When it comes to futuristic projects coming out of the labs at such titanic companies as Apple and Google, there’s no shortage of interest in even the smallest project, the simplest notion of a project – what we’re hearing today is that there’s not just a tiny project popping up in the mysterious off-campus lair known as Google X, there’s a whole set of glasses. While Apple has been tipped just earlier today as working on a wrist set bangle / watch sort of iPod device that may well be a Siri-controlled peripheral, this Google project is set to be a standalone device which connects to the web with mobile data, displaying then the information you want to see in the lenses of the glasses as they sit on your face. Scanning, scanning, match found!
You should know that it’s been tipped that both Apple and Google have been tipped separately to be working on “wearable tech” for release as soon as 2012. In both cases it seems that there is a very small group of employees working on these very secretive projects, each one (or each set) made to attach to a user’s body or clothing. The New York Times reported today that they’d gotten word of an “open secret” from inside the Google community:
“Over the last year, Apple and Google have secretly begun working on projects that will become wearable computers. Their main goal: to sell more smartphones. (In Google’s case, more smartphones sold means more advertising viewed.) In Google’s secret Google X labs, researchers are working on peripherals that — when attached to your clothing or body — would communicate information back to an Android smartphone. People familiar with the work in the lab say Google has hired electronic engineers from Nokia Labs, Apple and engineering universities who specialize in tiny wearable computers.” – NYT
A source speaking with 9to5Google has passed on information that states the company to be in late prototype stages of a thick-rimmed pair of glasses that “normal people” supposedly wear — this source, we must guess, must be a hipster. Regardless, these glasses are said to have just a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, the information they supply then popping up on your heads-up display: IE the lens of your glasses. As 9to5Google notes, back in June, 2011, prominent wearables PhD Richard DuVaul moved from Apple to Google, this fellow specializing in wearable heads up displays (HUDs):
“His dissertation was on “The Memory Glasses“, a heads-up display focused on the problems associated with wearable memory support technology. This included hardware and software architectures, and low-attention human-computer interaction for wearable computing, including the use of subliminal visual cues for just-in-time memory support.” – Seth Weintraub
The New York Times article notes that the glasses or, if you will, Google Goggles, will be an Android peripheral similar to how the iBangles above need an iPhone to function. What the source speaking with 9to5Google says, on the other hand, is that although this device will work with Android more than likely, it would communicate with Google over IP. On the other hand again, it would likely need your mobile device’s internet connection with its Wi-fi capable guts.
Finally, and perhaps most important, it’s said that Google’s Sergey Brin is “closely associated with the project” and that it’ll be Google-branded hardware when all is said and done. Sound like a superhero to you? We’ll be staving off headaches if in-glasses displays are the way of the future, that’s for sure.