Google unveils Project Glass

It happened when I first used a PalmOS device. It happened when I first used the BeOS. It happened when I first used an iPhone. And now it’s happened by just watching a video – that sense that there’s no need to wait for the future, because it’s already here. Google has just unveiled its augmented reality glasses, Project Glass, and it will blow you away.

Getting excited over a mere video is not something I’m prone to do. I need to see things in action, touch them, learn how they work. This time, however, all Google needed to do was show a video of Project Glass. Futuristic, strange, nerdy, awesome, useful, scary – this has got it all.

It’s called Project Glass, and rumours about it have been swirling for a while now. Developed at Google[x], the company is now ready to start field testing Project Glass – but it’s a Google employee-only thing, for now, so they won’t be for sale. The models shown off today are just a selection – Google has more versions in testing, including a version that can be combined with existing regular glasses (yes!).

Still, this unveiling raises a lot of questions, but one of them is addressed already. Doesn’t this thing get in the way of the real world? Isn’t this yet more technology making life more distant? According to one person who has used the device, it’s actually the exact opposite – it gets out of your way.

“They let technology get out of your way,” this user told The New York Times, “If I want to take a picture I don’t have to reach into my pocket and take out my phone; I just press a button at the top of the glasses and that’s it.” He has a point.

The glasses look awesome, but still, also a bit strange. Hopefully, the technology will get ever smaller, up to a point where it can be fully integrated regular glasses so people won’t even know you’re wearing one of these. In fact, scientists are already working on integrating display technology into contact lenses.

There’s dangers, too. What if you’re driving, and this thing goes haywire? On top of that, eyes are quite delicate and complicated pieces of natural engineering, so the question remains if this technology can damage the eyes of the wearer. All important questions which I’m sure will be answered over the coming months of public testing.

I want this so bad. It may not work, it may not be practical, and may not be affordable – but is just so incredibly cool. This is the kind of stuff I used to dream about when I was a kid, watching Star Trek. This taps into a kind of raw sense of excitement about outlandish technology that rarely – if ever – is tapped during these dark days of anti-science.

I feel like a little boy. I want this.


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