Google Glass Gets Political With New Apps

Red Edge hopes the first political Glass app will inspire 'glassroots' activism.


Digital advocacy firm Red Edge unveiled the first politics-focused application for Google Glass Thursday, which will alert users to information about a government agency when they are near a federal building in Washington, D.C. The company hopes the new app will inspire more innovation on ways to use Glass for "augmented advocacy."

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Since Google unveiled Glass in 2013, the visor has been available to only a select few VIPs and developers who want access to the device to design applications and help create a new augmented reality for its wearers. Some of the applications included on Glass so far include Google Maps navigations, photography, voice search for questions, but also the ability to read a Twitter timeline feed. Google plans to make Glass available for general consumers sometime in 2014. It costs around $1500.

Glass gives people a new way to access information based on where they are, and Red Edge partner Bret Jacobson hopes the company's new 'augmented advocacy' app, still in the demonstration stage, will help make Washingtonian Glass users more informed about government. The app in its current stage alerts users when they are nearby a government building, including the Treasury Department, with information cards including the head the organization and the taxpayer money spent on the department as tallied by the federal budget.

"Our ability to layer information, time and location through Glass opens up an extraordinary number of possibilities," Jacobson says. "Being the first in our space on a new platform is always fun, but the best part is just the process of our team thinking through the marriage of technology and politics."

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Jacobson says the company plans to add more features as the app develops, perhaps even including one that allows people to comment on a nearby government department and linking its Glass information card to Twitter. The technology linking information with geolocation could also be expanded to alert people when they are nearby polling places, timely events or a pizza place with some helpful information cards linked with those locations, according to the company.

"We envision several projects with current and future clients that include localized, actionable alerts based on their location," Jacobson says. "This includes contacting Congress, the president and taking other meaningful 'glassroots' actions." People with access to Google Glass can contact Red Edge for a beta version at

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