Google’s augmented reality glasses bring the future into focus

Those of you who aren’t so content with present tech and are longing for the kind you see in the movies, your time has arrived. Today Google leaked information regarding a super secret and highly advanced technology they’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s a pair of augmented reality glasses and the initiative is called Project Glass. Here’s how the search giant made the announcement:

We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t. 

A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.

In essence, this wearable device might be intended to replace the bulky brick in your pocket, your cell phone. It does everything your phone can do but in a more natural (read: human) manner. Reminiscent of a heads-up display you’d find in a first-person shooter video game, the glasses feature a small lens that projects text, images, video, and sound in the space in front of your eyes. The software that’s implemented inside the device allows users to be alerted notifications like text messages and email and respond to these things with simple verbal cues and head gestures. Google Maps is built into the unit, naturally, so planning a route and following it becomes second nature when the precise directions are displayed right in front of you. Though exact specifications have yet to be released, it is confirmed that the smart spectacles feature a built-in camera for snapping photos, shooting video, and initiating video chat. Imagine you’re walking down the street and you see something that catches your eye; speak “take a photo of this” and the camera will snap. Want to share the image with your friends? Say “share it to my Circles” and it’ll be instantly uploaded to your Google+ account. The possibilities are endless, really. And the potential is grand.

You must be thinking something like this is great and all but does Google actually have plans to release this to the general public. Yes, they do. Now go pick up your brains that are scattered on the wall and continue reading… Project Glass is currently in beta mode (er, alpha mode really). Google is testing the prototype device in the field, sending company employees out into the wild wearing these nerdy bad boys to see how they handle real world conditions. Besides making techies around the globe foam at the mouth, Google’s intent with today’s reveal is this: “We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?” In other words, they want your input! The conversation is taking place at the Project Glass Google+ page.

Now that you’re informed, here’s what you can do. Take a look at the glasses in the gallery below, bearing in mind that these are strictly prototypes and a final product will almost certainly come appearing differently. Then jump after the break to watch a two-and-a-half minute video showing off Google’s vision of how augmented reality glasses could make us more efficient beings. Rumors are flying that the wearable device in its final form will come complete with 4G data capability for always-on Internet functionality with a price tag looming anywhere between $250 and $600 when it comes out later this year. But forget the speculation for now; feast on the video below and shiver in anticipation for more information to leak out surrounding Google’s latest concoction.

[Via Google+; NYT 1, 2]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.