New Interactions: The relationship between journalists and audiences mediated by Google Glass

Mills, John orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4491-6796, Pellanda, E and Pasé, A (2016) New Interactions: The relationship between journalists and audiences mediated by Google Glass. Journalism Practice, 11 (8). pp. 980-999. ISSN 1751-2786

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From the first studies of wearables inside MIT’s Media Lab decades ago to the smartwatches and smartglasses sold these days as consumer devices, wearables provide clues to better understand new paths to record and distribute information. Google Glass was one of the first immersive products, allowing users to capture and stream information to the Web, creating screen-based micro-interactions displayed in front of the user’s eye or sent to their smartphone. The first-person perspective is not new, but network-enabled Glass creates a novel state of streamed information and images, potentially making the journalist an avatar of the audience. Possibilities also lay in the development of Glass-specific ambient or calm communications—providing users with seamless information updates. Our study explores how Glass, attached to the head of the journalist-broadcaster, creates alternative behaviours in those captured due to its almost-invisible camera. These and other aspects of Glass will be explored during this paper, recalling experiences made across multiple test beds in the United Kingdom, Porto Alegre, Brazil and the Sahara Desert. The lessons acquired from these experiences allow us to understand not only new ways to inform, but new relationships between journalists, newsrooms and the public.

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