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While everyone is trying to decide whether or not Google Glass is useful, invasive or just plain dorky, it's easy to overlook some genuinely helpful apps and services — like this one, which presents users who are hard of hearing with near-real-time transcriptions of what's being said in conversation.

Created by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Captioning on Glass uses a paired smartphone to record and transcribe speech, which is then instantly displayed on the screen of the headset. The group is also working on a version that quickly translates the spoken words into a second language for the benefit of the listener, then translates their response back into the first language. Captioning on Glass is available now for free in the MyGlass app store, and the followup, Translation on Glass, should arrive soon.



—Devin Coldewey