Google Glasses Leverage Cloud for Augmented Reality

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2012-02-07

Could Google Glasses one day join Google Goggles in the pantheon of the company's popular products? Perhaps. But, please, enough p-words.

9to5 Google said Google is building special glasses that look like Oakley's Thump MP3 sunglasses that actually have the computing firepower and features of today's high-end smartphones:

Google HUD.png

That means voice input, output and a navigation system on board. There is a display with a computer interface and control buttons, but while a smartphone is a super communicator, Google envisions augmented reality that leverages Google's location services, said 9-to-5Google:

A user can walk around with information popping up and into display Terminator-style based on preferences, location and Google's information. Therefore, these things likely connect to the Internet and have GPS. They also likely run a version of Android. These glasses, we heard, have a front-facing camera used to gather information and could aid in augmented-reality apps. It will also take pictures. The spied prototype has a flash--perhaps for help at night, or maybe it is just a way to take better photos. The camera is extremely small and likely only a few megapixels.

Maybe it's the sci-fi geek in me thinking--I do love me some Terminator--but these glasses sound great. I can imagine taking these into a store, looking at stuff, learning prices and then clicking to buy something, all from the glasses.

I imagine this is a throw-it-against-the-wall product, a new form factor for a smartphone. Will Google sell them? How much? What augmented-reality apps might we see?

I ask because the 2012 CES was loaded with this kind of stuff (see Natalia SmartGoggles) and there's like no market for it. None.

So maybe it will stay a prototype in Google X labs, or be relegated to hobbyists. We'll know more after the beta program, so long as the beta program involves people who aren't geeks/hobbyists.

Sign me up!

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