I think that something akin to the Google Glass, but without the camera and price tag, would be the way to go. That way you can take it off easily when you don't want the distraction. I think the occulus goggles are too immersive and will be used only in constrained settings and then only when you want the fully immersive virtual reality. For augmented reality, you will want to view the real world somehow.
My thinking is that the glasses superimpose the digital over the real world, and will include a kind of gesture recognition system to allow you to interact with the digital image, such as clicking buttons and such. So now instead of talking to someone unseen, you will be waving your hands at something unseen, making you look no less crazy, though.
The problem I see with embedded systems or even contact lenses is in getting power to the device sufficient to activate all those LEDs.
@Rich: I think the occulus goggles are too immersive and will be used only in constrained settings and then only when you want the fully immersive virtual reality.
In the case of the Oculus Rift-type presentation, you could have camera's on the front presenting you with a photo-realistic copy of the world around you -- and then superimpose the augmented text and graphics and whatnot.
I've not tried one, but I'm guessing that the problem with things like Google Glass is that it occupies only a small portion of your visual area -- and you have to specially look at it to see the info it's presenting.
Yes, you could make the goggles add a camera view to the digital info, but that seems like an expensive way to be see things in most circumstances. Although full immersive would be handy in some situations such as you describe, I don't think it will be the default condition.
As to the need to deliberately look to see the digital info I don't see that as a problem. In fact, I think it would be preferable. Otherwise the digital info keeps intruding even if you don't want to look at it.
As someone who is pretty bad at remembering people's names, i would enjoy my glasses being able to tell me (using facial recognition) what someone's name is. As a professor, this was a real challenge. Even more so when you run into the student out of context, like at the deli.
On the other hand, as a former professor, this has me worried:
"I can imagine a time when contact lenses have the capability to project high-resolution textual and graphical imagery directly onto their owners' retinas. At some stage, it wouldn't surprise me if it became possible to have such equipment embedded in the eye itself."
What are the implications here for cheating on exams?
@Janine: Where will people like you and me with such a depth of knowledge get the respect we deserve...
I don't know about you, but I'll be sitting in the corner of a bar and -- for the price of a beer many beers -- I will regale the gathered throng with tales of daring do BEFORE everyone had augmented reality :-)