Google unveils augmented reality glasses

5 April 2012
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
Mobile version
Share |
A prototype for

A prototype for "Google Glasses"

Google has unveiled concept designs for augmented reality glasses which can take photos, send emails, perform searches and display directions.

The prototype digital glasses, unveiled on the company's Google+ social network, are still being tweaked and tested, and are not available in stores yet.

"We're sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input," Google wrote in a post on a Google+ page devoted to Project Glass.

The spectacles are being developed by Google, the secretive group working on advanced research projects such as self-driving cars.

The Google+ page featured a 2-1/2 minute video, shot from the perspective of someone wearing the glasses.

The wearer goes about his day walking through New York City while speaking commands to the glasses to do things such as take a photo and post it to Google+, get block-by-block directions and weather conditions and get a pop-up alert when a friend is nearby.

The Google posting is intended to show "what this technology could look like," the company said.

Mock-up images of the glasses on the Google+ page depict a stamp-sized digital display that seems attached to a pair of glasses and sits at the top corner of one of the lenses.

The post asks people to submit their suggestions for what they would like to see in the glasses.

Google, the world's No. 1 search engine, is famous for letting its employees work on ambitious projects that don't always have a direct relation to its business.

Those projects have not always sat well with investors, who worry about Google's spending on projects with uncertain returns.

Google chief executive Larry Page has cut down on many of the projects and products underway at the company since taking the reins a year ago.

But he has defended Google's commitment to working on "speculative" projects that could one day turn into "billion-dollar businesses," though he has stressed the company isn't "betting the farm" on such efforts.

The glasses could provide a way for Google to more closely entwine its advertising-supported online services, including Web searches, maps and email, into people's daily lives.

The glasses also could help Google match some of the buzz that rival Apple has generated with its latest iPhone and the built-in Siri digital assistant, which takes spoken commands to do such tasks as schedule calendar appointments and get weather forecasts.

A Google insider said it is unclear when the glasses might be commercially available, but noted that the philosophy of Google group is to develop technologies that can be used in a relatively short period of time, rather than dreaming up creations that won't be possible for 10 or more years.

The glasses, under development for two years, will be tested in public by members of the Google team, according to the Google insider.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Chair in Integrated Sensor Technology

    The University of Edinburgh
    • Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

    The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top 20 institutions of higher education.....

    • Recruiter: The University of Edinburgh

    Apply for this job

  • Principal Electrical Engineer - Power

    BAE Systems
    • Bristol, England / Cumbria, Barrow-In-Furness, England
    • Negotiable

    Principal Electrical Engineer - Power Join our Electrical Power team and help design the self-contained generation and distribution system for the Successor submarine - a new generation of submarine designed to carry the UK's independent nuclear deterrent

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Operations Supervisor (Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation)

    National Grid
    • England, Cambridgeshire
    • £33000 - £39000 per annum

    Operations Supervisor - (Mechanical/Electrical/Instrumentation) Salary: Circa £33k - 39k dependant on experience + vehicle and great additional benefits (share scheme, pension, potential bonus).Location: Wisbech - Cambridgeshire We currently have an excit

    • Recruiter: National Grid

    Apply for this job

  • Lead NDT Trainer

    BAE Systems
    • England, Lancashire
    • Competitive package

    Would you like to be involved with training UK and international teams in Non Destructive Inspection (NDI) to support the in service fleet (Typhoon Tornado, and Hawk)?

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Systems Design - Emerging Portfolio

    MBDA
    • Bristol
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity?   There are fantastic opportunities in Systems Design for engineers to work within Future Systems. These are highly visible, fast paced roles, in...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Metering Engineer

    Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
    • Teddington, United Kingdom
    • £24,109 - £27,961 plus EO Electronics PE of £8,090.00

    We are now looking for a Metering Engineer to deliver RD’s In-Service Testing (IST) scheme for gas and electricity meters.

    • Recruiter: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

    Apply for this job

  • Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) of Smart Building Solutions

    Premium job

    ETH Zurich
    • Zurich, Canton of Zürich (CH)

    The successful candidate is expected to develop a strong and visible research programme in the area of control and diagnostics of building systems

    • Recruiter: ETH Zurich

    Apply for this job

  • Process Controls Leader

    Premium job

    Phillips 66
    • Humber Refinery, South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire DN40 3DW
    • £60k - 75k plus extensive Compensation and benefits package, dependent upon experience

    Experienced Process Control Leader providing leadership and technical support for Oil Refinery. Extensive Compensation and benefits package.

    • Recruiter: Phillips 66

    Apply for this job

  • Regional Technical Support Manager

    Premium job

    Siemens
    • Warwick, Warwickshire

    You will be required to lead the regional Customer Services strategy and resources to maximise Customer satisfaction.

    • Recruiter: Siemens

    Apply for this job

  • PLM Engineer (Product Lifecycle Management)

    BAE Systems
    • Shropshire, England, Telford
    • Negotiable

    PLM Engineer (Product Lifecycle Management) Would you like a varied role that involves working across all engineering functions within BAE Systems Land UK? We currently have a vacancy for a PLM Engineer at our site in Telford with occasional travel within

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T