Google is reportedly working on digital sunglasses with advanced capabilities. Among other things the Google glasses will supposedly allow users to use GPS while walking the street add visual information in the form of Augmented Reality as well as give you many of the capabilities current smartphones do. When should we expect these wonder glasses? keep on reading.
The first leaks about Google secret plan to develop advanced digital eyewear didn’t start yesterday. In fact in mid December 2011 the New York Times reported that both Apple and Google are working on advanced wearable projects. But while Apple is supposedly working on a watch like computer, Google has been working on advanced glasses.
The idea of a personal heads up display isn’t new. On July 2007 we had a chance to visit visited the offices of Lumus – an Israeli startup located near the Weizmann Institute of Science in the city of Rehovot. The company developed what was supposedly the first see-through head-mounted display. Since 2007 Lumus was not able to bring a product to the market but continued to develop its technology and recently a new generation of prototype see through glasses was unveiled.
It’s not clear wheatear or not there is any connection between what Lumus has been developing and what has been going on in Google’s secret labs but even if they are based on different technology (some claim the Google eyewear uses a form of transparent OLED technology) they both have lots of potential. Google of course is especially poised to make something of this potential using many of its current technologies.
It is highly likely that the Google eyewear will use some sort of Android OS and will be connected to the web using WIFI or 3G and giving it access to a variety of Google services including all types of location based searches, social networks (where you can see where you friends are on a map in relation to your position) as well as various levels of augmented reality.
So far augmented reality was mostly restricted to fairly cumbersome use as well as cell phones which are not typically held in front of the eyes for long periods of time and are not transparent. Google eyewear might change all that by adding virtual information in front of a person that is relevant to his location.
Another potential use for augmented reality based Google eyewear might be gaming. Playing first person shooters in a real world environment with both real and virtual players and enemies might be the ultimate gaming experience. This might get gamers to get up from their chairs and move into the real world looking for their next adrenalin rush.
Its not exactly clear when are all these amazing technologies going to be realized but what seems quite clear at this point is that Google is serious about its plans to launch a product in 2012 for between $250 and $600.
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.