“Wearable computing” is one of the next frontiers of IT. According to reports, Google will lead the field by releasing special Google glasses later this year. By REBECCA DAVIS.
In some ways it’s the logical next step: many people these days walk the streets or even drive the streets with their eyes firmly glued on their smartphones. Google must have figured, why bother to look at your phone when you could have that information streamed directly into your eyeballs?
The glasses will reportedly resemble Oakley sunglasses with the addition of a few buttons on the arms. As the wearer walks around, information will be fed into a computer screen a few inches from your eyes about your location and friends nearby. According to Seth Weintraub, a blogger for 9 to 5 Google, they will also have a front-facing camera, partly to gather information and partly to allow the user to take pictures. The glasses will be surprisingly affordable, retailing at between $250 (around R1,925) and $600 (around R4,700).
Users will control the glasses by tilting their heads to scroll and click. This sounds both uncomfortable and difficult, but Weintraub says “We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users”. He did not comment on whether users might experience motion sickness.
The glasses are being developed by the Google X office, which is responsible for Google’s most space-age projects. The New York Times reports that the Google X team is discussing the privacy implications of the glasses – for instance, it’s thought that a mechanism will be required to let people know if they are being recorded by someone wearing the glasses. DM
Photo: The next big thing – HUD Google glasses.
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