Feeds

Google shows off Project Glass augmented reality specs

Nerdy but nice

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google has been showing off the expected capabilities of the augmented reality spectacles that it is calling Project Glass.

The early concept designs show wire-framed glasses with a display above the right eye which shows off personal schedules and location-based information. Also included is a camera, a microphone for calls and voice recognition, a GPS, and (presumably) a wireless connector to make the whole thing work. The Chocolate Factory has set up a page on Google+ to get feedback and released a video about a ukulele-playing hipster to show how the glasses would likely work.

Google's announcement confirms rumors about the glasses, but also raises more questions than it answers. While the video and images released are all well and good, there's a long road ahead in terms of making something like this reality.

Let's start with the hardware. Project Glass is going to need a serious amount of grunt from its processor to handle voice recognition, along with a reasonable amount of memory and enough battery power to make the whole thing work for more than five minutes at a time. Apple's Siri struggles to do that on an iPhone and workable voice recognition systems need a serious amount of processing power to work.

Google Project Glass

A Google engineer with his dream display

Without an internet connection the Project Glass specs are useless, so some kind of wireless system is going to be needed, probably a Bluetooth connection linked to the user's phone. This could shift some of the processing to a secondary device, albeit seriously limited by data transmission rates, but you're still going to need the display system on the glasses themselves, plus some compute and storage hardware to run the thing and a battery, which is a fair amount of weight to stick on your head.

The software side is an easier fix. Most of the code to do something like this is relatively easy, certainly on the information display side, but users would have to remember that the glasses aren't just for watching. They're also watching you. As El Reg has pointed out, such a system is both a goldmine for potential advertisers and a privacy nightmare.

But it is early days yet. Google has made it clear that this is only the initial stages of Project Glass and it is seeking feedback from the general public on what they want from these spectacles. While these kinds of heads-up displays are popular in films and fiction (and dearly wanted by this hack), the poor sales of existing eye-level screens suggests a certain reluctance on the part of buyers. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.