Google Glass: Wearable Real-time Computing of the Future

NEWS ANALYSIS: Use cases for Google Glass, and other systems like it, could be epic. It would be unequaled for crime investigations, "he said/she said" disputes, auto accidents, close plays at the plate, sightseeing, recording "how-to's," simply visiting with friends and family -- you name it.

Is recording any given moment -- or minutes or hours -- of our lives using unobtrusive, on-demand video something that we all will be using in the years to come? Google is betting the answer to this is yes.

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The storage part of this process is already possible, because it's relatively inexpensive and easy to use. The actual video and data transmission to the cloud is now being tested, thanks to the Google research and development group.

The company's Project Glass prototype (pictured, below right) was demonstrated before 6,000 attendees at last week's Google I/O conference in San Francisco. Co-founder Sergey Brin came onstage to introduce Google Glass, which comprises an Android-powered display, a tiny webcam, a GPS locator and Internet connection node built into one side of a pair of glasses. The glasses are lightweight and may or may not have lenses -- sunglass-type or otherwise.

Live Demo Impresses Google I/O Crowd

Brin then served as emcee for a live demonstration, in which two skydivers wearing Google Glasses hovered 1,500 feet above the Moscone West building in an old-fashioned (but increasingly popular for Bay Area air cruises) airship before jumping out and landing safely on the roof.

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Every second of their brief downward journey at 120 mph was webcast live and recorded in Google's cloud storage system; fortunately, it was a blue-sky day in San Francisco, and the view from up above was spectacular.

After they landed without injury, the skydivers -- with their Glasses still running -- handed off a package to two Glass-equipped stunt bikers, who did a couple of tricks before handing off to a pair of Glass-equipped climbers, who subsequently repelled down a glass-window side of the building. Eventually, the whole team jogged into the auditorium to the loud cheers of the crowd and handed Brin the package.

What was actually in the package? No one cared.

It was a stunt those guys -- and the crowd, as well as a live webcast audience -- probably will never forget.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...