Can Google Glass revolutionise the tourism industry?

Just as smartphones offer travellers a wealth of useful apps, the tourism industry is also starting to see the potential benefits of utilising Google Glass.

The wearable technology, which recently went on sale in the UK for £1,000, can be turned into a useful mapping guide for those travelling abroad.

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By using your smartphone's GPS sensor, Glass can display directions on a 3D map. The speaker contained on the right arm of the glasses then tells you when to turn.

One travel company, holidaysplease.co.uk is even lending Google Glass to selected customers so they can experience the benefits of using the technology while abroad.

The live translation app, Word Lens, is also available on Google Glass, so users can translate signs into their native language simply by saying, "OK Glass, translate this."

However, Glass isn't only useful for travellers but has had positive applications in other areas of the tourism industry. Copenhagen airport staff have begun using the device and Virgin Atlantic have utilised Glass to provide weather updates and translations for Upper Class passengers.

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It remains to be seen whether Google Glass will be embraced fully by tourists as there are a few stumbling blocks. The need to use a mobile phone data connection, which can be subject to hefty roaming charges, particularly outside the EU, is likely to put most travellers off. However, with Google Glass likely to face updates and improvements, the potential uses for those travelling abroad are already promising.