Google’s Project Glass is seen by many as the future of computers and the internet. As Nicholas Carlson points out: “Computers have been getting smaller and closer to our faces since their very beginning.” Project Glass, unveiled last year, takes a large leap towards the ever-speculated assumption that one day computers will operate hand in hand with our physical bodies. Today, augment reality through a pair of computer glasses; eventually, our brains might host an OS of their own. Either way, products like Google Glass stand for the next frontier in computer technology, and APIs sit as an assumed component of their operation.
Babak Parviz, Director of Project Glass, recently commented that Project Glass remains a work in progress and the details surrounding its function, use, and benefit are yet to be determined. However, when it comes to app development for the Project Glass platform, APIs will drive its development and deployment: developers will access a “cloud-based API” to leverage Google services once the glasses go live.
The explosion of public APIs has enabled rapid app development and cross-platform mashups. In an unprecedented fashion, disparate groups and industries can leverage data and compute power with lower costs and technical barriers. Although some have questioned the viability of API-based business models, the benefit of APIs has been realized, utilized, and industry leaders (e.g. Google) simply assume the availability of APIs as a primary driver for development and innovation. Are there consequences to basing a business on a third party’s data or platform? Of course. However, risk walks alongside innovation. In this case, technology already relies too heavily on APIs to turn back now.