Move-In Day at Lehigh U., Seen Through Google Glass

Call it a Google Glass view.

Patrick V. Farrell, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Lehigh University, donned Google’s latest accessory, a pair of high-tech glasses, to document freshman move-in day.

Known formally as Google Glass, the spectacles are a wearable computer that presents information via a hands-free, voice-command display. Features include the ability to take still photographs and video.

Lehigh’s first “glassumentary” shows Mr. Farrell—or his voice and hands, at least—as he greets eager freshmen, talks room keys, and navigates a cart laden with dorm-room décor through the parking lot.

The glasses were on loan from Jeremy Littau, an assistant professor of journalism at Lehigh who is studying the technology. He was one of 8,000 people selected to purchase the $1,500 device via Google’s Glass Explorer program. In February would-be participants were asked to explain via Twitter how they would use the glasses if chosen to buy them.

“I pitched educational uses for journalism projects and my students, and also that I’d try to test it as an education device in areas such as broadcasting and recording lectures,” Mr. Littau said in an e-mail.

His research at Lehigh, in Bethlehem, Pa., will focus on the cultural barriers to adoption of a device such as Google Glass, as well as its journalistic applicability, he said. Mr. Littau’s students will be creating their own glassumentaries during the semester as exercises in first-person storytelling.

At one point in the video captured during move-in day, Mr. Farrell could be heard explaining the Google glasses to a parent dropping off his first-year student.

“We are just doing video,” Mr. Farrell says. ”Recording time—just a little hard drive back here—is maybe 15, 20 minutes. It’s fun to play with.”

“Well, things have certainly changed since I was here,” the father replies.

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