Google Glass helps charity fighting brain cancer raise more than $2,000

Parker using Glass

3000 Miles to a Cure, a non-profit focused on raising awareness for brain cancer research, generated more than $2,000 in donations via its first Google Glass app, debuted during Valentine’s Day weekend this year.

Google first created the “Giving through Glass” initiative a year ago, in which it asked non-profits to share their vision of how they could use Google Glass to help their ideas come to life.

Five organizations were selected to receive Glass, a $25,000 grant, and were given access to developers to make their projects a reality. Besides 3000 Miles to a Cure, the other winners were Classroom Champions, Mark Morris Dance Group, The Hearing and Speech Agency, and Women’s Audio Mission.

3000 Miles to a Cure paired with Primacy, a digital agency headquartered in Connecticut, for the initiative which it rolled out for the Bike Sebring 12-hour race in Florida.

The result was an app designed to help cyclists raise funds during their races. Melissa Tait, senior vice president of technology and project management at Primacy, told The Drum: “Google can collect videos and photos but it’s very limited in the data that you can process. We built an Android app that communicates with Google Glass.”

She added that Google had been very supportive throughout the process despite the reshufflings regarding Glass and the closure of its Glass Explorer program. “They decided to shift focus so there has been a lot of misinterpretation, but Google Glass is not dead,” she said.

The app allowed racers to take videos and photos of their journey to send back to the website to be shared on YouTube, Twitter, and other channels for fans to follow along.

Parker, who participated in the race, said it was easy to take videos by just tapping the side of the glass.

“I’d be riding along and take a little video about how I was feeling, and all that went to the application website page,” she said.

Throughout the race, supporters could send messages of encouragement to bikers with a minimum donation of a dollar, with donors able to pick a point on the route using Google Maps to decide where they wanted their message to appear.

Parker said that although using athletic events to raise money is nothing new, the Google Glass app brings athletes and donors together in a new way. “The application has incredible potential to bring people who care about a cause closer to the people who are trying to do something about it,” she said.

The technology will be used at Race Across America 2015 this summer, a charitable bike race.

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