Google’s augmented reality glasses

Thu 5 April 2012 14:15, Tamara Yadvichuk

Google’s augmented reality glasses

Google announced that the company’s employees will start testing their new augmented reality glasses – the product of Google’s futuristic initiative called Project Glass. The device looks like a pair of glasses without glass with a small screen above the eye – not exactly the latest fashion, but hey: it’s augmented reality! Here’s the concept video to give you an idea of what’s possible.


Google’s new device is not for sale yet, but the company’s employees will be testing the glasses in public, so if you’re very lucky you might see one. As for the design, we’ve only seen one so far, but according to the New York Times Google is working on various models including the ones you can put on top of your own glasses.


This technology has tremendous possibilities for advertising. We’ve written about ads in augmented reality before (remember Blippar?), but devices like Google’s glasses can take it to an entirely new level. The thing is you don’t have to look at the world through the camera of your phone to see the layer of augmented reality anymore. Just imagine: you walk down the street, glance at the store you like and get a little bubble saying that the jacket you tried on last week is now on sale. 

Such ads could become very intrusive, of course, if you are haunted by all kinds of flashing deals and promotions you are not interested in. But Google will probably think of ways to protect the user’s privacy: after all, it shouldn’t be too hard to allow people to customize their view so that they only see ads from businesses in a specific category, or the ones they Liked or Joined, or no ads at all.

Something that raises a question for me is the controls: would it be convenient to use only voice recognition to control such an all-around device? I’ve had a few frustrating experiences with voice recognition not working as intended that went something like this:

me: ‘Call boyfriend’
phone: ‘Call work?’ 
me: ‘No, call BOYFRIEND!’
phone: ‘Calling work’

...and so on, until I get tired and do it the regular way.

Since Google’s glasses don’t seem to have any other control options it could become quite annoying to try to communicate with them in a crowded place, or in a quiet place like a library.

I’ll keep you posted on how Google handles this in my future articles. Meanwhile, enjoy life as it’s becoming more and more like science fiction movies from the nineties! 

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