May 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Google Glass: Real-Time Lyrics In Your Face


Here, I am entering lyrics into MusiXmatch's Spotify app. Later, hopefully, I will see these lyrics in MusiXmatch's upcoming Google Glass app.

Earlier today, I conducted an interview via someone else’s Google Glass. For crying out loud.

In this live, international interview (which you can see below albeit without audio, because I didn’t manage to capture it — again, my first Google Glass interview) Massimo Ciociola, founder and CEO of the popular lyrics service MusiXmatch told me about the company’s plans to introduce a Google Glass app that will display song lyrics on Google’s heads-up display, which is still only available to a couple thousand people in the world.

In fact, MusiXmatch is already working on this app, or “Glassware” in the Google parlance, which will do at least two things for those wearing the device:

  • It will use Gracenote or possibly another acoustic music recognition platform to figure out what music is playing around you, and then scroll the lyrics in real time, right in front of your face. MusiXmatch already scrolls lyrics in real time within Spotify, so it already has the ability to do this — all it has to add are the audio recognition and the Google Glass interface, and this will be ready.
  • If you’re listening to music on your Android via headphones, MusiXmatch for Google Glass will display lyrics in the heads-up display, so you can see them floating by as you walk around, or into things.

Ciociola said the idea occurred to him at the Google I/O conference last week, and that Google furnished him with Google Glass in order to make the app. Interestingly, he said app developers are barred from including advertising of any kind in their own apps, and there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism for charging for them yet. So for now, Glassware has no commercial viability for third-party developers, although that will almost certainly change soon when Google launches its upcoming Glassware store.

So, will people really use Google Glass, for lyrics or anything else?

After spending some time with one of the 2,000 Google Glass units thought to be in circulation so far, Ciociola said he’s firmly in the camp that believes the average person will in fact use Google Glass, or something like it — once the price comes down.

Here’s our silent interview via Google Glass and Google Hangouts, with music by my brother’s band, Javelin (the songs are “Airfield” and “Friending”):

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