Google takes wraps off augmented reality eyewear (with video)

“Google Inc is getting into the eyewear business with a pair of thin wraparound shades that puts the company’s Web services in your face,” Alexei Oreskovic reports for Reuters.

“The experimental ‘augmented reality’ glasses – from the same team that is developing self-driven cars – can snap photos, initiate videochats and display directions at the sound of a user’s voice,” Oreskovic reports. “The prototype digital glasses, unveiled on the company’s Google+ social network on Wednesday, are still being tweaked and tested, and are not available in stores yet.”

Oreskovic reports, “The glasses could provide a way for Google to more closely entwine its advertising-supported online services, including Web searches, maps and email, into people’s daily lives. The glasses also could help Google match some of the buzz that rival Apple Inc has generated with its latest iPhone and the built-in Siri digital assistant, which takes spoken commands to do such tasks as schedule calendar appointments and get weather forecasts.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. The problem is this:

    No one believes it will work this well if/when it is actually released to the public. Those who are familiar with Google’s business also know that the amount of data they’d be able to collect is all kinds of scary.

    When Apple shows something off, they show the finished product. People have faith that what is shown is exactly what they’ll get. In a society highly skeptical of marketing, Apple is the only company I know of where this is true.

    1. Exactly!

      But this is how Google works: the company doesn’t have enough faith in their own vision, they need to seek out confirmation that it’s cool via the general public. Apple would develop this in secret and release it finished.

      And this is lame compared to what Apple would do anyway. Notice how he had to tell the music to stop before initiating the video call? Apple’s been automatically fading away music when a voice call comes in since the original iPhone. That shows the kind of thought that goes into Apple products — Google wouldn’t have done that until version 9 or something.

  2. Actually, during the Sculley years, Apple used to produce “concept” videos just to get people thinking. Without Steve’s way of thinking, that was about as far as they could go – Steve basically came back and said, “If we can dream it, we can do it. Get to work.”

    They did.

    googlefied (adj.): (1) developed 60-70% of the way, yet thought of as complete; (2) left in perpetual beta, with neither support nor development resources spent on it; (3) something upon which incredible amounts of money are spent before it is, or was, cancelled.

  3. In the real world, few people are going to wear special glasses like these on a regular basis while they do normal work. The glasses – voice interface and heads-up display – is an intriguing device, but most business and otherwise busy people won’t bother to wear/use this product in their everyday routine. It’s a gimmick, fringe product.

  4. Do we really need shit flashing in front of you all day long. Probably mostly advertising too. Get ready for a rash of idiots run down by stepping into traffic while distracted.


    Why would I want adverts beamed into my eyeballs, popups in my field of vision … and Google tracking everything I look at as well as where I go.

    1. “I wonder what they will be like when driving.”

      Illegal in most US jurisdictions. If we’re considered distracted by cellphones…

      The next video should be of the wearer getting pulled over. All relevant traffic laws instantly presented in view, and when that badge number comes in to view, watch out! The wearer will know what Officer 3142 had for breakfast and “researched” on the web last night!

    2. The question is more…How much will it hurt when the bus whacks me because I am distracted reading the inside of my glasses trying to find out if Bob is 300 feet from my current position or some other useless mundane task,

    1. Not necessarily. The potential there is to provide HUD (Heads-Up Display) type of information, eliminating the need for the driver to look down at dashboard.

      Proper implementation would provide all dashboard data, turn-by-turn navigation and other relevant info this way. If it is carefully designed, keeping in mind the importance of seeing the road and surrounding traffic, it could significantly enhance the amount of information driver can safely receive, while significantly reducing the amount of time driver takes his eyes off the road and surrounding traffic.

      The concept has enormous potential; Google has healthy army of very talented engineers. About the only obstacle to exploring it to the end and delivering on the concept is Google’s business model, where user isn’t a paying customer, but a product for sale to an actual paying customer (ad-buying business).

      I won’t hold my breath, but I’ll be curious to wait and see what comes out of it.

      1. “Proper implementation” being the critical phrase, of course! The Goog’s problem is that they don’t have a Steve to say No to anything; they just throw it all in and see if works or not; “everything” must be better than just “some of the things”. I’m thinking class action lawsuits are being prepared even now.

  6. Nice idea… but while many people are choosing laser eye surgery to rid themselves of glasses, Google Googles puts the frames back on their heads with a Fashion statement of Android control.

    Saw this yesterday.
    Anyone who already wears glasses would look silly.

    If Apple made a simple-lowpriced-cellphone basically functioning as this Google concept but without the “augmentation”; perhaps Siri only and a tiny screen – it would be a sweet phone.

    I also wonder how Google plans to do this. The glasses – are they an extension to the Android phone in ponies pocket? Would you need two devices – if so Im not interested – however driving with something like this could seem useful however the laws have changed and this would be a distraction for the driver.

    1. Google is going to release their glasses at the same time as their self-driving car. Then it would be safe to use the glasses while in the car, and Google gets to feed you more ads per minute. Later, while trapped in the 17-car pileup, you can pass the time waiting for rescue by viewing even more ads, like for Jaws of Life, Candy Stripers, and Neptune Society.

      Those boys in the Google gadget lab been watchin’ Minority Report a few too many times.

  7. Oh yeah that’s what most people want to do, go back to wearing dorky looking glasses. Doubtful its ever a mainstream trend. These are no doubt tied to a small pack with all of the necessary electronics to carry around.

  8. I’m also reminded of the episode of Star Trek where Will Wheaton got to make out with Ashley Judd, and everyone on the Enterprise was wearing mind control glasses, and of course the Appleseed movie where everyone was wearing mind control glasses while being controlled by a large central AI and there was the episode of Doctor Who where everyone wearing a specific bluetooth device was being controlled by the cybermen and … well… just, uh, don’t be evil wit dis shit ok? Google? Why is there a radio controlled mylar helium shark floating outside my 6th floor window?

  9. This video ≠ the gadget. It is am imagined scenario tossed together via the usual video effects.

    I like how it looks. On the other hand:
    – I expect it would end up creating lots of traffic crash corpses, (leading to the gadgets being banned during both driving and walking).
    – It would also further the face to face alienation of humanity.
    – Also, It will make the elite using the gadgets look odd, if not outright freaky.

    But at least we’ll have a better visual indication of whether those people talking to themselves are schizophrenic.

    1. If this makes it into production, AND if it actually ends up working as this video imagines, you can bet that very soon there will be Google glasses made by Ray Ban, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Channel, Gucci, Prada…

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