Project Glass has been a rumor supported by a YouTube video that sparked much excitement. Project Glass is a research and development endeavor by Google to create an augmented reality head-mounted display. The video here shows what their vision of what Project Glass would be and the most recent video here shows a group of skydivers and bikers enjoying the GoogleHangout function that lets you share and record what you are seeing. There was also a video released of agroup of skydivers diving while wearing Google goggles and showing what it is they viewed. These videos are making mobile developers ecstatic. The fact is that these videos are showing real application in the world and how they can and will be used, but in a fun and exciting way. Google Glasses are set to be what Google means as a Company and their future, and what a future to have.
Today it was announced at the I/O Google Tech Conference that they are much further ahead on their “virtual reality glasses” than anyone expected. As of today they are available for preorder, but only for US based developers that attend the I/O conference for $1,500. This is a steep price, but the chance to experience and develop for these fantastic devices is well worth it. There is no word yet when the public will be able to get their hands on them, but the preordered copies will be released in early 2013.
Project Glass Product Manager stated that as we start to allow technology to consume our time and focus human interaction starts to fade. This trend has been rocketing upward with the use of twittering, web browsing, instagramming, and their like. Glass is capable of kicking the growing fad to the curb by forcing people to live in the moment and interact with the world around them rather than just a screen on a device in your hand. You have to look around for the device to work creating an interactive world all-around you that is interesting and full of excitement. During a demo of Project Glass Sergey Brin made the statement that Project Glass will free you, that it will make you less of a slave to your device. This could be the future of our world.
At a Google I/O Brin states “It’s not for reading a book, although you could do that. It’s for catching a text, or a picture… I just took one of you now.”
The Glasses are still in testing mode and one thing they are addressing is how safe they are while driving. The statement is that the limited amount of data that the Glasses show allow it to be safe and the fact that they display images to appear far away keeps the eyes from refocusing like they do when you glance at your dashboard. Not only that, but there appears to be a lot of work tying Google Glasses in with the hinted at self-driving cars that Google is working on. Google wants these glasses to allow you to interact with a virtual world without distracting you from the real world around you. Google wants answers to your queries to happen so quickly that you “know it”.
Google’s hope by releasing the Explorer Edition to developers is that they will go “hog wild” with them and test the limits of their device. They are going to take the data gained by developers flashing, changing, and tinkering with the Glasses and use them to create the right API’s and extensibility.
The $1,500 Explorers Edition is not to be an example of what the consumer product will be or cost. The plan is that the price tag will much lower, but we as consumers have to understand that the focus of this device is not to make it as cheap as possible, but to create a premium device that will be well worth its cost.
There is even talk of Google Glasses being able to integrate with existing glass for those that are wondering. This means that for those with vision problems that wear glasses, you will be able to attach the device to your frames and use them like anyone else.
Google Glasses are huge step towards the technological integration that we seem to be seeking and for many it is very exciting. Google seems to be electing a focus on the near future rather than trying to compete with Apple and Microsoft now and whether it pays off or not will be interesting. This is very exciting for App developers all over the world and it should be. Who doesn’t want to have a pair?