Even though it’s out right now to several thousand beta testers, Google Glass is more or less the wave of the future. The $1,500 online eyewear, which is essentially a wearable Siri, still isn’t available to the general public yet, and even if they were, not too many people have that much money to throw around for something that’s essentially still a novelty. However, over the next week or so, Google is adding music functionality to the glasses. The beta-testers, known as “explorers,” will now have hands-free access to Google Play, an app that identifies songs much the way Shazam currently does and stereo earbuds.
What kind of ramifications might Google Glass one day have for musicians? A video recently went up that shows hip-hop producer Young Guru using the glasses for his work, sampling sounds around him, identifying a song playing in a restaurant, downloading it, and picking it up at a store to use for a beat. He also tells Rolling Stone that he’s used them to collaborate with other musicians. “”I’ve done a couple things with a couple of my guys in Europe. I can actually see the fingering on a guitar player — ‘why don’t you move that to a half-step up?'” he says. “It’s the closest thing we can have to being in the same room. To be hands-free to scratch on a turntable or play percussion allows me to do so much more.”
It should be noted that most of this stuff could be done without Google Glass, but it’s definitely a tool that could help. What are the short term implications? Not many. There aren’t too many struggling musicians that’ll be ponying up $1.5k to get the glasses, so maybe the next Metallica album could be made using them. But the first CD player cost $900 when it came out in 1982, and as the glasses get more ubiquitous and cheaper to make, they could become widespread. You wouldn’t have thought when Pro Tools came out in 1991 that people with no studio experience would be recording full albums in their bedrooms on it, or that full iPad bands would be playing (even though it still doesn’t look there are any cool ones). So look for Glass to make strides with musicians in the coming years. Check out Young Guru’s video below.