USF student exploring the world through Google Glass - WFLA News Channel 8

USF student exploring the world through Google Glass

Posted: Updated:
Joe Evans isn't your typical anthropologist, and he's the first to admit it.

"Probably not! This is probably as far away as it gets," he said with a quick laugh.

Evans, an anthropology and archaeology PhD student and the University of South Florida, loves to document human history. But you won't find him digging up ancient ruins anytime soon. Instead, he prefers to use new technology to catalogue the past.

For the last several months, Evans has been a part of the Google Explorer program. Back in February, he wrote a 50 word entry to the #IfIhadGlass contest.

In his statement, he said, "If I had this, I would link students and people who wouldn't be able to experience these sights and places to these sights and places in real time."

"These places" are locations around the world. After Evans got chosen, he set to work right away. This semester, he's connecting USF students to archeologists in Mexico.

"He can show what's going on in class, and the students are all talking back," said Dr. Lori Collins, a professor in USF's Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies department.

Google Glass works like a computer that sits right in front of your eye. Evans said it took him a few days to get used to, and he still gets called "cyborg" by quite a few of his friends and colleagues. But it's easy to use. Evans said it's actually very intuitive.

"You lift your head up to activate it, and then I'd see that email, or I'd see that tweet, and then I can interact with it," he explained.

The side of the head set works as a touch screen. Evans can tweet, take pictures and record video with the swipe of a finger, or with voice commands.

Next week, he and team from USF will be putting the technology to work at Cape Canaveral. They'll be photographing and recording images of Friendship 7, the original launch pad of the Mercury program, and the place where John Glenn was first launched into space. The government is dismantling much of this piece of Space Coast history.

But Evans sees yet another use for this new technology. It's something he first noticed while walking around campus.

"I'll see hundreds looking down, not really paying attention to the traffic around them, or to each other," he said.

He believes smart phone technology cuts people off from one another, because they're too busy looking at their phone to connect with other people. Glass changes all that.

"The purpose is to transition away from a look-down society," Evans said.

Google Glass allows the user to look up and around, taking in the sights and people around you.

USF is still working out the details of incorporating the technology into the classroom.

"In a sense, we're sort of like an academic beta tester," said Dr. Collins. "We're looking what are the impacts on students, both good and bad."

But so far, Evans  and Collins agree the feedback has been positive.

"It added a lot of engagement to the classroom, just to get kids interested and participating a little bit more," Collins said.

Evans plans on continuing to use Google Glass and report his findings back to Google until the product is ready to hit store shelves, whenever that may be.
  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Community reaches out to Spring Hill family after theft of lawn equipment

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:35 GMT
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
    Michael Depace wants to say "thank you" and give a huge hug to everyone that reached out after a thief stole $3,500 worth of lawn equipment from him.
  • FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    FL vehicle registration renewal fees drop

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:49 GMT
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
    That little gift you get from the state on your birthday every year, to renew your car tag, is going to be cheaper starting Monday.  The cut will save drivers about $13 to $25 depending on the size of their vehicle.
  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Pasco County couple survive a week adrift at sea

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-09-02 04:17:17 GMT
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
    A Pasco county couple is recovering after spending a week adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. They were trapped 80 miles off shore without any food and very little water for seven days.
  • Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Palm Harbor strip club hit & run victim makes plea

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:33 PM EDT2014-09-02 01:33:46 GMT
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
    New video shows the violent incident early Friday morning, outside "Silks" strip club on US 19 in Palm Harbor. Bouncer Doug Berube and the club DJ. wanted to talk to a guy in a car about an earlier incident. The driver shoved it in reverse, hit the gas, and backed over Berube. He has a plea for the driver....
  • Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Land O' Lakes man: troopers saved my life

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:41:51 GMT
    A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life. A Pasco County man credits two Florida Highway Patrol troopers with saving his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
    Chris Henry calls two Florida Highway Patrol Troopers heroes. He believes they saved his life.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 18 - 23

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:58:28 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants?
  • Clearwater Marine Aquarium plans to drop animal shows

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium plans to drop animal shows

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:09 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:09:15 GMT
    Aug. 3, 2011 file photo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium senior marine mammal trainer Abby Stone works with Winter the dolphin in Clearwater, Image APAug. 3, 2011 file photo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium senior marine mammal trainer Abby Stone works with Winter the dolphin in Clearwater, Image AP
    No animal performances will be held at a redesigned aquatic center planned by the Florida aquarium featured in the "Dolphin Tale" movies.
    No animal performances will be held at a redesigned aquatic center planned by the Florida aquarium featured in the "Dolphin Tale" movies.
  • Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Bubba 'The Love Sponge' to announce new Tampa gig

    Monday, September 1 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:09:07 GMT
    File photo of Bubba the Love Sponge ClemFile photo of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
    Bubba "The Love Sponge" announced on his Twitter page Monday that he will soon have a new Tampa home.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.