[stars]But wait – what the heck are Google glasses?
Well, do you remember the weird eyepieces the robots in the Terminator movies wore? You know the ones – from the wearer’s perspective, reality could be seen, but there was also a layer of information streaming on top? It seemed freaky and oh-so-sci-fi at the time, but it looks like now that fantasy may just become a reality.
Google techies have been hard at work in the super-secret, batcave-esque Google X lab, which is located near the main Google campus. According to a recent NY Times article about the glasses, they will be built using the Android platform that’s used in smartphones and tablet PCs today. Like these existing devices, Google’s “future goggles” will be outfitted with both motion sensors and GPS navigation capabilities. Of course, a camera will be included, as well as audio and video input and output.
Imagine Life with Google Glasses
Google released a mock-up of a commercial for the invention on YouTube today, which officially consecrated the rumored release of the glasses as a sure thing. Many authoritative sources on the matter have confirmed that Google is expected to release the glasses by the end of this year. The mock ad by Google stars a Google glasses wearer, and walks viewers through a day in his life, starting with the news and weather while he pours his morning cup of joe. The ad cruises right along through his meet-up with a friend and ends with a virtual date with a girlfriend later in the day.
As the wearer walks the streets of his urban city, a notice pops up on his lens that informs him of a subway closing, and his glasses quickly give directions for a detour on foot to his destination. He is meeting a friend at a bookstore, and once he enters the store, not only does he get immediate directions to the music aisle, he also finds out that his friend is 400 feet away. He gets all this information through a combination of voice commands, head gestures, and images on his lens.
Patents and Rivals
Whenever something new and exciting is about to hit the open market, fierce competition is expected to follow. In 2008, Apple had already patented a head-mounted display device that would be based on laser technology. The patent implied that a user would have the ability to stream video from iPods and other Apple devices in addition to many other features. Of course, most would think that Apple would be the one to start the fun Google goggles have begun – with the company’s history of leading the gadget innovation wars, it’s actually quite surprising that Apple didn’t beat Google to the punch.
So does Google’s announcement mean that by the end of the year we should expect to see people gyrating in the streets, making spasm-like head movements and talking to themselves like they’re deranged? Not sure, but we’re just hoping people don’t turn to Google glasses to check out their favorite Internet marketing blog while they drive.