Google is finally opening up about its little-known Project Glass. Recently, it released a promo video showing real-world usage of its augmented reality wearable glasses, which is a lot more realistic than the previous video where the display would take up your entire field of vision.
Project Glass: Augmented Reality
Augmented reality eyewear is not a new idea. The concept has been floating around for some time now, with some products already having been invented. But now, with Google having stepped into the arena with what they call “Project Glass”, there is obviously a lot more interest and excitement around this technology.
Google Glass is a wearable computer, which shares space with your glasses, integrating a Heads-up display and of course, a battery. Google Glass, is in a way, your smartphone on your glasses – running Android, using location-based services with a 3G/4G connection, letting you interact with it via voice-based input to provide you information and pull off tasks. And of course, it’ll have a camera too for snapshots and video too.
The device was first seen in April 2012 when Sergey Brin wore it to an event in San Francisco. The official demo took place in June at the Google I/O where skydivers streamed their view via Glass on a Google+ hangout which was being shown at the I/O presentation.
What is so revolutionary about it? Why do I think it is the next big thing? Why is Glass generating so much hype?
It’s because of its immense potential. If it is going to be doing everything your phone could do – give you relevant information based on your location, take photos, set reminders, make calls – it could very well be a replacement. Of course, to replace smartphones, it has to be affordable. And it could be – The New York times has reported that Google Glass models are expected to be ‘available at the cost of current smartphones.
Advertising in the Corner of Your Eye?
Where is the money going to be flowing in from then? Critics have already pointed out that Google could very well ruin the platform by placing adverts in the heads-up display for the consumer, and many would expect that to actually happen too.
There’s even a spoof of the Google’s Augmented Reality video called “ADmented reality”. However, Google has gone on record to say it will not resort to advertising to generate revenue, and that should please many.
Google Glass could redefine communication technology. Taking photos or videos, chatting with friends, GPS, or anything else your phone could do, will now be happening RIGHT in front of you, making things a lot more convenient.
The technology is still in its primitive stages, and a mass-rollout for consumers is only going to happen in 2014. Google has also launched this contest where you could purchase a pair right now for $1500, provided you impress them with your 50-word write up (with a 15-second video) on what you would do if you had Google Glass. The winners will get to keep the ‘Explorer’ version of Glass – a predecessor to the consumer edition that will release next year.
Computer developers were also given an opportunity to purchase pairs for the same price at a conference last June. So there could be a lot of ongoing development on this platform – with all kinds of useful apps in the pipeline. Google Glass is another phase in the evolution of human-computer interactions – we moved from physical buttons to touchscreens, from touchscreens to Voice-based systems, and soon the world might switch to hands-free in the form of Glass.
Glasses taking up your entire field of vision are obviously not a very good idea. Here’s the new promo promo video, which showcases a more practical and realistic future where the Glass interface sticks to the top right of your vision; and you talk to it by saying ‘ok glass’.
Interesting times coming up! What do you think?