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EKU Marching Band to Employ Cutting Edge Technology

According to The Eastern Progress, the student-run newspaper at Eastern Kentucky University, the school’s marching band, The Marching Colonels, will soon be incorporating Google Glass into their rehearsals and field show. Google Glass are experimental glasses that have a built-in video camera and monitor:

 

David Clemmer, director of bands at Eastern, said Google Glass is still in the Beta stage and the band’s use of the glasses will be very experimental. What they want to use the glasses for most, he said, is seeing things from the perspective of either the conductor or one of the players. The conductor has to monitor a lot of different aspects of a performance. The players have an incredible responsibility because they have to worry about playing the right notes, keeping the tempo and the correct steps, he said. Clemmer said being able to see the communication between conductor and player will be very interesting to observe.

“This just gives us a visual component we haven’t really had,” he said.

Clemmer said he sent a message to Google, expressing interest in using a pair for research. At the time, Google was accepting  applications for the product and Clemmer decided to send one in. The program received funding from the Student Government Association (SGA) for recruitment and technology purposes during appropriations this semester and planned to use the money to purchase a pair. Google accepted the application and Clemmer said he hopes to receive the glasses this summer, but is unsure when they will arrive.

Using the glasses is different than just sticking a camera on someone’s uniform, Clemmer said. The glasses are worn just like any ordinary pair so it’s really like everything is being seen from the wearer’s point of view. The frames record in real time so the footage can be downloaded to another device and analyzed for research purposes.

Clemmer said the program only bought one pair because they cost $1,500 each, but if the glasses produce a favorable result, he said the Marching Colonels might seek out grants to purchase more in the future.

Clemmer said he doesn’t believe any other marching band has tested Google Glass so far and the Marching Colonels are lucky to be the first.

“Maybe we’re just the first to ask,” Clemmer said.

He said he hasn’t fleshed out all the details of what the glasses would be used for other than taking video, but hoped more goals would be realized when the band begins using them. Clemmer said he hoped the glasses would present more opportunities for collaboration with other universities in terms of educational research so teaching and learning processes could be improved.

 

It remains unclear exactly how they will be utilized by the EKU marching band.  

 

 



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