It’s not every day you get the chance to try on one of the most buzzed-about consumer technology advances in recent memory, so I jumped at the chance to try out Google Glass during a recent visit with Thermopylae Sciences and Technology.
Thermopylae, a defense contractor based in Arlington, Virginia, acquired the glasses through the Google Glass Foundry and Explorer programs and now is experimenting with how wearable computers could integrate with its current and future products. (Read more in "Google Glass Sharpens View of Wearable Computer Future.")
Having never seen or worn Google Glass, I anticipated an augmented-reality experience—staring through two glass lenses and seeing information projected over my view of the world. The reality of Google Glass is much different. The frames hook over your ears and rest on your nose like traditional glasses, but the viewing piece is raised to the right. When you stare straight ahead, you have an unobstructed view as you normally would. To actually see the Google Glass “screen,” you have to consciously look up and to the right.
The glasses are extremely light, and it’s easy to see how you could wear a pair for a prolonged period of time. John-Isaac Clark, chief innovation officer of Thermopylae, wears a pair all day and says he stopped noticing the glasses after about an hour, just like you might with regular glasses. But while you may not feel the glasses on your face, others will certainly take notice. Clark sums it up nicely: “It looks stupid.” Not my finest fashion hour.
The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is seeking radio broadcast systems that can search for and acquire every AM and FM radio station in a region and then broadcast a message across the specific area. This capability would be used to share information simultaneously with residents in locations where unrest or natural or manmade disasters make it difficult to communicate. The synchronous over-broadcast system must be lightweight, able to operate on multiple frequencies and demonstrated at a technology readiness level 8 or higher.
To propose their secure communications system, companies must submit a summary outline not to exceed five pages that describes the performance specifications. Submissions must include name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address for all points of contact.
This is a sources sought announcement only. If SOCOM decides to acquire one of the proposed systems, a pre-award synopsis will be posted on FedBizOpps.gov to pursue procurement.
The Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA's) Forge.mil has surpassed the 1,000-project mark with 798 software development works on SoftwareForge, 162 on ProjectForge and 42 on Forge SIPR (secure Internet protocol routing). Forge.mil is a family of enterprise services supporting the U.S. Defense Department’s technology community. It allows collaborative development and information technology project management through the full application life cycle. Projects on SoftwareForge are visible to all Forge.mil users, who also can browse ProjectForge for Defense Department public content made accessible within private undertakings. Visitors can go to the site to search and download software, report bugs, contribute change requests or request their own private project space in DISA’s fee-for-service offering. To access the Forge SIPR site, users must have a valid SIPR public key infrastructure software certificate or hardware token.
The Resnick Sustainability Institute at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has established an award to honor cutting-edge work that addresses some of the most difficult problems in energy and sustainability. The award winners will be announced in the spring of 2014. The RESONATE Awards will focus on innovative, paradigm-shifting work from individuals at an early stage in their careers, whose ideas are worthy of significant, widespread recognition. The work can be from many fields, including science, technology, economics and public policy, among others. The intent is to draw attention to the innovators making significant strides in some of the grand challenges facing humanity within the context of achieving global sustainability. These include meeting the world’s energy needs, providing water and food for a growing world population, cleaning the environment and improving access to the natural resources people need to live a productive life.