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 Timeshas 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.