What would you say if I would tell you now that it might be fun wearing glasses? Or that you might no longer need your hands in order to operate on your smartphone? Or how about walking around the streets looking like Georgi La Forge from Star Wars? All this might be possible in a couple of years due to Googles latest innovations: The Project Glass!
Everything besides ordinary glasses
A simple and comprehensive description of what Project Glasses are provides Steven Levy, American journalist and senior writer for Wired in his article:
They are an augmented reality system that will give users the full range of activities performed with a smart phone — without the smart phone.
Described by Wikipedia, the Project Glass is “a research and development program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD)”.
It is a new portable technical device that requires no use of hands as it functions through language commands, similar to I-Phone’s Siri. The glasses use Google’s Android system and provide nearly the same functions as a smartphone: you get instant notifications, write messages, take photos or do phone calls. The Project Glass looks similar to normal eyeglasses but the lens are replaced by a heads-up display.
How does it look like? Watch this out:
John C Abell, Wireds opinion editor and New York bureau chief of Reuters.com, states in his article about the Project Glass some reasons for publishing this video:
“Google is releasing the video now to spur conversation and elicit suggestions. (…) It’s also a timely means for Google to remind the public that its engineers have visions that transcend the current spats with Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, the DOJ and the European Union.”
In his opinion, already the publication of the video promoting the glasses is intented to have an effect on the public.
Moreover, Jaydeep Chavda, who blogs on “Geeky Note” thinks that Google also pursues another objective by introducing this new product:
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.
Due to him, Google might try to get more people to use their services. This might be a reason why Google already filed for a patent on its Project Glasses.
Refering to the aspect of Google’s competitiveness, Drew Olanhof, The Next Web‘s Editor comments on this new device in one of his posts. Due to him, it might happen that Google will become really powerful and leading in the smartphone business.
Project Glass could be Google’s “iPhone Moment”, and when you get your hands on one eventually, prepare to be asked by everyone and their brother if they can play with it.
The other side of the coin
When simply referring to the functionality and use of this new item John C. Abell (mentioned before) writes that Google will have success as they try to create a technical device that is easy to use,includes intuitional transitions and is apparently functional:
“Victory goes to who paves the smoothest path to the task at hand.”
But on the contrary, he states that “pesky legislators will ban them after someone gets hit by a bus while looking at a pop-up display instead of oncoming traffic.”
Those dangerous disadvantages are also described in some comments on his article. One person claims that Project Glasses are dangerous when they are used in active vehicles as e.g. cars or bikes. This person criticizes that this lack of attention might lead to severe accidents.
“Now, people using these glasses will have even less incentive to pay attention to what is happening around them”.
Actually, I don’t know yet what I should think about this innovative technology. At first sight, it looks handy and cool but I guess that it might turn out to be disturbing in everyday life and I predict that it leads to a kind of “overconnected” society.
What do you think about it?