Print 18 comment(s) - last by Doken44.. on Jul 1 at 11:24 PM

Augmented reality-cum-camera device is demoed in a flashy skydiving and rappelling stunt

At its Google I/O conference keynote on Wednesday, Google Inc. (GOOG) showed off its latest results of "Project Glass", which followed the unveil of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

I. Meet Google Glass

In a flashy stunt, friends of Google co-founder Sergey Brin parachuted onto the roof of the Moscone Center wearing Google Glasses to chronicle the descent in frightening fashion.  Fortunately, they touched down safe and sound, making a grand on-stage entrance.

More Glasses wearing stuntpeople then went on a jump-laden ride across the roof, ending by rappelling down the roof.  The whole event was broadcast live to the keynote audience via the Glasses, with multiple views.

Sergey Brin sums up, "That was awesome guys... that was pretty amazing!"

Google Glass
Skydiving to the ground [Image Source: YouTube]

Google Glass
Celebrations on the roof [Image Source: YouTube]

II. From the Lab to the Wild

The augment reality-cum-camera wearable gadgets hatched at Google's secret Google X Laboratory, two and a half years ago.  Initially prototypes were bulky, but Google eventually shrunk them to fit within a stylish frame, which features a video camera, processor, storage, a microphone, sensors (gyroscope, accelerometer, GPS, etc.), a radio (for transmission of content), and a touch panel for interaction.

Google Glasses
Google Glasses: old (left), new (right) [Image Source: YouTube]

Google Glasses lead designer Isabelle Olsson (above right) presented the glasses in their more-stylish present-day form.  The display for the glasses is slightly above your eye to be "close to your senses, but not blocking them", she says.  

She adds, "Whether it's with family or with friends, we want to empower people to use technology naturally... So, we wanted to pack all this amazing technology into this product to let you do amazing things with it.  But that's also a slight conflict, due to that if this is not ridiculously light it does not belong on your face.  We didn't only want to make it physically light, but also visually light."

The latest prototype "weighs less on your nose than many sunglasses", Ms. Olsson says.

Google's ultimate goal, according to the engineering team, is to communicate via images and capture important moments in your life.  Ms. Olsson says sharing will be "easy and seamless."  

One reoccurring theme seemed to be taking pictures of one's baby -- so prepare yourself, Facebook users.  Another possible use, Google suggests, is creating powerful visual tutorials via streams of pictures.

The other aim of Glasses is rapid access of information.  The glasses can offer you navigation information and local details about your environment.  For example a runner/biker could see their speed and a map of where they should turn.  In one example, a user even "looked" at a mystery food item to find out what it was.

III. Availability

So want Glasses -- well you're out of luck for now.  Google is offering them exclusively to I/O attendees for $1,500 USD.  Pre-orders will be taken during the conference and the glasses will ship in early 2013 to U.S. destinations only.

Google Glass
[Image Source: YouTube]

Google plans to later expand the effort beyond the developers later, with a full consumer device, based on its learning experience from the dev version.

The only thing missing from the Google Glass presentation was the obvious unmentioned "alternative" use -- homemade sex tapes.

Source: YouTube

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Birth control glasses
By djcameron on 6/27/2012 6:41:46 PM , Rating: 3
Be the first to look like a complete dork!

Seriously though, it's bad enough having people texting and driving, or texting and walking. Imagine the potential chaos of having people walking/driving around with these on.

RE: Birth control glasses
By JasonMick on 6/27/2012 6:44:54 PM , Rating: 5
Be the first to look like a complete dork!

Seriously though, it's bad enough having people texting and driving, or texting and walking. Imagine the potential chaos of having people walking/driving around with these on.
Tell me with a straight face that Isabelle Olsson looks like a dork.

RE: Birth control glasses
By Camikazi on 6/27/2012 6:49:37 PM , Rating: 2
Kind of looks like a Borg but then again only good looking people can get away with wearing these and not being called a dork. Has nothing to do with the item, it's the person who wears it that matters. Good looking people can wear almost anything and not look dorky while average looking people have to be careful of what they wear.

RE: Birth control glasses
By Shadowself on 6/27/2012 6:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
She certainly is much, much more appealing than Jonnie Ive!

RE: Birth control glasses
By djcameron on 6/27/2012 9:19:49 PM , Rating: 3
She looks like a really hot dork.

RE: Birth control glasses
By Milliamp on 6/27/2012 9:25:43 PM , Rating: 3
She looks nerdy there yeah. Here is the girl from the thumbnail

(I think Isabelle Olsson took that photo)

RE: Birth control glasses
By MrBlastman on 6/28/2012 11:51:55 AM , Rating: 1
That girl is hotter. :)

On a more serious thought, who wants to record everything they do from their own perspective every day? As people, we do many things that make us look bad or silly (and sometimes stupid) on a daily basis. Go ahead and try to deny this but everyone worth any neurons knows this is the case.

