Most of the applications you see for Google Glass seem like gratuitous throwaways. But this experiment by OpenGlass showing how the technology can be used to help the blind promises so much more awesome than a gimmick.

The video above demonstrates user trials of two different Glass applications that inform people who can't see about what they're "looking" at. With the first, users take a picture with a question attached, which is sent up to the cloud for answers on Twitter or Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform. Once there's an answer, it's read aloud to the user by Glass.

The second application, called Memento, allows people to record descriptions or commentary about a certain scene. Then, when a visually impaired person using Glass walks up to the same spot, Glass recognizes the scene and reads back the commentary.

These OpenGlass projects are cool on a couple of different levels. First of all, their utility hardly stops with the visually impaired: Crowdsourcing answers to questions and recording guides could be useful beyond these particular applications. But more importantly, this is cool as technology in its purest and most useful form. It substantively makes the world a better place. It's not some stupid social-coupons-entertainment-marketing bullshit. This is the real deal. Inspiring and refreshing. OK, Glass. More of this. [9to5Google]