Google Glass

Internet giant’s wireless specs also gain apps from Twitter, Facebook, NY Times and others

CNN is the first TV network to tinker with Google Glass, the Internet giant’s wireless headgear — which, depending on your perspective, is a stupid-looking gimmick rife with potential to violate people’s privacy or the next huge thing in personal tech.

Other apps for the Internet-enabled specs, which Google demo’d at its I/O conference this week, include those for Twitter, Facebook, The New York Times and Hearst’s Elle.

The CNN app for Google Glass was developed “as an experiment by Turner’s Emerging Technologies Group in order to learn how early adopters use and interact with news on the device,” a network rep said.

CNN News and Topic Alerts on Google Glass let device wearers specify what topics interest them and when they’d like to receive news alerts. The app will then deliver breaking news — including photos and video clips — to the Glassware.

Google Glass, which has a small screen embedded in the right lens, lets users search the Web, pull up maps, read text messages, snap photos and record video.

It’s the device’s photo and video-recording features that have some parties very concerned. A U.S. congressional caucus asked for answers in a letter Thursday, addressed to Google topper Larry Page, about “whether this new technology could infringe on the privacy of the average American.” Meanwhile, movie theaters could conceivably adopt policies that ban Google Glass, according to a NATO rep.

Google has offered the $1,500 devices on an invite-only basis to select developers. Search giant says it’s stopped accepting requests for Google Glass right now but that “there will be more chances to get Glass at a later date.”

For now, apps built for the wireless specs do not allow advertising and are restricted to limited access of a wearer’s personal data, according to Google.

Love, fear or mock them, Google Glasses are part of the zeitgeist. NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” recently lampooned the gadget in a bit portraying them as absurdly awkward and buggy:

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