Google Glass is going to Hollywood in a new partnership with the USC, CalArts, RISD, UCLA and AFI film school, which sounds dandy for the creative potential of Google Glass, if only the glasses had better battery life. Google hopes that filmmakers will use the face-gadget of the future to think up new ways to capture footage. "This technology is pretty revolutionary, and a lot of people in the film world are really excited about how it could drive not just film capture but documentary filmmaking, character development, action-based storytelling and things we haven’t even come up with yet," Google's marketing director Ed Sanders told The Hollywood Reporter's Seth Abramovitch. But, Google's computer glasses aren't going to be able to record for more than the 45 minutes a Google spokesperson tells The Atlantic Wire the device can capture before recharging. (Doing just regular tasks, Glass's battery is rated for five hours.) That kind of kills the ability to film anything substantial.
"It seems like the product would be tailor-made for on-the-fly moviemaking, but if thirty minutes is all you’re gonna get out of a charge, it’s arguably not even enough time to enjoy the endeavor," writes Saul Berenbaum at Digital Trends. "Know that feeling when your battery icon starts blinking red while you’re shooting? That’s practically the norm with Google Glass, at least right now." Even short films take hours of footage.
So far, given its limitations the "films" to come out of Google Glass have been less than promising and mostly notable for their novelty. Like, the first ever marriage proposal, or the when former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich took them to the zoo. The first arrest captured on Glass proved the device has a place in the world of live documentation, but the footage itself isn't exactly Oscar worthy.
Certainly, with time, people will master the medium — we've seen it happen with Vine and even Instagram video. And, Google argues that the best filmmakers will overcome the battery restraint. "I'd argue every filmmaker runs into constraints one way or another. It's how creative they can be within those constraints that makes their work distinctive," a Google spokesperson told The Atlantic Wire.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.