Topic: Emerging Media

June 18, 2014

The Traveler — an app that began as a digital trip journal and sketchbook for Ball State University students to use on their field study programs — is now available for everyone to use on Google Glass.

Created by a Ball State research team led by Kyle Parker, senior development group leader for the university’s IT Services, The Traveler will allow users to log their travels and field trip experiences with Glass. The device is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display.

Parker was part of the initial group of people who received an invitation in 2013 to purchase Glass and help shape the future of the device.

“From the moment I began developing Traveler, I knew I wanted to find a way to incorporate Glass into the user experience,” Parker said. "Sure, as a techie, it was another gadget and something cool to try out. But after traveling with 20 students to Europe and Northern Africa for two weeks — they continued on for nearly another 100 days to 20-plus countries — the full impact of what wearable technology means for the everyday student was evident because traditional technology simply got in the way and acted as a barrier to all of the amazing sights and wonders they were experiencing.

“As they used Traveler and their tablets, they witnessed the world through a 10-inch slab of technology, with the case lid further increasing the footprint. I wanted Glass to change that. I wanted Glass to capture the world with the sound of their voice or tap of their finger, without the need to pull out a tablet, flip open the cover, launch an app, position the camera, tap out a description, and all of the other steps involved."

The result – a companion Glassware for The Traveler. Travelers, and students alike, can truly leave the tablet or phone in their backpacks and capture the world around them, completely hands-free.