After Mobile and Self-Driving Cars, Google To Release Glasses! But Not Just Any Glasses…
By: Hillel Fuld
Two of the most interesting companies to watch in the tech space are Apple and Google. At least in my personal opinion. What is interesting to note, however, is that these two companies are polar opposites in nearly every possible way.
Google is well known for releasing “Half-baked” products and perfecting them by using social crowd sourcing. Apple won’t release a product until every single screw (figuratively and literally) is in the right place. Siri is the only exception to that rule being the first Apple beta product that I know of.
Google decided long ago that its goal is to be everywhere, even in places where there is no revenue to be found, and even if it will actually cost the company money. Apple is well-known for its premium products that are priced accordingly.
Top top it off, Apple is all about focus. When Jobs returned to Apple to find the company just a few months away from bankruptcy, the first thing he did was cut many of its products and focus on a few.
Jobs even told Google that they are doing it wrong and they need to focus on a few core products. Suffice to say, Google did not listen. It is becoming increasingly difficult to name an industry not directly affected by Google. Search, mobile, email, location, automobiles, TV, online video, and the list goes on and on.
The thing is, Google doesn’t enter a space to just be there. When Google decides to take on an industry, it always makes a grand entrance. It happened with search, it happened with mobile, and it is about to happen with augmented reality accessories.
According to various reports, Google is in advanced stages of developing a pair of glasses that look something like the Oakley glasses below.
What will these Google glasses do? Well, the real question you should be asking is “What WON’T these Google glasses do?”
According to a 9to5google report from a few months ago:
“They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that “normal people” wear. However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface. There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses. Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below:
In addition, we have heard that this device is not an “Android peripheral” as the NYT stated. According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the “Google Goggles” could use a phone’s Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0.
The use-case is augmented reality that would tie into Google’s location services. A user can walk around with information popping up and into display -Terminator-style- based on preferences, location and Google’s information.
Therefore, these things likely connect to the Internet and have GPS. They also likely run a version of Android.”
But, wait, that report, as mentioned, is a few months old. There is more.
The glasses have a front-facing camera with a flash and a “few megapixel” sensor. The built-in navigation system currently used is a head tilting-to scroll and click. The glasses will also include voice input and output, and the CPU/RAM/storage hardware is near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone. 9to5google is speculating something like 1GHz ARM A8, 256MB RAM and 8GB of storage. Of course, the glasses will also function as a smartphone.
Google is unsure what to do with this technology or whether it will appeal to mass markets. What is for sure, is that the market is not ready for it yet. So, rumor has it, Google is considering a pilot program like they did with the Chromebooks last year to let some insiders test out the glasses.
Personally, in addition to a cool looking pair of glasses, the potential effects of such a technology on the world of augmented reality is straight out of the movies. Augmented reality is in my opinion, one of the most futuristic technologies that exist today. One of the leaders in this space, Layar, to name one example is doing things I would not think possible had I not seen it with my own eyes.
So what would our lives be like using the new Google glasses and some augmented reality? See below.
Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening.
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