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By year's end, Google glasses to stream info to eyeballs

By year's end, Google glasses to stream info to eyeballs

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:

photo: Google

via: The New York Times

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Laura Shin

Features Editor

Laura Shin has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, and is currently a contributor at Forbes. Previously, she worked at Newsweek, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and LearnVest. She holds degrees from Stanford University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure