Monday, April 9, 2012

Google Glasses: Part 1-The Announcement

-There is an app called Google Goggles which to me has become worse the longer it’s been out.  There is a company that makes goggles with an Android interface that gives general ski conditions.  But with the latest batch of Google related rumors we may be on track to achieve something resembling the 2015 deadline for Back to the Future; augmented reality glasses.  The set Doc wore looked like a bent aluminum sheetmetal cutout (which by the way gives me more of an appreciation of that mans acting ability since he was pretty much acting blind)  

The Google glasses are supposed to resemble Oakley sunglasses according to some.  From the rumors one eye would have a display that would be to the side of your vision.  This design is ideal for prototyping, but limits the uses.  Several informative tools can be available.  Using face recognition you can be reminded of who different people are.  Find out reviews of local businesses or directions to a specific place while walking there.  Sounds like usual Google speak right.

Just like with the launch of the CR-48; the barebones Chrome book, they are going minimalist with this first attempt to gauge interest. 
The CR-48 came out in early 2011 in a time when sexy laptops were small, curvy, and colorful.
In the last couple of weeks the official announcement came out that Google has been working on this.  For the last couple of years they have been working on a project called Google Glass.  It came out shortly after April 1st so people were unsure whether it was just another prank from the search mogul.  They released a video touting their potential.  In the next couple days several parody videos popped up.  Google will certainly have to fight the stigma, but the key point is that people are talking about the project and the company.

The technology is to a point that products can begin to be tested in the wild.  It had to be announced so they could put their prototypes in public.  
Google Glass Prototype

My fear is that the temptation to put this into the market will be too great and a faulty product will only further damage the image of augmented reality.  

To get the full impact, manufacturers will need to take the idea the full way through.  In other words, full immersion.  The design will have to be reasonably light and fashionable (at least starting out), it will have an independent camera and screen at each eye.  It may give the look of regular sunglasses, but there will be no normal lens, only the latest LED screen that shows the world as the cameras see it.  To reduce eye strain, the the refresh rate of screens used on color e-reader devices must catch up to play live video.  Then users gain full control of their visual world.  Earbuds readily can be positioned into your ears from the legs of the glasses.  In each arm is a Bluetooth 3.0 to give the communication necessary to transmit and receive enough information to the users smartphone; if it is still even associated as a smartphone in this near time.  2 options will be available for people to power the device.  A battery can plug into both arms and hang behind the neck.  This also prevents the glasses from falling off.  Alternatively, it can plug into your brick smartphone.  That’s the basic design requirements now I can get to predictions of what it means.  This is where other articles seemed to lack imagination.  They seemed set on assuming everyone switches to seeing naked people with the glasses Google is currently proposing.  In the next posts I'll explore the possibilities as I see them.

UP NEXT: Google Glasses: ‘Spec’ulation 1- The End of TV

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