Watch any futuristic film and you’re usually confronted with the Directors ideas of what future technology might look like.
If you’ve seen a computer display in a pair of glasses you might be forgiven for putting this in the realm of fiction but technology writers and experts are getting excited by Google Glass, an Android-powered head mounted computer display which Google say will be on the market by the end of 2013.Practically Google Glass operates on a similar level to a Smartphone or Tablet. Think of varied apps like maps or restaurant finders, a camera, email and internet surfing all with voice activation. All these feature with Google Glass. The different is the hands-free nature of the devices. The small device can sit on a pair of glasses and Google’s initial promo video’s give the feeling of text and information displayed right infront of your eyes whether snapping a picture or reading as message.
Google are saying the devices will be available to buy at the end of 2013 and prices seem to be around the $1500 mark, although no one is quite sure. There is a secretive and low key approach from Google that has got some people asking some questions. Recently a Google Glass appeared on eBay at a $16000 price. Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin quickly spoke out that people should avoid these fake or counterfeit models. His TED seminar on the subject was again a little low key and he said that although a 2013 launch was likely there was still a lot of work to do on the product.
This doesn’t seem like an Apple-style reveal but rather a trickle down information cycle on this new product – with the hope that customers will not be able to restrain themselves when the Google Glass is finally launched. Some people have been able to get hold of a Google Glass as product testers. Through an application procedure on Google+ members of the public have been able to apply to try out the devices. Using a #ifihadaglass hashtag you can say what you would do with a Google Glass in your hands. The best ones get the chance to try it out – but apply quickly this is only running for a few more days. When thinking about Google Glass the key question would seem to be around it’s likely impact.
Do we really need a computer built into our glasses? Other than looking cool there seem to be some great benefits. Imagine a surgeon relaying his first person perspective of an operation to medical students online. This immediate capturing of life events or the ability to see through someone’s eyes is incredibly attractive. But concerns exist around Google’s ongoing collecting of data about us as we search. Will what we see and where we go be added to this? Are the days of face recognition and of real-time customer information even closer? We’ll have to wait till the end of the year to find out.