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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 (blog) on 6/27/2012 6:44:54 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
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.

http://d35lb3dl296zwu.cloudfront.net/uploads/photo...


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 http://www.isabelleolsson.se/imgs/isabelle_olsson_...

(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:

http://contour.com/

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
PLEASE!!
Does she look like a dork to you?:
http://preview.minilink.es/724

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.

Observe: http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk128/eponymous...

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).


By Master Kenobi (blog) 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.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer














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