Reporting on technology and science news daily doesn’t come without its own fair share of truly astounding things to deliver to you all from time to time. But even by those standards, the news that Google is planning to launch a pair of “smart glasses” (appropriately named the ‘Google Goggles’ for the time being) by the end of the year is quite remarkable.
If sources close to the New York Times are to be believed –- reported to be ‘several’ Google employees currently working with the project –- the Terminator-style glasses will provide you with your very own heads-up display most commonly seen in first-person shooters. Though they probably won’t end up displaying your own health bar, or the amount of ammunition in your back pocket (hopefully none), the glasses are expected to be able to display information of the world around you with the help of augmented reality technology and a built-in low-resolution camera that will allow the goggles to “monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby”. Wearers of the glasses might also ‘see’ reviews pop up of restaurants or businesses that they pass, or even advertisements depending on their location.
Blog 9 to 5 Google, which has been following the project closely for some time, has also claimed the glasses will likely have a ‘ground-breaking’ navigation system that will allow users to tilt their heads to scroll, click and interact with augmented feeds. A blog post reported, “We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.” The post also divulged how their ‘tipster’ revealed to them that the prototype glasses looked similar to Oakley’s Thump sunglasses.
Augmented reality has been, well, a reality for quite a few years now through smartphones and tablets, though it has never really taken off into the mainstream, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Google can bring anything new to the game. It seems the company is hesitant to commit to mass-market production schedules, 9 to 5 Google states the search giant is “currently deciding on how it wants to release these glasses...and Google is apparently unsure if it will have mass-market appeal. Therefore, the company is considering making this a pilot program.” Rumoured to be around the cost of a smartphone, we'd pre-order a pair now if Google so let us.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.