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Friday, June 29, 2012

Google Glass: What You See in Every Sci-Fi Movie

[See video below] Google Glass was announced this week at Google I/O. It's exactly what you think it would be: glasses that allow you to harness the power of a computer. It can be used to record what the user sees, make use of augmented reality and whatever else developers can think of. Here is a synopsis from Engadget:

  • Engineers are currently 'experimenting' with connectivity options. Existing prototypes -- including those worn in the skydiving stunt this morning -- do not have any sort of built-in WWAN connectivity.
  • While it's possible that a 3G / 4G module could end up in production devices, the general idea is that latching onto nearby WiFi hotspots or relying on a wireless tether with your smartphone will be the primary way that Glass gets its data to the web.
  • Controlling Glass will eventually rely on a mixture of inputs: it'll recognize voice commands, while also taking cues from the right sidebar. There's a touch-sensitive pad on there that'll understand gestures.
  • It's entirely probable that Glass will also be able to be controlled via one's smartphone, but physical inputs will be the preferred ones.
  • Glass has an accelerometer and a gyroscope, enabling wearers to tell Glass what to do by nodding, shaking one's head, etc. (For what it's worth, we've seen similar demoed by NTT DoCoMo.)
  • The internal battery sits just behind the ear on the right side; the capacity and longevity weren't confirmed, though.
  • Glass will be able to record locally, but the idea is to have 'most everything' streamed live to the web; it's the "live, right now!" nature of Glass that Google intends to push as one of its differentiating factors.
  • In an area where wireless data isn't available (like a remote National Park or a hospital room that forbids phone usage), storing video locally would be possible for uploading later.
 It'll be available to developers for a heft $1,500 next year but let's hope the price drops a lot for consumers when it goes mainstream.

Out of all the things announced at Google I/O, this definitely seems to be the most revolutionary.

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