Google showcased new technology besides unveiling Nexus 7, the touchscreen tablet by Google at the Annual Developers’ Conference in San Francisco. The new breakthrough in technology is a pair of Internet-connected glasses that can also be called ‘a wearable computer’.
Google Inc. started working on this project two years ago. By April, the company had progressed sufficiently in the technology and was able to announce “Project Glass” in April this year. Something that was just a piece of futuristic imagination is now not just becoming a reality, but also a mass-market product.
Google intends to sell these prototypes for $1500 to U.S. computer programmers who were attending the conference. Those who were willing to try and pay the price will get their pair of glasses in the early months of 2013.
Talking to the 6000 participants, co-founder and CEO of Google, Sergey Brin said, “This is new technology and we really want you to shape it.” The firm expects these programmers to suggest new ideas to modify the product further and make the glasses more useful by building better applications. While asking for new ideas, Brin said, “We want to get it out into the hands of passionate people as soon as possible.”
If everything goes according to plan, the firm intends to develop an inexpensive version of the product which will be put up for sale for consumers in the initial months of 2014. In a question/answer session with the media, Brin said, “we do view this is as a premium sort of thing,” and implied that even the cheaper version will be costlier than smartphones.
These glasses will enable the user to read text messages or see directions to a place literally in front of their eyes. Users will be able to video chat with friends, take pictures from their viewpoint without having to carry a camera and shop online.
Many critics will perceive this innovation negatively and will see it as a product that reduces attention span and restricts people from fully appreciating the world around them. Brin and all the engineers believe that the glasses will strike a balance between both, the physical and virtual world. Isabelle Olsson, an engineer said the glasses will interact with human senses, rather than block them.
Besides demonstrating how the glasses worked using skydivers, Brin also tossed his son in the air and taking a picture said, “That was amazing. There was no way I could have that memory without this device.”