Wearing Google Glass at a bar may make you a social pariah, but the search giant revealed a surprisingly good use case for the device at its annual I/O developer conference yesterday.

I got to try Google’s famous heads-up display during a crossfit workout, on a minigolf course, and while shooting basketball hoops. In every category, the immediate visual display was a smooth experience that gave me timely feedback without the inconvenience of having to carry my phone.



Popular running app Runtastic now doubles as a crossfit tracker with Glass. In the heads-up display, Google automatically counts the reps of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats. A simple accelerometer built into the Glass counts up as the body moves quickly up and down.

Though the new Google Glass Runtastic app is only built to record one exercise at a time, I quickly found out that it would automatically count any exercise as a rep, so long as my body was bobbing up and down.

While I try to be good about keeping track of my workouts, I often forget to write things down. With Google’s new upcoming data repository, Google Fit, it’s likely that Glass will seamlessly keep track of my workouts.

Even better, since I do crossfit workouts alone, I don’t have to worry about incurring wrath from others because I’m wearing Google Glass. To be sure, the early version is easy to trick. I witnessed users barely bending down to count a squat, while a Runtastic representative begged them to do a “real” squat and stop cheating the algorithm.

But, in the future, as Google refines the software, it could be a useful digital coach for beginning and advanced health nuts.



Google Glass automatically syncs the Bluetooth-enabled smart putter accessory Swingbyte. The handy gadget displays immediate data on the angle and speed of the golfer’s swing. Of course, it could send the same data to a phone, but it’s a far smoother experience to get the data right in your field of vision.


basketball glass

Thanks to Google Glass’s integration with smart basketball 94Fifty, I went from throwing bricks to swishing points in only a few attempts. 94Fifty automatically sends data on angle and spin of the ball to Glass.

Only a heads up display like Glass can keep an athlete’s mind on the game. If I had to check my phone every time for feedback on the quality of my shot, it’d seriously hinder my training practice.

It seems that Google Glass may have a great use case as a utility rather than as an always-on wearable. For occasional use, the benefit of a digital coach could make it a must-have utility for gym-goers and sports enthusiasts.

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