Posted: December 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm

By Brittany Furbee, Megu Kolanko and Anjelica Trinone

In early 2013, Google introduced the world to Google Glass, a new way to experience wireless, hands-free technology in the form of eyewear.

Google neon lights at the Google Headquarters in New York City

The Google Headquarters in New York City, New York

Ephraim Pittore was one of the lucky, young revolutionaries to get his hands on Google Glass before it was made available for purchase to the general public. He is a sophomore mechanical engineering student at West Virginia University from Wayne, West Virginia. Along with a team of other young engineers, he has the plans and passion to design a new application that will allow future college students an easier way to tour their potential college campuses by using Google Glass.

“Basically, this is a tour guide application specifically for universities, where somebody could be wearing Google Glass and be able to walk around campus and based off of where they are at, they can view videos, pictures or facts concerning different buildings around campus.”

Pittore and his team hope to use the West Virginia University campuses as a beta site and if successful, allow for other college and universities around the country to develop their own versions of the application.

A simulated view of Woodburn Circle, how it could look while using the self-tour application.

A simulated view of Woodburn Circle, showing how it could look while using the self-tour application.

“The ideal situation would be, we would create an application as a foundation, and it would be like a base where you could say this is how this application works and now we can take information specific to WVU and then augment this application with everything WVU,” Pittore said. “Then we can take that same foundation, remove everything WVU and take it to another college.”

Pittore won the chance to own his own pair of Google Glass after submitting a response to the question “What would you do with Google Glass?” asked by those at Google during their “Glass Project.”

In response to the question, he said,

“If I had Glass, Glass would read to me. My love for reading should not be hindered by travel. Finding novels and short stories placed in locations by the Glass community would consistently feed my imagination.” 

Pittore along with two members of his engineering team, travelled to New York City to pick up the Glass. Each of the lucky individuals receiving Google Glass were personally catered to by a “Google Explorer,” who took the recipient step by step in the fitting and learning process, ensuring the best, personalized experience for the new Glass owner.

Ephraim Pittore receiving his Google Glass at Google Headquarters

Ephraim Pittore receiving his Google Glass at Google Headquarters in New York City, New York

“They brought me my on pair of Google Glass and he fitted it for me and he just started walking me through everything from how to use it, what every button on Google Glass meant, as well as taking me up on this high-rise looking over New York and then having me take my first picture” says Pittore.

The experience was one that he will never forget.

“It’s something indescribable; it wasn’t like buying a cell phone, it wasn’t like buying a car, it wasn’t like buying anything,” Pittore recalls.

Google Glass has not been released for mainstream purchase, and a projected date of development and release of this self-guided tour application is still undecided.

“Our goal right now is to really learn about Google Glass while we have it, really understand everything that it is and the experience that Google has intended for it and how we can play off of how Google foresees Google Glass,” says Pittore.