It is hard not to get excited by the potential of Google Glass. As technology advances, many concepts that were once considered purely as science fiction are quickly becoming more reminiscent of science fact. In Jules Verne’s famous literary works, he wrote of numerous technologies which were completely fictional at the time, but are now considered standard – from video conferencing, to electric submarines and lunar modules.
One of the long-time favorites of science fiction writers is the use of augmented reality devices. With the announcement of Project Glass by the pioneering Google X Lab, it appears that search engine giant have made the first steps towards bringing augmented reality use into mainstream existence.
What Is Google Glass?
In simple terms, the Google Glass glasses sit like any other pair of glasses on the user’s face, but with a small screen over the right eye which gives real time updates regarding what is in wearer’s eye line. A camera located next to the small screen displays information on the heads-up display (HUD).
The secretive Google X lab’s pioneering work into augmented reality looks set to be just the first step into a more tech-driven world more familiar in the works of science fiction; with their driver less cars project already legally licensed for public road use in Nevada. While the Google Glass glasses might be some years off mass public use, you just have to look at the rate at which technology has advanced over the last few decades to realize how quickly new hardware can develop into what is considered a normal part of everyday life. Smartphones are commonplace, with mobile browsing continuing to grow at an exponential rate. Users can now easily stay connected to the Internet when away from their desktops or laptops, with Google Glass seen by many as the new stage in this process. Would it really be that surprising for Google Glass glasses to develop into an essential business and pleasure tool? With the possibilities presented by an augmented reality system, it looks more likely than not.
It is the potential of the Google Glass project which has truly got developers into a stir worldwide. A real-time HUD interacting with the user’s field of vision could expand the mainstream usage in extremely exciting ways. Away from social aspects such as facial recognition and information being presented (say goodbye to that awkward moment when you can’t remember the name of an acquaintance) the applications for the workplace could prove to be invaluable. From mechanics being able to instantly pull up the specs of engine parts when working on the relevant model and identify the solution and correct process to implement the changes, to real-time information instantly being made available regarding traffic density, public transport delays and even weather reports.
Potential applications for the Google Glass device are still being explored; with outside developers soon set to get their first hands on experience with the glasses. The continuation of Google’s search facilities into the Google Glass devices could prove to be extremely exciting, with instant, intuitive information provided regarding the wearer’s surroundings. Until more details are released regarding developer use, speculation will continue as to the full potential of the project.