Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Google heads up 'smartglasses' coming by end of year

If you love your Android smartphone, how will you feel about your Android smartglasses? You may find out as early as the end of this year, according to sources speaking to the New York Times. The glasses sound like an eyewear version of a smart device, with 3G or 4G data connectivity and a small screen that will give users a "head's up" view of information.

The sources said that the glasses are expected to be available by year's end, and cost about "the price of current smartphones,” or from $250 to $600. And yes, the device will function as a phone, and won't be relegated to data only like an Android tablet.

The devices will be motion- and GPS-equipped, and would, the report said, have a unique navigation system. The NYT cited an earlier report by 9to5Mac, stating, "The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click. We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users."

The device will also have both voice input and output, and a low-resolution camera. Information will be displayed in an augmented reality view. A source described them as looking similar to a pair of Oakley Thumps.

We have to wonder if the glasses might lead to an increase in distracted walking, or still worse: distracted driving. The glasses are not designed to be worn constantly, but we could imagine technophiles wearing them A LOT.

What's most interesting is that Google most interested in the project as an experiment, or at least that's what sources told the reporter. We'll see though: Google generally sees these things as a way to advance their cloud services and Internet ad biz, and these glasses would be, we're sure, no different in the long run.

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