TEL AVIV, Israel-- Google Goggles may have only been a figurative name for the firm’s image recognition app, but the unveiling of Project Glass, could make real Google glasses a reality someday.
The search engine giant announced Project Glass on its social network, Google Plus, showing off pictures and even a concept video of the augmented reality eye-wear that could eventually create a digital overlay on top of people’s visual reality.
The concept is for the glasses to give wearers a smart-phone like experience without a smartphone.
The concept pictures posted by the team show glasses frames with a small display screen fitted in front of one eye, which would be able to overlay information and be activated by voice control.
“We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t,” wrote the concept developers.
“A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment.”
The developers said they were sharing the project online because they wanted to start a conversation around the concept that would lead to “valuable input.”
Google is not the first firm to think of augmented reality glasses, however. In 2008, Apple filed a patent for a similar concept. Despite seemingly being beaten to the patent, though, Google’s engineers may have some aces still up their sleeves, with talk of turning the concept into contact lenses through bio-nanotechnology.
It's a cool concept but Project Glass will have to get away from an antenna near the temple region if they don't want users concerned about SAR from wireless components. Also, based on that form factor, it will be fairly difficult to design all of the electronics into the device without investing in custom ASICs. Power supplies (including battery), wireless devices with EMI shielding, a processor, storage, audio and video codecs + analog interfacing. It will be a challenging design task for sure. Maybe some variant of the DaVinci processors would do the trick?
Fascinating concept! The user may see something different from what the video shows given the form factor. I am really interested in knowing how comfortable wearing it.
In addition to the technical challenges, the distraction to the user needs to be accessed properly. Cell phone talking while driving is already proven to impose dangerous to the road. I don't know how well people interact to the environment with multiple screens in front of them. Maybe, assisted driving and assisted walking will help.
I would hope that the things turn off while someone is driving a motor vehicle or aircraft, or while performing neurosurgery.
May we assume that the device includes short-range terrain analysis to keep wearers from falling down open sewers or stairwells?
This resembles the MIThril project from the late '90s -- Google "mithril glasses" -- only with bigger databases, better AI, and more compact hardware. I expect to run into a lot of well-informed, distracted people in the near future -- pun intended.
Also, when I saw those specs, I assumed that they were short range wirelessly connected to some device being worn by the user. Thus, SAR concerns would be no different that a cell phone with a bluetooth tranceiver.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.