Google Glass: The Next Big Platform?

Google Glass was demoed in dramatic fashion at Google IO; in front of 5,000 attendees (myself included), skydivers jumped from one mile over Moscone Center in San Francisco while participating in a "hangout" using Google Glass.


(Google Glass live sky-diving demo)

Will Google Glass become the next big platform in mobile computing? Google hopes so; Google I/O attendees (in the main, software developers) were given the opportunity to pony up $1,500 to get an "Explorer" prototype version.

These remarks by Babak Parviz help illustrate the new device, which weighs about as much as a pair of sunglasses. Technovelgy readers will recall his work on Circuit Smart Contact Lens, Presaged By Niven, Barnes and Vinge.

"We have a pretty powerful processor and a lot of memory in the device. There’s quite a bit of storage on board, so you can store images and video on board, or you can just live stream it out. We have a see-through display, so it shows images and video if you like, and it’s all self-contained. It has a camera that can collect photographs or video. It has a touchpad so it can interact with the system, and it has gyroscope, accelerometers, and compasses for making the system aware in terms of location and direction. It has microphones for collecting sound, it has a small speaker for getting sound back to the person who’s wearing it, and it has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. And GPS...

On the side of the device there’s a two-dimensional touchpad. We have a button that we typically use for taking pictures. There are microphones in the system, so I you could have sound input to the system. We’ve experimented with that and we’ve experimented with gyroscopes and accelerometers and compasses with different types of gesture input. Now, how this is going turn into a consumer product, we’re still experimenting. It’s not entirely finalized yet.

Since this device is still in the prototype stage, Google engineers can still check out the future in the form of overlay specs from Charles Stross' 2007 novel Halting State or the videoshades from Bruce Sterling's 1988 novel Islands in the Net.

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