irina developed using Google Mirror API and Google App Engine, means that it can also be extended in scope to other user segments by changing the video content.

“I have chosen to focus on children and their carers initially because, as a mother, I feel that this particular user segment is generally overlooked by app developers,” explains Irina. “There is currently a shortage of quality applications that promote skills development in young children.”

Irina plans to submit her Glassware app, once completed, for the official Google Review and hopes that the app will be available for users to enjoy by the time Google Glass reaches the general market.

The ‘TinyRhymes’ app has already attracted positive feedback from technology experts. Irina was invited to join the Google Glass Q&A panel at the ‘Heads Up London Wearable Technology Forum’, where it generated interest from web developers and other industry experts. The app has also been tested successfully with prospective users, including Irina’s own children – “arguably my strictest judges!”

Irina says, “It has been great to get the opportunity to work on Google Glass because it represents a fundamentally new mobile platform: a new form of computing. Google Glass is just the perfect example of wearable devices, with an excellent design, quick and precise voice recognition, and access to information such as real-time translation, navigation, instant photo and video recording and social networking. It also has great potential use in industry – particularly in the medical sector, where it could deliver patients’ data to doctors on-demand, saving time while improving the quality of healthcare provision.”

Regarding her own future direction, she says, “While my immediate plan for the next few years is to develop solid programming and web development skills through employment, I am also very interested in children-tech relationships, and am exploring the option of developing a line of educational children’s mobile and web applications – something I hope to realise in the near future.”

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