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This year’s Google I/O conference had many announcements, from the Google Nexus Q entertainment system, to the new Android ‘Jellybean’ OS. Perhaps the most sci-fi of these announcements however is the impressive Google glasses, which look set to really capitalize on the possibilities of augmented reality.

Google Glass - News from the Conference

The idea is simple; you wear a pair of glasses on your head that then overlay information onto the real world so that you can get information about objects in the world and so that you can get more information about what’s going on in the world around you. The possibilities of such a device are wide ranging to say the least – from being able to look down a street and see all of the special offers in each store, to being able to look at a person and know whether they’re in a relationship or not and which way they lean in that regard. If you’ve ever used Wikitude or Layar, then yeah… like that but hopefully a lot better and more useful.

News from the Conference

This is an idea that Google has bandied around for some time now and that in itself is not really ‘news’. However the conference which included a brief preview of the glasses came with a lot of juicy details that certainly does. First of all we have a rough ETA of 2014, so about a year and a half to two years away until we start looking like cyborgs. The glasses when shown at the conference sported a battery life of about 6 hours, which may be a little short depending on how you’re going to use them – if you hoped to keep them on all day for instance then you might run that charge down rather fast. Bear in mind though that a lot may change before the release date. The glasses in the demonstration also only had Wifi available (no 3g or 4g), but I would be willing to bet that this will change with time as apps like Wikitude would presumably rely on a connection to work.

In terms of features there’s not much news as of yet, except that we know there will be a built in camera that allows you to take photos of whatever you’re looking at. That’s a pretty killer feature that might just mean you never forget anything again… In the rather extreme Project Glass demo, the glasses were worn by skydivers who used them to have a live conference using Google Hangouts while falling from a plane- so it’s fair to say there’s a forward facing camera too. And I’m going to take a gamble and say that they’re likely to be highly integrated with Android phones. Google really is making itself rather indispensible…

Can I Have One?

Then there’s the fact that app developers can actually now pre-order thee glasses for a rather hefty $1,500. Of course that asking price is expected to come down quite considerably before the glasses are released to the public, but the idea is that developers buying the glasses for now will of course be investing in their future by getting hold of the new platform early. When the device comes out the price point according to analysts could be anywhere from $200 to $500.  But you have a while to start saving…

The Future Is Bright – You May Need Glasses

You May Need Google Glasses

So what kinds of things other than Layar 2.0 might you see on your glasses? Well one benefit of the glasses will of course be the simple fact that they are right in front of your eyes which means you can keep your hands free. For someone working with their hands this could be very useful, for instance allowing you to draw from a schematic or to even almost ‘trace’ an image onto paper. Meanwhile you might see things like e-mail notifications popping up in your line of vision so that you never miss a call again. Finally it would be fair to expect some games coming to the system too like the AR games on Nintendo 3DS and PSP Vita. You could also link the glasses up to existing games to hide your stats from other players sharing a screen. An actual HUD would make you feel pretty cool when controlling an apache helicopter…

Eat that, iWatch…

Trevor is a writer with HomeWetBar.com, a website with some unique and exciting gifting options for men. He is passionate about technology and shares his eagerness through articles on topics like latest gadget reviews and specifications.

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