Creating Personal Technology: Google Developing Smart Glasses

by Matt Klassen on February 9, 2012

A Speculative Design for Google's new Smart Glasses

Reminiscent of 3D television technology and handheld tablet computers, Google is reaching into the failed technology of the past bin with the hopes of pulling out a gem of its own, smart glasses. It was late last year when a report began circulating that both Google and Apple were looking to reinvent the genre of wearable technology, a lamentable market offshoot that historically has produced some horribly gaudy products that no one in their right mind would ever want to wear.

But Google’s newest bespectacled project is hoping to reinvent and reintroduce wearable technology, starting with a pair of glasses. In fact, rumours abound that Google is in the final prototype development stages of its newest smart spectacles, glasses that, taking a page from some of our favourite futuristic action movies, would conceivably have an interactive Heads-Up-Display (HUD), run Android, connect to the Internet, contain GPS technology, and even perhaps replace our phone altogether.

However, if past attempts like the Oakley Thump for instance, say anything about the future of such personal devices the question remains, will wearable technology ever be popular?

As I’ve said before, if decades of science fiction televisions, books, and movies have taught us anything it’s that wearable technology will eventually become an integral part of our existence, unassuming personal gadgets that range from glasses to shoes…and everything in between.

Nevertheless, technologically enhanced glasses are nothing new in the market, as Oakley famously trotted out its Thump line of sunglasses that incorporated an MP3 player. Priced from $250 to $350, the line of glasses unfortunately failed to capture any real consumer support…except for Dog the Bounty Hunter I suppose.

That said, Google is hoping to succeed where Oakley failed, developing a line of glasses that might act as a tangential technological accessory that would hypothetically interact seamlessly with one’s smartphone. In fact, what better way to make using one’s smartphone that much more convenient by having it feed information to one’s HUD-equipped smart glasses?

In addition to internet connectivity and GPS technology, the actual Google glasses are rumoured to have a forward facing camera (although don’t expect much), hands-free interface, and up to 8GB of storage.

While I have to say I’m not terribly impressed about the renaissance of wearable technology, the genius of this technology is not in its present incarnation, but what such developments will mean for the future of the genre in public, private, and even military applications.

If you would like to get in on the ground floor of this new wave of wearable technology you likely won’t have to wait long, as analysts are predicting that the imminent unveiling of the Google glasses, quite possibly the first real step towards wearable technology becoming an intrinsic part of our digital existence.

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August 20, 2012 at 6:24 am

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