Google plans to release smart glasses that will offer users real-time, on screen information relevant to their current location, frequent areas of interest, as well as packing all of the features of the smartphone. Geographical information about nearby buildings will be made available through Google Maps, and real time social based data such as recent reviews of restaurants, cafes and bars will appear next to the venue itself when in the user’s field of vision. This makes sense, as Google have recently invested $120 million in a new research facility devoted to “precision optical technologies”.
Developed at Google’s X offices, a secretive lab in which forward thinking projects such as space elevators, robots, (portal guns, propulsion gel etc…) are developed, the new Android based eyewear, Google Glasses, offering a smartphone style experience but projected onto screen styled lenses only inches from the eye, will offer instant access to information, entertainment and, as is to be expected with Google products, advertisements. These glasses will feature a combination of virtual and augmented reality features. All of this information will be made available to users through connectivity with the cloud.
The Google Glasses will make use of either a 3G or 4G connection to pull in various kinds of real-time data from Google’s vast libraries of information, which will then be displayed in augmented reality. The glasses will make price comparisons in the supermarket for example, almost instantaneously informative.
It is good to mention that these glasses are not intended for constant use, although Google engineers do expect many users will wear them a great deal, but much in the manner of the smartphone, used on a need to use basis, with the lenses acting as a transparent computer monitor. Consumers can expect the same features as a high end smartphone, boasting motion sensing capabilities, audio inputs and outputs, GPS, etc.
However, despite all of this tempting technology, concerns about privacy were raised in the Times, who reported:
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.
Those who have had access to the glasses but are not yet disposed to speak about the device have mentioned that the location based features are what makes the concept so striking. If looking at a building, users will be able to view detailed information about the building’s former uses, historical information and even contemporary comments on social media. Google are not currently considering making business specific models until a proven market emerges after the consumer release.
Expect a demonstration at Google I/O this June…