By the end of this year, you won’t have to pull out your smartphone for directions while walking down the street: The information will be displayed directly in front of your very eyes, if you buy a pair of the glasses Google is developing, Newser reports.
The New York Times informs, according to several Google employees familiar with the project who asked not to be named, the glasses will go on sale to the public by the end of the year. These people said they are expected “to cost around the price of current smartphones,” or $250 to $600.
Augmented reality traditionally uses increasingly commonplace technologies to add information to images on the screens of mobile phones and tablets.
According to The Telegraph, a digital camera and internet connectivity is combined with location data – so if you point your phone at Big Ben, because the device knows where you are it’s comparatively simple to add information to the image on screen.
And while the obvious uses are for, say, historical information, there’s space for advertisers and social services to tell you where to, say, meet up with friends for a drink.
Although Google itself resolutely refused to give any oxygen to rumours of the project, the New York Times reports that the glasses will use the same operating system as Google’s mobile phone.
Seth Weintraub, a blogger for 9 to 5 Google, who first wrote about the glasses project in December, and then discovered more information about them this month, also said the glasses would be Android-based and cited a source that described their look as that of a pair of Oakley Thumps.
The search giant is reportedly considering how people might be informed that they are being ‘processed’ by the glasses, but Google’s existing augmented reality software, Google Goggle, focuses on objects rather than individuals.
The glasses will also include sensors like motion and GPS and a low-resolution camera.
“The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click,” Mr. Weintraub wrote this month. “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 project is currently being built in the Google X offices, a secretive laboratory near Google’s main campus that is charged with working on robots, space elevators and dozens of other futuristic projects.
The glasses are not intended to be worn at all times. Apple is exploring a similar option, but its creation would be worn around the wrist.
One of the key people involved with the glasses is Steve Lee, a Google engineer and creator of the Google mapping software, Latitude.
The other key leader on the glasses project is Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, who is currently spending most of his time in the Google X labs, reports The New York Times.
The glasses will send data to the cloud and then use things like Google Latitude to share location, Google Goggles to search images and figure out what is being looked at, and Google Maps to show other things nearby, the Google employee said.
“You will be able to check in to locations with your friends through the glasses,” they added.