At present, “Project Glass” is just a work in progress but Google assured its audience at last week’s I/O Conference that this augmented reality device will eventually be offered to the masses (how many of those masses ill actually be able to buy the device is another matter – a pre-order developer unit costs $1,500).
I guess the main thing to know about Project Glass is that it enables people wearing the glasses to search information, voice record messages, watch online videos, read text messages and post photos online without having to worry about fumbling with a handheld device.
With the device only scheduled to go on general sale in 2014, Google’s main aim at this stage is to receive as much developer feedback as possible. For example, a simple but obvious way for Google to get input on its latest project is through a dedicated post on Google+. Whatever you make of augmented reality, it is fair to say that this is a truly innovative device by Google and one that holds a lot of promise:
- Changing the way how we communicate – Think hands-free text messages, truly one-to-one tutorials and video conferencing that suddenly has become a whole lot easier.
- Access to and organising information – It will be interesting to see how ‘practical’ Google’s Project Glass will turn out to be, but I can imagine that the biggest draw of the device will be instant information access. From looking at some of the demo videos, it looks like the data overlays will not take up one’s entire field of vision but will instead appear in one’s peripheral vision. This will make the information present and instant enough for a user to access and organise.
- Posting and sharing will become even easier and quicker – With this new device the way in which we take pictures is likely to change dramatically. With the device stuck to your glasses, the opportunities for one to take pictures will increase significantly. Similarly, I can imagine it will become much easier to then post and share these pictures within one’s social network.
Main learning point: even though “Project Glass” is currently only in its prototype stage, it looks like a very cool and innovative device. The question remains how interactive and easy-to-use the actual consumer version will be. Like with all innovations, it is probably safe to expect something that will be very pricey, buggy and not super easy to use at first. It will be interesting to see if Project Glass or at it least its understanding technology will eventually turn into something that is here to stay.
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