Chapter 5. The Five Noble Truths of Great Glassware Design

What does it take to build effective Glassware that users will thoroughly enjoy and use often? Great frameworks. Google started out by providing developers with the cloud-based Mirror API and an accompanying set of core design principles, initially with four guidelines and then later expanded to add a fifth member that came with the rollout of the Glass Development Kit (GDK). Imagine the Beatles or Metallica adding a keyboardist.

(OK…that’s a terrible analogy, but still.)

By understanding exactly what Glass is as a revolutionary technology and what it brings to the table, these concepts dictate the pace for assembling services that are in line with the overall theme for Glass: keep technology out of the way when it’s not needed. The guidelines, as described on the Google Developers site, introduce a dramatic shift in the types of experiences software creators have been accustomed to building. The upside is that each rule is interwoven with the others, so there’s perfect synergy. Once you conform to building your service according to one, the others naturally fall in line. That’s not to say that applying one relieves you from needing to use the others, but their interdependence makes going from one to the next much easier.

We present them here as the Five Noble Truths, your means to understanding program design in the Glass world. They are collectively and individually essential in order to achieve the ultimate experience—a ...

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