Google Glasses Get a Reality Check
An image of the Google Glasses from the company's filed patent.
Google's first pair of augmented reality glasses won't fill a person's entire vision with a display that seamlessly merges the virtual and real worlds. Instead, early reports suggest the first glasses will take a more practical approach by adding a small display just above a person's normal line of sight.
That reality check for Google Glasses comes from a recent visit to Google by CNET's Rafe Needleman. His findings suggest that Google Glasses could present "small snippets of information based on the user's general location and direction" — a much easier idea than having virtual alerts pop up all over a person's view of the real world.
Such news may come as a disappointment to anyone who watched the "Project Glass" concept video showing a dreamy concept of a Google Glasses wearer's day. But it could also represent a more realistic first step toward making the idea into a working technology.
Google is already taking small, concrete steps such as filing a patent on its Google Glasses design, according to Engadget. Google X Lab founder Sebastian Thrun has also begun posting pictures taken by his glasses prototype to the Google+ social network.
Much augmented reality technology already exists in smartphone applications that show bubbles of information floating over nearby restaurants or subway stops. Even more sophisticated examples come from the U.S. military's flight helmets for fighter pilots.
Google still has some time to work on slimming down such smartphone technology into something the size and shape of glasses. But it may not want to wait too long – a separate project funded by the U.S. military and National Science Foundation aims to create virtual reality contact lenses by 2013.
This story was provided by InnovationNewsDaily, a sister site to TechNewsDaily. You can follow InnovationNewsDaily Senior Writer Jeremy Hsu on Twitter @ScienceHsu. Follow InnovationNewsDaily on Twitter @News_Innovation, or on Facebook.