Google Glass App Aims to Make Small Talk a Cinch
BY Laura Montini
Refresh, an app just released on Google Glass, gathers all the info you need to know about the person sitting in front of you.
If you've never managed to master the art of small talk, the Refresh app might be your saving grace. The application, which aggregates a collection of public information about an individual, aims to ensure that the conversations at your next business meeting or networking event go off without a hitch.
Though the app has been available on iOS devices since 2011, on Thursday the company took a big step and released a version of Refresh for Google Glass. In theory, this means you can forget having to read up on a potential business partner the night before a meeting. Instead you can instantly learn about the person sitting in front of you by looking through the lens on your face.
Refresh works by scanning various sources for information about a person. For example, it uses Facebook to see where an individual has visited recently, or Google to discover any recent blog posts or articles he or she has authored. It also allows for the addition of personal notes or things you want to be reminded to bring up in conversation.
Yes, sounds a bit intrusive, but it's important to note that the technology doesn't utilize the facial recognition technology that would allow it to identify everyone who walks in the room--at least not yet. Last year Google said that it would not add face recognition to Google Glass until it put strong privacy protections in place. However, given that facial recognition is an ideal application for Glass, you can be sure that the capability is coming. This would explain why Google has reportedly always been interested in Refresh.
"Google approached us early in our development, right after Glass had been launched last year and there was such overlap between what we were both trying to do," Refresh co-founder Bhavin Shah told PandoDaily.
Currently, only a small group of people who own Google Glass are able to test out the service on its newest platform. But if you want to test for yourself if the app has any impact on your small talk ability, you can download it for free in iTunes.
LAURA MONTINI is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco. @lmmontini