Google's Augmented Reality Glasses Could Be On Your Face This Year

By Veronique Greenwood | February 22, 2012 5:27 am

Like this…only on your face.

Wearing glasses that superimpose a layer of information—nearby pizza places, the local bus line, or, if you’re the Terminator, the amount of ammo left in your weapon—over reality is a long-held techie fantasy. Fighter pilots already use such “heads-up” displays to keep track of vital info while keeping their eyes ahead of them, but despite the constant low buzz about such augmented reality glasses for the rest of us, actual products have been few and far between. Now, though, Google employees speaking to the NYT’s Bits blog have confirmed that Google’s experimental lab is indeed building such a device. Due to come out at the end of the year, these “Google Goggles” are said to function basically as a smartphone you can wear on your face.

According the the Bits blog, users will be able to scroll around on the glasses’ tiny screen using small head motions. The glasses will also feature a low-res camera that monitor the world in front of the user and take pictures, but there are obviously privacy issues at stake with such a feature: apparently the team is currently discussing how to make it obvious to a bystander if the camera is on. The Google employees say that the glasses will not be released as a serious commercial product with a business plan, per se. At first, they will simply be an experiment that users can join. And if the glasses take off, well, then we’ll see about the money side of things.

Image courtesy of plantronicsgermany / flickr


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