The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 10, 2014

Ala woman exploring with Google Glass device

— GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — For Rainbow City's Chara Kelley, what started with a simple tweet has turned into a new career with travels around the world.

Last February, Kelley used Twitter to enter a contest from Google and was one of 8,000 people selected to become a "Google Glass Explorer."

Google Glass looks much like a pair of regular glasses, except for a small computer that powers a tiny display suspended above the wearer's right eye. That display can be used to perform tasks like showing GPS directions, taking a photo or video, sending a text message or searching the Internet, among other applications.

"Now I'm a beta tester for Google," Kelley said. Glass is not yet available to the public.

Since purchasing her Glass last summer, Kelley has traveled to Spain (where she went running with the bulls in Pamplona while wearing it), France, the Netherlands, London, Egypt and Turkey.

"While I was in Turkey, I demonstrated the technology, and a school planted a tree in my honor there," she said.

Kelley said much of what she's done as a Glass Explorer has been showing it and its uses for schools.

"The best way to demo it to students is to take it into smaller groups like classrooms," said Kelley, who also said she'd like to soon start showing the technology to local schools.

Kelley ran Exclusive Auto Sales in Gadsden before becoming a Glass Explorer, and she said she hadn't had a vacation in about 10 years, so she was excited about the possibility of traveling and branching out with Google.

She co-founded a company called "Fashion Discovery Labs," which is working to develop new applications (or "Glassware" as Google calls it), including Acemoda, which allows people to discover fashion products by taking a picture.

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