Much like flying cars and jet packs, wearable computing is one of those aspirational fields of technology where the current state of the art doesn’t deliver the sort of experience that people have imagined for decades. An experimental project that is reportedly under development in Google’s labs could raise the bar, however.
According to a report that was published today in the blog 9to5Google, the search giant is developing a product called Google Glasses that will have a built-in heads-up display. The device, which supposedly resembles a pair of Oakley shades, is said to have an integrated transparent display for one eye and a built-in front-facing camera. The latter could be used for augmented reality applications. The device would use speech and head tilting for text input and control.
9to5Google suggests that the Google Glasses product could soft-launch with a pilot program later this year, making the product available to a select number of testers. This would follow the model of the Chromebook launch, which was preceded by the Cr-48 test unit.
Although the reports are still highly speculative, the concept of smart glasses is intriguing. There are someexisting products in this space, but they aren’t easy to purchase and are definitely not priced for a mainstream audience.