Google Glasses are closer to reality than ever [Video!]

April 4, 2012
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Google have released a fabulous video to get us pumped up and excited for Project Glass: Google’s augmented reality glasses. To be honest, it’s worked on me. I want a pair of these right now!

Augmented reality is the concept of altering or overlaying what we see. If these glasses are one day released to the public, we could all be comfortably reading the news as we walk to work, or watching a video without having to tilt our heads down. It’s an amazing concept, and one that Google hope to formally demonstrate by the end of the year.

As well as the video, I have included a list of the features portrayed within it, as well as my speculation on how some of the features will be implemented.

How will they work?

Babak Parviz (a member of the Project Glass team) has developed contact lenses with pixels in them. Presumably you wear one of these, and perhaps a Near Field Communication system built into the housing above your right eye (see images) sends the video signals wirelessly. If Project Glass does use a contact lense with pixels in it, it’ll make for an interesting start to each day!

Presumably there is a sensor/camera directed towards your eyeball to detect where you are looking, if the glasses respond to eye gestures. In the video, the wearer occasionally looks away from whatever is happening to use his glasses, so they may be motion triggered instead. Perhaps a combination of both. As for a camera which takes images of things in front of you, that can be seen clearly as the hole in the right-eye housing.

As for the audio, the images seen so far do not show any sort of earpiece attached to the glasses. Presumably there is a microphone on them somewhere, perhaps in the housing over the right-eye, but this means conversations would be difficult to keep private. Perhaps they will connect to a small Bluetooth headset?

Thinking of Bluetooth headsets made me realise that these glasses are incredibly thin with very little room for technology, let alone a battery. So how will they be powered?

The Video

It certainly has me excited! You? Unfortunately you never see the glasses themselves, but you certainly get an exciting taste as to what we can hope for.

Features shown in the video

Checking In

This is demonstrated by the wearer using head gestures and another form of control to check into the food truck he is standing by with his friend.

Video Calling

This is an amazing feature and a technical marvel. As well as transmitting video from his position, the wearer can see his girlfriend as a small image at the bottom of the screen. Remember this is probably all mocked up in a video editor, and the real image quality on the glasses may be considerably lower.

Calendar/Appointments

Perhaps the most useful feature of them all. I am constantly looking at my calendar to see what is coming up and how I should prepare myself. This feature would make me a very happy man.

Taking Photo/Sharing to Circles

The wearer finds a piece of graffiti art on a wall and takes a photo. Though he asks the glasses to do this for him, it has been reported that the glasses will also have a button for taking photographs. He then shares the image to ‘all my circles’ with a voice command.

Playing Music

Throughout the video music is played, and the viewer is led to think it is being played as background music for the video itself. Turns out that it was representing the ability to listen to music with these glasses, as the wearer gives the command ‘stop music’ before he answers a call from his girlfriend.

What do you think?

Do you want a pair of these glasses? Would you go to the trouble of wearing contact lenses with pixels in them? For that matter, would you be seen in public with them? They certainly have a very distinctive style which may not be for everyone. If these are released anytime soon, I will be fascinated to know the uptake rate.

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