Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

Summary: Google is bringing the future of mobile technology much closer to reality this year with heads-up display-enhanced glasses.

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TOPICS: Google
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It's becoming increasingly clear that the next big thing in mobile technology is wearable electronics. Some of it already exists in the form of fitness devices like the Fitbit, but Google has long been rumored to take it in another direction: Heads-up displays via enhanced glasses.

The New York Times has the latest info on Google's project, which, according to those in the know, will hit stores as early as this year. Here's what we can expect from the technology, complete with a bit of admittedly-giddy speculation:

A smartphone-esque price tag: Sources say that Google plans to sell the glasses anywhere from $250 to $600, making the expected prices much in line of what most smartphones cost. Of course, with the expected inclusion of 3G and 4G chips, it's also fairly likely that carrier subsides will also be present in some form as well.

Navigation will be as easy as tilting your head. Google doesn't seem to be going the voice navigation route and will instead use head tilting for navigation. Let's just hope it's intuitive.

Real time monitoring and information overlays. Similar to augmented reality apps like Wikitude and Layar, Google's goggles will be able to take in the environment and overlay information about what users are looking it. Users can, for example, pinpoint the location of friends, get information about restaurants, plot navigation routes, and even learn the location of the nearest bathroom. All of that will come via Google's own products, of course.

Privacy will almost certainly be an issue. While users of the devices will undoubtedly be concerned about their own privacy, a lot of the concern will be focused on those not using the devices. This is because, unlike with cameras, it won't always be obvious when you are being photographed with the glasses. This is something that designers are actively looking into.

Google has no real business plan, at least not at first. As a Google employee noted to The Times, Google initially won't be focusing on a business plan for the device. This sounds a lot like Google's normal strategy for things, but hardware isn't software, and if it goes anything like the Logitech Revue fiasco, it's something to be worried about.

Via The New York Times.

Image via Wikitude.

Topic: Google

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33 comments
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  • Sounds cool but I doubt it.

    Battery would be a serious issue. So do you power this thing from an external belt worn battery? Having done lots of HUD work, I will believe this when it actually surfaces.
    Bruizer
    • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

      @Bruizer
      No. This will be a green solution. It will be powered by a propeller head hat or an umbrella hat with solar cells on top :-)
      riverab@...
      • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

        @riverab@...
        Well, thank goodness it'll be something practical!

        I hope they're smart and offer the propellers in a choice of colors.
        Rick_R
      • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

        @riverab@... funny
        nshubin1@...
      • I already have a ...

        I already have a propeller beanie, (It's proper name.) Can I retrofit it to work with the Google HUD?
        mlashinsky@...
  • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

    I've got few worries, actually...
    1. Will they be able to function as prescription glasses? (I'm quite sure there are bats with better eyesight than me)
    2. Can they work as sunglasses?
    3. Can we turn off the 3G/Wifi/etc and just have them as stand-alone HUDs?
    4. How will they get input??
    sandman366
    • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

      @sandman366 : I share those worries - in the absence of more complete data in the rumor. And, let's add at least one more - I can easily see users being a lot more distracted from walking and driving activities than with current handheld devices - which in themselves have enough associated danger that my new Droid phone came with a full screen stick on warning: Texting while driving? It can wait".
      Willnott
  • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

    With all overlaid information like that I'll feel like I'm Robocop!
    lepoete73
  • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

    Glasses with adds... No thanks.
    NoAxToGrind
    • Worse than that.

      @NoAxToGrind It's bad enough when Gmail parses everything you say, and your Android phone noting everyplace you go. Now Google can record everything you see. At what point do we tell Google, "[b]no[/b], you don't get to pimp me out for ads anymore!"?
      matthew_maurice
      • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

        @matthew_maurice if you don't like the Google business model then don't use their products. That's why I don't use Apple products. It is true there is no free lunch. Google funds their projects by advertising and I think they have found a fairly unobtrusive way of doing that. They haven't yet reached my tolerance for privacy intrusion and until they do I will continue to enjoy their 'free' products.
        carlson1@...
      • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

        @matthew_maurice : Agre - it's almost as bad as the new facial recognition signs in London that pimp ads according to gender of approaching pedestrians.
        Willnott
    • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

      @NoAxToGrind "ads"
      AtlantaTerry
  • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

    people will drive while wearing them, no doubt about it. can you hear the screaching of the tires?
    ForeverSPb
  • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

    One more way for Google and its advertisers to spam you and force you to look at the ads.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • Continuous advertising:

    Google's dream, my nightmare.
    Userama
  • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

    Holy f*ing Minority Report! I guess Google couldn't get the iris scanners up in time, so this is the next best thing for them. I wonder what the algorythm for serving "targeted" ads based on what you're seeing looks like.

    Please, someone, destroy Google before they destroy humankind!
    RobbCab
  • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

    What would then now expect of the driver approaching you on the road? Texting? Hypertexting? Hyperactivity-texting? Will his/her car become an angry bird flung at all and everyone? Will the cops (wearing theirs!) dare approach?

    Google runs driverless cars. Now we will have driverless drivers.

    Progress!
    d_baron@...
    • RE: Google to release heads-up display glasses before the end of the year: what can we expect?

      @d_baron@... *applause*
      Willnott
  • Great. not...

    Now, instead of people walking around talking to themselves (or so it seems) or watching their hand while they walk or drive oblivious to the rest of the population, we'll have those same oblivions staring right at us while they do it.

    True phone zombies [i]http://myfavoriteshortcomings.com/2011/01/22/cell-phone-zombies/[/i]
    cwallen19803@...