Through the Looking Glass: Google Glass and the Future of Hand Surgery

Paul A. Sibley, DO, and David W. Martineau, MD

The medical technology boom has exploded in recent years. A prime example is the use of Google Glass (Mountain View, Calif.). Glass is a smart, “wearable technology” currently being used and developed in the field of hand surgery with revolutionary potential.

Worn like traditional glasses, Glass is likened to a smartphone on your head (Fig. 1). It has an optical head-mounted display that is akin to watching a 25-inch screen at 8 feet. Its camera is capable of taking high-resolution photos (5 MP) and video (720 p). The 50-gram device responds to both touchpad and voice control, has Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity, and includes a gyroscope, proximity sensor, and bone conduction audio transducer. Released to Google developers in early 2013 and to the public in beta format in early 2014, Glass is compatible with Android and iOS platforms and costs $1,500.

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