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Google glasses coming to stores this year?

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February 22, 2012

Google's Android-powered glasses (NOT pictured) could provide a heads-up display to the we...

Google's Android-powered glasses (NOT pictured) could provide a heads-up display to the wearer and connect over wireless data services (Photo: Shutterstock)

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A number of anonymous Google employees are reporting that the company is currently developing Android-powered glasses that can provide a heads-up display to the wearer and connect over wireless data services. The glasses will purportedly work like a wearable version of the Google Goggles app, providing real time information on a user's location via GPS and motion sensors. Even more surprising, the same sources are saying these "Google glasses" could be available to the public by the end of this year.

The Google glasses have apparently been in production for quite some time at Google's secretive Project X lab, where the company designs its more outlandish projects, such as robots, space elevators, and the like. Anonymous employees have indicated that this is strictly an experimental program from Google, though it may look into future business applications depending on how successful the product is.

Aside from a few buttons on the side, the glasses are said to resemble a regular pair of eyeglasses with a design similar to the Oakley Thumps (pictured below). The glasses will feature a low-resolution camera on the front for gathering information to relay to a small screen built into one side of the lenses. The screen will not be transparent, but will be located to the side of the frame, so as not to obscure a person's view but still give an augmented reality feel. The camera will also be able to take pictures, and have a built-in flash.

Aside from a few buttons on the side, the glasses are said to resemble a regular pair of e...

Using either WiFi or a 3G/4G connections, the device will tap into Google's cloud and relay information to the user on their environment, including locations or friends nearby and objects that they look at. The glasses will also work as a smartphone, allowing users to make calls, use certain apps, and connect with friends.

Actually controlling the glasses will be a bit unique, as reading through information on the display will require a user to tilt their head to scroll and click. Sources at Google have noted that this function is actually a lot easier to use than it sounds, and will not be noticeable to others.

Unnamed employees told the New York Times that the new Google glasses are expected to be priced much like a current smartphone (in the US$250 to $600 range) and are aimed for a 2012 release date.

Source: New York Times, 9to5Google

About the Author
Jonathan Fincher Jonathan grew up in Norway, China, and Trinidad before graduating film school and becoming an online writer covering green technology, history and design, as well as contributing to video game news sites like Filefront and 1Up. He currently resides in Texas, where his passions include video games, comics, and boring people who don't want to talk about either of those things.   All articles by Jonathan Fincher
11 Comments

Predicting 10 years from now... much of one's daily life will be recorded using glasses such as these. When you can now put 128 gig on a sandisk... whats to prevent you from just hitting record and keeping it there. Heck.... put facial recognition on the glasses and you'll never forget a name or the details of that person again.

Dana Lawton
22nd February, 2012 @ 03:45 pm PST

I just hope Oakley are not involved in the manufacture of the Google Glasses.

Oakley's quality has been slipping.

Dory Goldberger
22nd February, 2012 @ 04:08 pm PST

WHY promote your article with a sexy looking pair of HUD glasses when all we get is this UGLY looking GENERIC piece of crap?

paulgo
22nd February, 2012 @ 06:15 pm PST

Dog the Bounty Hunter will become UNSTOPPABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Derek Howe
22nd February, 2012 @ 06:17 pm PST

This should do wonders for the situational awareness of drivers- imagine trying to navigate web pages while driving. Where I live, a few people a month are killed walking in front of light rail trains while wearing iPod earbuds. I don't think these glasses are going to cut that toll down any.

William R. Mosby
23rd February, 2012 @ 08:25 am PST

Controlling the device can be done:

Voice activation

This can activate iris detector

The eye looks, and blinking twice can activate

This can be very efficient with practice

This has an excellent future and Google's decision to have the screen slightly to the side, rather than a transparent or translucent display is much better, and the screen could be made movable.

If one is sitting relaxed, then motion sensors can be used, especially for games. One has to be relaxed and away otherwise the knocking head would look awkward.

Also the concept of remote realtime and augmented reality and HUD would be available to civilians. This will also help the disabled to control all kinds of devices. It should be known that the military has had similar technologies since the 70's.

Dawar Saify
23rd February, 2012 @ 09:08 am PST

Augmented reality would be good thing in many situations. I don't think this product will really offer that but its a step in the right direction. Your Tom-Tom really needs this kind of interface. Also it would be great for nice people almost all of whom are not as beautiful as the the models they push in our faces on TV. You could go and find a companion who is pleasant and nice to be around even if they aren't pretty and augment their appearance with the appropriate app. You get the "Best of Both Worlds", or you get assimilated. I'm not sure which or if I care. :-)

Rustin Haase
23rd February, 2012 @ 09:44 am PST

Ever read "Accelerando" by Stross? It predicted these 6 years ago.

I wonder if Apple can sue for ...something??

Tom Phoghat Sobieski
23rd February, 2012 @ 10:58 am PST

Should go well with Google's robo-car.

Daniel Vulikh
23rd February, 2012 @ 11:21 am PST

I'd like to give you a heads up about your use of "heads up." This phrase is from a practice of getting people to become aware of a threat coming their way (like say a foul ball hurtling toward them). You want all heads to go up to spot the "missile."

HUD on the other hand, stands for HEAD Up Display because the user - originally a fighter pilot - could access information normally only available on an instrument panel with his head up - thus not losing contact with the all-important flight environment.

I would think a technical publication like yours would know this.

Nanoman
23rd February, 2012 @ 11:53 am PST

I've already seen them and they are wonderful. Battery life is their only real problem.

hawc
23rd February, 2012 @ 10:43 pm PST
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