Google Unveils Project Glass Augmented-Reality Spectacles [Video]

Google Inc is getting into the eyewear business with a pair of thin wraparound shades that puts the company’s Web services in your face.

Google posted a brief introduction to Project Glass, photos and a concept video at its Google+ social network, reports BBC.

“A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment,” Google wrote in a post on a Google+ page devoted to Project Glass

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.”

The images show a minimalist design with a microphone and partly-transparent video screen that places information over the view from the users’ right eye.

The Google+ page also  featured a 2-1/2 minute video, shot from the perspective of someone wearing the glasses, writes Reuters.

The video suggests icons offering 14 different services that will be offered to the user when the glasses are first put on, including information about the weather, their location and diary appointments.

The wearer of the glasses goes about his day walking through New York City while speaking commands to the glasses to do things such as take a photo and post it to Google+, get block-by-block directions and weather conditions and get a pop-up alert when a friend is nearby.

The video shows one user being reminded he has a date that evening when he looks up at a blank wall, and then warns him that there is a 10% chance it will rain when he looks out of the window.

An alert pops up when a friend sends a text asking if he wants to meet up later in the day. When the user dictates a reply a microphone symbol is superimposed over much of his view.

According to The Huff Post, the glasses run a form of Google’s Android operating system that appears to be both voice-controlled and, less familiarly, view-controlled.

A bar of small icons is put just above the wearer’s line of sight, and by looking upward, the wearer can interact with the icons to view the weather, send text messages, and do much of what a smartphone can do.

What is more, in addition to smartphone functionality the Google glasses attempt to interact with the world that it sees in front of and around the wearer, “augmenting” or supplementing the reality that the wearer experiences.

Google, the world’s No. 1 search engine, is famous for letting its employees work on ambitious projects that don’t always have a direct relation to its business.

However, those projects have not always sat well with investors, who worry about Google’s spending on projects with uncertain returns.

It is known that Google Chief Executive Larry Page has cut down on many of the projects and products underway at the company since taking the reins a year ago.

But Page has defended Google’s commitment to working on “speculative” projects that could one day turn into “billion-dollar businesses,” though he has stressed the company isn’t “betting the farm” on such efforts.

The New York Times had previously suggested that the first set of glasses would go on sale before the end of the year for somewhere between $250-$600 (£157-£378). But experts admit that the technology shown in the video may still be some way off being ready for market.

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