[LINK] Google glasses
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed Feb 22 19:54:03 AEDT 2012
Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Years End
By NICK BILTON February 21, 2012
People who constantly reach into a pocket to check a smartphone for bits
of information will soon have another option: a pair of Google-made
glasses that will be able to stream information to the wearers eyeballs
in real time.
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. These people said they are expected to cost around the price
of current smartphones, or $250 to $600.
The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-
based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from
someones eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a
number of sensors including motion and GPS.
A Google spokesman declined to comment on the project.
Seth Weintraub, a blogger for 9 to 5 Google, who first wrote about the
glasses project in December, and then discovered more information about
them this month, also said the glasses would be Android-based and cited a
source that described their look as that of a pair of Oakley Thumps.
They will also have a unique navigation system. The navigation system
currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click, Mr. Weintraub
wrote this month. 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.
The glasses will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able
to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about
locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby,
according to the Google employees.
The glasses are not designed to be worn constantly although Google
expects some of the nerdiest users will wear them a lot but will be
more like smartphones, used when needed.
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.
The project is currently being built in the Google X offices, a secretive
laboratory near Googles main campus that is charged with working on
robots, space elevators and dozens of other futuristic projects.
One of the key people involved with the glasses is Steve Lee, a Google
engineer and creator of the Google mapping software, Latitude. As a
result of Mr. Lees involvement, location information will be paramount
in the first version released to the public, several people who have seen
the glasses said. The other key leader on the glasses project is Sergey
Brin, Googles co-founder, who is currently spending most of his time in
the Google X labs.
One Google employee said 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 like those that people 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,
the Google employee said. You will be able to check in to locations with
your friends through the glasses, they added.
Everyone I spoke with who was familiar with the project repeatedly said
that Google was not thinking about potential business models with the new
glasses. Instead, they said, Google sees the project as an experiment
that anyone will be able to join. If consumers take to the glasses when
they are released later this year, then Google will explore possible
As I noted in a Disruptions column last year, Apple engineers are also
exploring wearable computing, but the company is taking a different
route, focusing on computers that strap around someones wrist..
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