Google Glasses

Posted on April 9, 2012

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google, glasses, terminator

Google is apparently on a mission to make wearing glasses cool again.

google, glasses

Project Glass, an enterprise at Google’s highly secretive Google X lab, released photos and posted a video to YouTube on Wednesday to preview the search company’s long-rumored foray into building a better pair of specs.

The video, ominously titled “One Day … depicts what a day in the life of a Google glasses-wearer would be like. Shown literally through the eyes of a hip downtown New Yorker, the video starts with the glasses booting up. A series of icons flash into his field of vision, Terminator-style. He checks his calendar and the weather, chats and shares photos with friends in his circles (remember that week we were all active on Google+?) and listens to music.

The physical glasses frame itself, while not as clunky as it could be, is sort of a dorky optical Bluetooth. It’s all very futuristic, no doubt. Thre is no release date yet. It could take as well years to develop a full functional, wearable computer like this.

google, glasses, terminator

As soon as the video was released, many saw the problems which we could face wearing our new google glasses. Apart from a series of safety issues when wearing the glasses, one of the main concern is, what those glasses really will show. Many believe they are going to show mainly one thing: ADVERTISMENT!

But let’s look at the pro and cons the guys from Pcworld put together (pcworld.com):

PRO – People have been trying to build wearable computers for years. Project Glass puts the technology into something people already wear.

CON – Easily breakable? While I understand Google’s desire to make these glasses as unobtrusive as possible, they look awfully fragile. Consumers will use these in situations where they may be dropped or come loose. These are no doubt going to be expensive, so people will want some assurance that these won’t easily break.

PRO – Who doesn’t love hands-free computing? Maybe these will help us bypass those nanny-state laws and let us talk while we’re driving again.

CON – Using the glasses will likely be more distracting than texting currently is. Google glasses places the data in front of your line of sight so that you probably will focus on the data rather than what’s around you. This could be more dangerous than texting or using your cell phone while driving.

PRO – Glasses will no longer be cause for derision. Instead, they’ll be as fashionable as iPod earbuds. Dorothy Parker’s adage about men seldom making passes at girls who wear glasses will finally be proven wrong.

CON – What about the millions of bespectacled people? According to Vision Council of America about 75 percent of the U.S. adult population wear some type eyeglasses. Unless Google’s glasses correct vision or act as sunglasses for many it will be a hard sell.

PRO – You’ll stand out. Now that computers will be on your head instead of in your pocket or purse, you can identify other technophiles more readily on the street (although like the distinctive white iPod earbuds when they first came out, you might be a more visible target for being mugged for your tech).

CON – Where’s the battery? Google’s prototype design begs the question as to where the battery may be located. As my colleague Megan Geuss pointed out last year, smartphone batteries suck. Will Google glasses require us to wear some kind of battery pack or will your smart glasses run out of juice every three hours?

PRO – Mobile anytime “knowledge” will be breakthrough technology for handicapped people of all types, especially for intellectually and physically challenged. This technology could also revolutionize knowledge, manufacturing, and service industries allowing for fast access to needed data, maps, and schematics.

CON – Potential privacy issues. As we wear these glasses around town, the search giant might be able to gather even more data on our daily lives. The video clearly shows deep integration to Google services: you are encouraged to share with the search giant. You think Google’s ads are too personal now? Imagine those ads after wearing Google glasses!

Even so, the technology is cool. But some people already bogged down with too much information will gladly wait to see Google’s Glasses come to fruition.

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