Google's augmented reality glasses, part of the company's Project Glass initiative, are spotted out in the open.
The hype around Googles Project Glass continues to grow after company co-founder Sergey Brin was spotted in San Francisco sporting the stylish specsa pair of augmented reality glasses that provide users with an in-your-face heads up display (HUD) offering information about the weather, messages from friends, or directions around town. Google made a big splash earlier this week with a two-and-a-half minute video called One day¦ demonstrating the use of the technology as a user goes about his daily life in New York City.
Rackspace employee and technology pundit Robert Scoble photographed Brin at a dinner to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. He posted photos of Brin on his Google Plus account and wrote about the sighting on Twitter, where he noted Brin was wearing a backpack all night and also said Brin would not let him try the glasses on, referring to them as a prototype. I saw a bluish light flashing off of his right eyeball. I could only guess that my Google+ profile flashed up, or maybe some PR voice said "stay quiet" or something like that, he wrote on his Google Plus page. But the glasses are real. Very light looking. Most of the people around us had no idea that these glasses are pretty special.
According to a research note written by Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White and obtained by the technology news site BGR, rival companies are already working on their own prototypes of HUD glasses. Our meetings today indicate that Google glasses (a.k.a., Project Glass) already has competitors working on similar initiatives to improve consumers mobility around Internet access, White wrote. We expect to be hear more about projects such as this and others in the coming years. This could drive a new wave of innovation across the mobility space.
Companies like Vuzix, in partnership with Nokia, have already showcased its SMART Glasses Technologyintegrated HD display engines and waveguide opticsas well as Augmented Reality and Mobile Video Eyewear offerings at this years Consumer Electronics Show, for which it won two innovation awards. The companys STAR 1200 Augmented Reality System, which currently retails for $4,999, uses quantum optic see-thru technology that enables users to see the real world directly through and around its transparent widescreen video displays. Computer content, such as text, images and video are overlaid on the displays in full color 2D or 3D.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.