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Google Project Glass arrives: augmented reality eyewear

updated 12:35 pm EDT, Wed April 4, 2012

Google Glass appears in test phase

Google ended speculation about its computing eyewear by confirming Project Glass. While providing few details in the tease itself, the company showed a monocular set of augmented reality glasses that would provide a way of both getting information and communicating without needing to hold anything. In a concept video (below), Google suggested it could be used for everything from holding video or voice conversations to providing the weather when looking outside or getting live map directions.

As shown, the interface would be very different than Android and would keep elements to a minimum, popping them up only as they become relevant.

The team, originating out of Google's semi-secret Google[x] labs, didn't have immediate plans for a launch. They were jumping in early to "start a conversation and learn from your valuable input," the company's Babak Parviz, Steve Lee, and Sebastian Thrun said.

Leaks have suggested that Google intends to ship Project Glass by the end of the year to real users, although it may be a limited run for those willing to experiment. Prices could vary sharply, between $250 to $600, depending on what they ultimately include. The need for always-on data and GPS suggests a price towards the higher end of the spectrum.

Wearable computing eyewear isn't new, but it has typically been based either around traditional desktop platforms or otherwise been targeted at very specific uses. Project Glass, if translated to a shipping product, would both be one of the first major efforts to bring it to everyday users and one of the first to keep the apps and the headwear itself optimized for places beyond work.










by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +12

    Big Lawsuit

    I can't wait for this to screwup people's vision and then sue Google out of business. Kinda like Steve Martin's Opti-Grab in "The Jerk".

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    NO

    You want Big Brother to be probing your brain via optical nerve interface?

  1. DaJoNel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +18

    Google's Privacy Policy

    "Google Project Glass reserves the right to collect the transmissions of your optic nerves to identify your family, friends, and anything you may see for the purposes of better recognizing these individuals and providing relevant advertisements."

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    The real reason for self-driving cars

    Speaking of big lawsuits, just wait until the first unfortunate motorist gets killed because he or she was hit by another driver distracted by Google Glass. Can you say "billion"?


    Maybe Google Glass is why Google is developing self-driving cars. So the car can take over while you're neither looking at the road nor paying attention to traffic.

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Torn

    On one hand, it's totally awesome when somebody comes out with a real-life application (or at least something that's a working prototype--I don't think Google announces fantasy-ware like MS) of Cyberpunk technology. Once in a while 2012 really does feel like 2012.

    On the other, the concept of always-on augmented reality optics is moderately horrifying from a humanist standpoint.

    We'll see. Unlike, say, Wave, this might actually sell if it works well enough. Bonus: If you've seen Dennou Coil, you know where this technology will lead us some day.

  1. facebook_Adrian

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2012

    +4

    providing the weather when looking outside

    er... when I look outside, that's the weather. Actually, there's a very clever device that I hear is terribly popular for seeing what the weather is outside, while actually being inside! It's called... a window! Amazing!

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    beautiful little video

    too bad we will never see "I'm a Mac" and "I'm Google Eyewear" ads, at least real ones. But I'm sure we will see some *very* funny eyewear-gone-wrong or eyewear-tech-support amateur videos. Looking forward to it!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: The real reason for self-driving cars

    Speaking of big lawsuits, just wait until the first unfortunate motorist gets killed because he or she was hit by another driver distracted by Google Glass. Can you say "billion"?

    It would never happen, for Apple would long ago have been sued out of existence by all the drivers killed by people using iPhones while driving (because everyone loves to sue Apple). You can't be sued (well, you can, but you won't lose) for the actions of people with your product. Especially once the lawyers get through with the legal warnings at the front of the user's manual.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    er,, er

    Ok I get it that its really neat... But it does not exist, it can be done wearing a computer, getting new hardware, new UI, new... well lots of new stuff and then integrating it all together.

    Apple..... maybe. Google??? never.

    Just a thought,
    en

  1. dshan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Talkin' to Oneself

    So in the Google-future we'll get around while talking to ourselves, "oh cool", "oh, I'm late" and every now and then our ever-present software monitor will know to interperet our mumblings as a command and do something? I'm not holding my breath.

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