Google to produce heads-up display glasses

No, it isn't the 1 April, nor is this some work of (science) fiction. Google will soon be selling glasses that replicate smartphone features, according to the New York Times. 'Smart glasses' if you like, although heads-up display glasses is the term being used.


The Google-made glasses will be able to stream information to your eyeballs in real-time. If you're the kind of person that checks their smartphone every 10 seconds, it could be the device of your dreams. Although the price might not be so appealing. According to 'several Google employees familiar with the project, who asked not to be named', the glasses will go on sale to the public by the end of the year and will 'cost around the price of current smartphones'. Which means anything up to £500.

In terms of the technical side, these are Android-based glasses and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye, with a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS finishing things off. Oh yes, there's also a built-in, low resolution video camera, which scans your location, offering information about places and indeed, people too. However, the ability to record footage is still being debated, due to obvious privacy issues.

Seth Weintraub, a blogger for 9 to 5 Google, added that the glasses will have 'a unique navigation system', saying: 'The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click. 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.'


Head gestures for scrolling sounds a little dangerous to us – we're picturing a rush-hour train filled with head-banging suits, cracking skulls with each other.

One Google employee added that the glasses would tap into a number of Google software products that are currently available and in use today, but will display the information in an 'augmented reality' view, rather than as a web browser page, as you would see on smartphones. The glasses will send data to the cloud and then use things like Google Latitude to share location, Google Goggles to search images and figure out what is being looked at, and Google Maps to show other things nearby. Clever.

Interestingly, Google doesn't plan to make money out of the glasses, viewing the design as an experiment. If they're popular, the company will then look at making money out of the hardware. Whether they will be popular is debatable. Would you pay £500 for a pair of techno-glasses when you have a smartphone in your pocket? Not sure we would either, although the technology is certainly interesting us.

Source: New York Times

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