I know you can take them off--and that is nice, but there are other devices out there currently that let you record stuff as well without having to wear a pair of glasses like this one:

And what about people who already wear glasses? One of many reasons I don't see movies in 3D is the glasses are annoying to wear over my existing ones.

I know there are some neat things that developers will come up with for these to be used for--but ultimately, I'm not sure I want to have on my person another device that can be used to track and catalog me that has access to the internet which through some devious app, can share this information with the rest of the world.

But, for most people, they probably don't care about this. They already share everything about their private life online whimsically without any care, completely oblivious to all the pitfalls they open themselves to. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose.

RE: Birth control glasses
By Ramstark on 6/29/2012 2:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Does she look like a dork to you?:

Seriously,those glasses, in the correct situation would give anyone a great advantage, that is, depending on the GUI...I don't want to be talking to my glasses...

RE: Birth control glasses
By geddarkstorm on 6/28/2012 11:40:19 AM , Rating: 2
This thing reminds me of the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 "viewscreen" like device the Vorta of the Dominion would wear while commanding a ship.


Another Star Trek tech coming to life, and no liquid aliens actually required?

RE: Birth control glasses
By TSS on 6/27/2012 7:36:40 PM , Rating: 3
It's going to be a lot less then looking down at a phone. I imagine with transparent glasses like that you'll never get a truely black color so whatever you're focussing on will still have reality in the background, even though it's obscured. And moving your eyeball is alot faster then moving your head.

And as a person who already has to wear glasses, if i can get these to my prescription instead of my regular glasses i'd switch in a second.

Oh, and the glasses aren't what makes people look like dorks. It's behaviour, not appearance. Ya dork.

RE: Birth control glasses
By djcameron on 6/27/2012 9:21:55 PM , Rating: 2
This will be worse, because it will be distracting you constantly, whereas most people only look at their phone occasionally.

You're right, glasses don't, but these will.

RE: Birth control glasses
By quiksilvr on 6/28/2012 9:10:02 AM , Rating: 2
I see people walk down the street CONSTANTLY LOOKING AT THEIR PHONES. I see people driving while texting/calling and even at dinner tables, movies, and malls.

Trust me, this hands off, blinking in the corner, virtually fully voice experience (with an occasional brush along the side) is going to be a MAJOR improvement.

Plus, you can have it set to disable notifications while driving (accelerometers ftw) or only show you GPS directions (which is far less distracting than turning your head to the dashboard to see the next exit).

RE: Birth control glasses
By Master Kenobi on 6/28/2012 5:46:27 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking that like Sync, a little vehicle intergration capability and these could become an excellent HUD that could convey useful things like situational awareness of other vehicles that most drivers are too stupid to pay attention to.

How does this thing even work?
By someguy123 on 6/27/2012 6:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
Aren't there focus issues with anything so close to your eyes? I thought this was the problem fighter pilots were facing with helmet HUDS, and those aren't even right on top of your eyes like this. If something so simple can retain focus, why would the military still cling to helmets?

RE: How does this thing even work?
By rs2 on 6/27/2012 8:04:12 PM , Rating: 2
If you try to actually focus directly on the screen, yes. But if the image on the screen is adjusted so that it appears to be in focus when looking through it, then no.

I imagine that it's comparable to VR helmets and glasses that place two LCD screens right in front of the user's eyes. They're usable because the images are offset appropriately to make them appear to be in focus when your eyes are actually looking out at some point well beyond the physical location of the screens themselves.

By someguy123 on 6/27/2012 8:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
But that doesn't actually work, at least well enough to produce anything but a blurr, which is one of the reasons why they're developing autofocus contact lenses for AR.

By Paj on 6/28/2012 7:37:06 AM , Rating: 2
I came up with this idea for a university project about 10 years ago. I'm totally suing them - prior art and all that.

Anyway, I doubt these will look any dorkier than bluetooth headsets do now. Possibly even less so, since people wear glasses normally anyway.

Call me paranoid
By Doken44 on 7/1/2012 11:24:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'll be interested in these when they shield the radio in a way that prevents the device from broadcasting into my skull.
There is also inconclusive evidence that excessive exposure to these frequencies can cause brain cancer.
As a side note, Bluetooth is potentially much worse because of the shorter wave lengths used.
Call me paranoid, but I will be very conservative with my use of such devices for the next 10 years until after their safety has been proven.

No, I don't wear a foil hat.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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