Interview: Hang w/ Developer on Google Glass

We talked with Dave Swartz, founder and CCO of MEDL Mobile, developer of Hang w/

The Google Glass launch isn’t that far away and developers are getting more and more interested in the innovative device. This means that apps are launched left and right, some more interesting than others.

MEDL Mobile is one developer that already has a bunch of apps built for Android, iPad and iPhone. Out of the bunch, Hang w/ is probably one of the most popular and that’s exactly why it already got the Glass treatment.

A beta version for Google Glass was already launched at CES on January 7. The app connects people through live streaming video and simultaneous chat, which means that it’s fairly perfect for Google Glass, given the device’s capabilities.

Dave Swartz, president and chief creative officer at MEDL Mobile, took the time to talk to Softpedia about Google Glass, Hang w/ and the future.

Softpedia: How do you believe Google Glass will be received by users once it is officially launched?

Dave Swartz: I think there will be waves of adoption. Today there are still a vast number of cutting edge technology adopters who are dying to get their hands on a pair. When made available to a larger audience, they will likely be the first to jump in.

As for the general population, it may still take a little longer to see mass adoption. But we will also start to see variations on the Google Glass product - both from Google and from competitors - and so the space may heat up faster than we can predict.

Glass is the very first consumer tech version of a technology that has life-changing implications and I think the concept and technology will become part of our lives faster than most of us can predict.

Softpedia: Glass has a strong social element since it’s supposed to help people connect much easier. Where do you believe Hang With fits in all of this?

Dave Swartz: We believe Hang w/ is the killer app for Glass. Once you remove the activity of holding a phone or a tablet - and you just empower people with the ability to "be" with each other via live streaming video, I think we are entering a new domain of connectedness.

It's ironic because wearing Google Glass makes you stand out to the people around you - but after wearing it for a while, it also disappears for the user. And in Hang w/ terms, that means you don't need to think about what or how you're sharing your life. You can just do it.

Softpedia: Are you planning on enhancing the app with more features specifically made for Glass? If yes, what type of additions could you make?

David Swartz: We need to approach certain aspects of the app differently. For instance, text chat with the broadcaster is a big part of the phone/tablet Hang w/ experience. But on Glass, the text is too small to read. So we are playing with different ways of making that work. We are also looking at adding much longer broadcast sessions.

Today, a user can broadcast in 3, 6 or 9 minute increments. On Glass, we may consider letting a user stream live without a time limitation.

Softpedia: Google Glass shows a lot of promise. Where do you see the future of social video on a device such as Glass? Are there any limitations that you see?

David Swartz: There are still challenges in terms of the types of content and how we interact with the content on a device such as this one. For instance, you need to look up and to the left to view the content. I saw some amazing technology at CES in which the view screen is put directly into the line of vision, and can shift between translucent and transparent depending upon the intent of the user.

I think the technology will become less and less obvious to the user/wearer. And eventually wearable tech will be as natural as tying our shoes.

And besides, I've learned to never really talk about the limitations of technology. Because every time I think something can't be done, someone goes ahead and figures out a way to make it happen.

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