Augmented Reality Glasses or Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that is being developed by Google with the aim of producing a new product that is suitable for the masses. The device displays information smartphone-like, but with hands mostly free, interacting with the Internet via natural language voice commands.
While the frames do not currently have lenses fitted to them, Google is considering partnerships with sunglass retailers such as Ray-Ban or Warby Parker, and may also open retail stores to allow customers to try on the device.
The Explorer Edition currently cannot be used by people who wear prescription glasses, but Google has confirmed that Glass will eventually work with frames and lenses that match the wearer's prescription; the glasses will be modular and therefore possibly attachable to normal prescription glasses.
Although head-worn displays for augmented reality are not a new idea, the project has drawn media attention primarily due to its backing by Google, as well as the prototype design, which is smaller and slimmer than previous designs for head-mounted displays. The first Glass demo resembles a pair of normal eyeglasses where the lens is replaced by a head-up display. Around August 2011, a Glass prototype weighed 8 pounds; by now the device is lighter than an average pair of sunglasses.
According to several Google employees, Glass was initially projected to be available to the public for "around the cost of current smartphones" by the end of 2012, but other reports stated that the Glass was not expected to be available for purchase by then. The Explorer Edition is available to testers and Google I/O developers in the United States for $1,500, while a consumer version will be available in 2014 for "significantly less". On July 2, 2013, Google launched an informational press site for Glass, which stated that the company's goal "is to make Glass available to a wider group of Explorers later this year, with even broader availability next year."
The product began testing in April 2012. Sergey Brin wore a prototype of the Glass to an April 5, 2012, Foundation Fighting Blindness event in San Francisco. In May 2012, Glass was demonstrated in the first test video shot with the eyewear, demonstrating the 720p HD first-person video recording capabilities of the device. In February 2013, Google released a demo video showcasing the voice-augmented display of the Glass filming various experiences in first-person. On June 21, 2013, the Spanish doctor Pedro Guillen, Chief of Trauma Service of Clínica CEMTRO of Madrid, became the first physician in the world to broadcast a surgery through the use of Google Glass.
Random members of the UK public were approached with the Glass product in late June 2013 and provided feedback while using the device. Users tested various functions of the new technology, including voice recognition, image-taking, and the search engine, and the footage shown by the Guardian publication conveyed only successful attempts.
Google Glass has the ability to take photos and record 720p HD video. While video is recording, a recording light is displayed above the eye, which is unnoticeable to the wearer.
A touchpad is located on the side of Google Glass, allowing users to control the device by swiping through a timeline-like interface displayed on the screen. Sliding backward shows current events, such as weather, and sliding forward shows past events, such as phone calls, photos, circle updates, etc.
After the iPhone and the iPad that revolutionized the mobile phone and tablet market, we’ll see if Google Glass will be the next mobile game changer. (Source: Wikipedia)
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