Myrtle Beach man testing wearable computer Google Glass

These days, you can carry a computer in your hand, use a computer by talking to it and now, even wear one on your face.

Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display. In other words, it allows the user to access the Internet or do other computer functions with a display screen that's just a fraction of an inch away from the user's eye. It's voice-activated, so Google Glass can be used hands-free.

Google released only 10,000 of the devices worldwide.

Chase Hendley, an account coordinator at the Myrtle Beach web design firm Fuel Interactive, was the first person in South Carolina who was allowed to beta test it.

That means he's helping Google work out the bugs before it's released to the public.

"Since this is like a trial run, they're making sure that anything that could go wrong, they go ahead and take care of," Hendley said.

Hendley traveled to New York City to get his Google Glass and used it to record video of Times Square and the big piano at the FAO Schwartz toy store.

He's used it in Myrtle Beach, too, for things like shooting video of last week's Fuel Interactive weather balloon launch to benefit the March of Dimes.

Hendley says there are thousands of potential applications for Google Glass and he's working on a few that could be used in Myrtle Beach.

"If you're needing a hotel, rooms that are available as you're driving down Ocean Boulevard may pop up (on the Google Glass display) with their rates and things like that," he said.

Ironically, Hendley says Google Glass is intended to enhance personal interaction between the user and other people.

"Because it's not in my line of sight, so I'm not looking down at my phone to do all these things," he said. "I'm looking at people and paying attention to the world, instead of paying attention to my phone."

Though Hendley is among the few to have Google Glass now, he says this "augmented reality" is the way of the future and thousands of people will have the devices soon.

Google Glass is expected to be released to the general public by mid 2014.