Google[x], the company’s Mountain View, Calif., skunkworks, has released a concept video for an augmented reality project it’s been working on. Called Project Glass, it seems to hope to bring the web, location services, and social media straight to your eyeballs, with nothing in between.
In the video, a New Yorker with too much time on his hands, puts on his augmented reality specs in the morning and then goes through his (pointless, pointless) day. He does things that you would generally use a good smartphone for: weather updates, train service, texting, video calls. But he does them all without touching anything. He looks at the sky and the weather report pops up before his eyes. He takes pictures, makes notes, and gets directions just by talking to his glasses. (The glasses don’t answer back. It’s not Siri.)
As Wired points out, one disturbing side to this is that in a world where everybody (or even a lot of somebodies) wear these spectacles, you will never know when you are being photographed or otherwise recorded.
One of the project leaders, you might not be surprised to find is, Babak Parvis. In a feature in the September 2009 issue of IEEE Spectrum, he detailed his University of Washington lab’s attempts to put augmented reality in a contact lens. Most recently his lab reported making a single-pixel contact lens. But this concept video seems to suggest Google expects the interface to be some kind of glasses.
Image: Raygun Studio
Samuel K. Moore is the senior editor at IEEE Spectrum in charge of semiconductors coverage. An IEEE member, he has a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.