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.
Reading / interacting with unrelated digital display information is incompatible with maintaining situational awareness as you walk (or drive) through a complex environment. Perhaps we need to ensure that people have paused before providing additional information. IF the information relates to the task at hand, such as a "heads-up" display in an aircraft, then it may enhance rather than hamper safety and efficiency. We must prevent people concentrating on their Googles Glasses from stepping out in front of trucks.
Neurosurgeons might in fact have a previously taken CT or MRI image of a tumor superimposed on the actually opened cranium to aid in the removal of it.
Similarly with the aircraft's data superimposed on the scene and changing based on where the eyes are looking: "is it a friend or a foe at 5 o'clock?"
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.
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.
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?