Internet-connected glasses with a heads-up display seem exceedingly futuristic, but if reports are to be believed, you can expect the future to be coming by the end of this year. Google has been working on this project for a while now, and that fact alone is hardly any kind of secret, but now some new details have come to light according to a tipster at 9 to 5 Google and it turns out that it might not actually be too early to start getting excited.
None of the Google employee’s familiar with the product were okay with being named, but they did dish out a number of juicy details. The glasses are said to run on Android (unsurprisingly), have 3G or 4G data connection, a small lens-mounted screen, a small camera, and navigation by subtle head gestures. The price is expected to be around that of a smartphone somewhere from $200-$650, and they may look something like a pair of Oakley Thumps, pictured above.
Probably the two biggest concerns about these glasses so far are U.I. navigation and privacy. On the navigation front, it’s reported that movement through menus and between apps is done largely via head-tilting. While that does sound a bit awkward, sources say that it is easy to learn, becomes almost second nature, and — if done correctly — is relatively inconspicuous. The last bit is especially heartening to hear since a HUD would be significantly less appealing if you had to look like an idiot in order to use it.
When it comes to privacy, Google is still experimenting with how to ensure privacy not so much for users as for non-users. Users of the Google HUD will likely be using a number of different Google apps and can probably expect a flavor of privacy similar to Google’s standard fare. The big issue seems to be preventing users from photographing or recording non-users without their awareness or consent, something Google is still trying to address. It helps that the associated camera is expected to be pretty low-tech and used mostly for Google Goggle-like identification, not video recording or photography.
Obviously there are still a lot of details to come out and probably a lot of development to be done, but if the rumors are true and the glasses are due for release by the end of the year, they’re a lot further along than I would have thought. It’ll be interesting to see how they would fit into the hierarchy of gadgets when almost everyone has a smartphone and many are adopting tablets as their somewhat superfluous device of choice. Nonetheless, if Google is trying to usher a future of augmented sight, more power to them.
(via Bits Blog)
- Google’s recently updated privacy settings
- Microsoft’s take on Google’s new privacy settings
- Wanna give Google some more browsing data? They’ll pay you for it