Google Glasses: Internet At Your 'Eye'Tips!
Imagine a computer on your glasses that knows exactly where you are (using a GPS), and exactly where you're looking.
The computer is talking to a powerful server computer through wireless Internet. If you're looking at a street, the computer sends the GPS location to the server, downloads the street name (Madison Avenue, say). Then it displays the name on the transparent glasses in front of your eyes!
Science Fiction or Reality?
Google was not kidding when it unveiled Project Glass last year. And now this science fiction is closer to reality. The company announced recently that its internet-enabled glasses will be available by the end of 2013 for under $1,500 and it is beginning to take early orders.
The glasses will be able to connect to your iPhone or Android phone using Bluetooth wireless technology. There will be no radio receiver on the glasses themselves, and can only be enabled when your phone connects to a local WiFi in a coffee shop, or to the 3G and 4G offered by your cell phone provider like Verizon or ATT.
With these glasses, you can instantly take a picture or video of what you are seeing. In the future, the glasses may even be able to recognize the people you are looking at by comparing with millions of pictures of those who live in the city, and tell you about them! This technology is called augmented reality.
What is Augmented Reality?
"Augmented" reality refers to technology that adds to (or augments) your real-world view with computer-generated text, graphics, video or audio. This is different from virtual reality, where your real-world view is completely replaced by a computer-generated view.
One famous example of augmented reality is Superbowl TV broadcasts, where the yellow "first down" line is actually generated by a computer for the TV audience, and is not really there on the ground. Another example is mobile phone apps that allow you to take a picture of products in a store, and automatically bring up information and prices about that product on your mobile phone.
Google will certainly face privacy concerns as people will not want their pictures or videos taken without their permission. How the company will work around these restrictions remains to be seen.