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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Overlay Specs  
  Glasses that provide an additional feature; an overlay that lets you see information and graphics along with the real-world view.  

It would be great to be able to see more information along with your view of the actual world. Like looking a building, and seeing all the companies and people that work in it. And you could use it for other things.

There's also a brief printed note on paper. "Attach to front of building above eye level facing the street. When attached, initiate pairing with your phone to 'unnamed device 1142.' Passcode is 46hg52Q. Once paired, dial ##*49##*, and leave the area..."

Bloody typical. You pocket the bugging device, or whatever it is, key the co-ordinates into your specs, and let the overlay guide you along the pavement towards the target building..."

From Halting State, by Charles Stross.
Published by Ace in 2007
Additional resources -

Here's another quote:

He passes you a pair of heavy, black-rimmed military spectacles and a ruggedized phone... You put the glasses on and boot them. There's a brief flicker as they check your irises against their preloaded biometrics, then the world outside the BMW is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon...

This sort of augmented reality device can be seen in a slightly more compact form in the smart contact lenses from Fast Times at Fairmont High by Vernor Vinge, and somewhat earlier, the DreamTime contacts from Niven and Barnes' 1992 novel The California Voodoo Game.

Compare also to magic spectacles from Pygmalion's Spectacles (1935) by Stanley G. Weinbaum, video glasses from Islands in the Net (1988) by Bruce Sterling, Tru-Vu Lenses from Earth (1990) by David Brin, data goggles from Snow Crash (1992) by Neal Stephenson,eyecaps from Starfish (1999) by Peter Watts and HUD glasses from Daemon (2009) by Daniel Suarez.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Halting State
  More Ideas and Technology by Charles Stross
  Tech news articles related to Halting State
  Tech news articles related to works by Charles Stross

Overlay Specs-related news articles:
  - Google Glasses With Heads Up Display Coming Soon?
  - Transparent Mobile Search - Just Frame The Question
  - Google's Project Glass May Augment Your Reality
  - Google Glass: The Next Big Platform?

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