By Laura Shin
Posting in Science
Later this year, Google is expected release glasses that will stream information a few inches away from the wearer's eyeballs.
When smartphones came out, it seemed like a leap in convenience to be able to carry important information on us at all times, instead of leaving it with our computers.
But soon, it may seem onerous to reach for your phone, turn it on and find the right app to get a piece of information, when you could instead just wear a pair of glasses that directly stream information to your eyeballs.
By year's end, the New York Times reports, Google is set to release glasses that do exactly that in real time, so you won't constantly have to reach into your purse or pocket.
The glasses, which will be Android-based, will cost about as much as a smartphone ($250-$600) and feature a 3G or 4G data connection and GPS and motion sensors. And, of course, they'll sport a screen a few inches away from the eye.
Here are some other key features:
- A unique navigation system that scrolls and clicks with a tilt of the head: Seth Weintraub, a 9 to 5 Google blogger who broke the story says, “We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.”
- A low-resolution built-in camera: It will monitor the world in real time and overlay relevant information about the location, nearby buildings and friends who happen to be in the area.
- The ability to send data to the cloud: Then, the wearer can tap into services such as Google Latitude to share his/her location, Google Goggles to search images and figure out what he/she is looking at, Google Maps to find out what else is nearby, and to check in to places.
They'll look like Oakley Thumps (pictured right), and Google expects that users won't wear them all the time but only when they want the augmented reality view.
The glasses are being developed at the Google X offices, a secret lab that works on futuristic projects such as robots and space elevators.
The Times reports:
Internally, the Google X team has been actively discussing the privacy implications of the glasses and the company wants to ensure that people know if they are being recorded by someone wearing a pair of glasses with a built-in camera.
For now, Google isn't yet thinking about developing business models from the glasses, but will wait to see if the glasses take off first. Meanwhile, Apple is also reportedly working on wearable computing, the inform of a computer that straps around the wrist. (Disclosure: I own Apple stock.)
Meanwhile, Google is said to be building a $120 million electronics facility for testing “precision optical technology.”
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Video: Navigate a computer ... with your eyeballs
- Video: Turn any surface into a touchscreen
- The future of the password could be biometric
- Battery runs on paper, releases water as byproducts
- Apple patents spell fuel-cell-powered laptops, smartphones
- Instant-on computers a little closer to reality
- Video: Subjects move virtual helicopter with thoughts
- Goodbye, remote. Hello, TV you can talk to.
- Semiconductor breakthrough marks step to iPads you can roll up
via: The New York Times
Feb 21, 2012
hey can i program in a vision of a street scene and have my mother-in-law drive off a cliff? That's the famous mixed emotion moment they talk about - oh, yes, the car is your new jaguar.
The communication system in the Earth 2 tv-series looked very nice and useful to me. Let's hope Google's glasses are something like that. This would be a step further than Douglas Adams' vision of the electronic sub-ether book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Maybe the startup screen will read "Don't Panic". With all the information that Google will be collecting, they will have to put their Google Maps servers on the moon, or possibly Eadrax, to get enough "space".
Sighhhhhhhhhhhhh. I can't sneak away from the grandkids as it is. They GPS'd my wallet so they can keep track of my money at all times! I don't stand a chance of getting away from the small fry now!
This sounds like a smaller, lighter & less expensive version of the helmet mounted displays that are still relatively new to military aircraft. Should be great for anyone who spends a lot of time in unfamiliar places. And the Apple project sounds like the armband-mounted, smartphone-like computers that will be used by US troops. By the way, I believe that should be "a screen a few millimeters away from the eye" rather than "a screen a few inches away from the eye".
Here we go down the rabbit hole. I don't want to sound like a conspiracy kook, but doesn't anyone see a problem with privacy. Devices like these record your every move; where you are, who you are with, what you are doing? Ultimately Google's primary source of revenue comes from targeted advertising. Google dominates this market because they are able to data mine individual???s on-line habits. Now they can data mine people's real world actions. 1984, that is all I am saying!