Google Glasses First Look: Would You Wear These Augmented Reality Specs?

We first heard rumours about Google's augmented reality glasses a few months ago, and now in a post on Google Plus, the company has revealed some of its ideas for the project including some prototype designs. These specs look like the freaky science fiction concept they are. Would you wear them, though?

Watch this video of what the world would look like from behind these glasses. It's like Iron Man, except instead of important world-saving information, you're answering your friend's text messages and learning about delays on the train. The Google[x] team that's working on the project says they've opened it up to the public to solicit ideas about what people actually want from a set of augmented reality specs.

From what we can see in the video, Google Glasses basically seem like a smartphone notification system that allows you to respond to notifications in with your voice. Without actually trying the glasses on, the experience seems like something not only useful, but enjoyable. People might actually wear them if they can get over how nerdy they look.

And the glasses look very nerdy indeed! Google rounded up some pretty hip-looking kids to model the prototypes, and man they really are not cool-looking. Instead of something out of visionary sci-fi, the glasses look like what the nerds buried in basement laboratories wear -- and not in the good way. But remember, these are only prototypes. Plus, if the functionality of the glasses is incredible, it won't matter one bit how they look. If the rumours hold up, and Google plans to have these out by Christmas, we'll know by the end of the year. [Google+ via New York Times]



    As if listening to idiots sharing their private lives to everyone via handsfree isn't bad enough. Now we have to hear from stupid hipsters talking about going to their hipster band "Mosuurrre Gayno".

      God forbid someone have a different taste than you! And the horrors of maybe overhearing them talk about it, oh you poor soul!

    Can I get one where I don't have to walk around talking to myself like an idiot? Maybe add a something like a click wheel for menu selection?

      Get yourself an iPod and let us know how that works out for you.

      A click wheel would for basic interaction work great with something like this. I know the biggest thing I miss about the iPod is that I can no longer change tracks/pause/play without either announcing it to the world or pulling my phone out of my pocket.
      I could definitely see myself getting used to using this if it had a wrist mount watch style interface coupled with an augmented reality touch pad (ie, 'project' an entire touchpad on your arm allowing you to use a keyboard or any other standard touch interface). If they could get the interface to work that well without voice recognition I'd definitely wear this thing.

        Get yourself headphones with line in control buttons and you can.

        Single click = play pause, double click = next track, triple click = previous track.

        Pretty sure the commands are the same for all three iOS, Android and WP7

        having to take your 300 dollar phone out of your pocket to change the song.

        1st world problems.

      Yuh-huh. Imagine a world where everyone is wandering around saying random words, how weird and confusing would that be? Nobody would ever know if someone was talking to them or to their glasses. Also, I'm socially awkward enough without wanting to draw attention to myself by talking to myself in public. Until there are nonverbal options for this thing, I doubt it would be useful, and the people that did find it useful would get kind of annoying.

        Exactly. I would wear these only if there was a wireless control device I could hold in my hand to control them without speaking. And if I could control the frequency and verbosity of the notifications - they seem more annoying than useful. The navigation looks awesome though.

        In its current form, I would probably wear them just for the navigation and then take them off.

    What happened to these "being similar to Oakleys"?
    I like the concept, always have, but they have to look normal, unobtrusive and without having to talk out loud to yourself... otherwise I doubt it will catch on.

      Also, these should simply be a peripheral for a Smartphone not a replacement for one.

    You might end up looking like a bit of an A.R.S.

      An Action Request System?

      Argentine peso?

        I think he meant Augmented Reality System. and arse.

    i'm thinking with a mini bluetooth keyboard that senses which key your fingers are over and displays that on the screen would help make this attractive to a larger market, and then you wouldn't feel like a muppet talking to yourself.

    you wouldnt have to look at the keyboard, making multitasking that little bit easier. you could be messaging your nan whilst perving at a girl walking in front of you.... wait, that's a bit wrong...

    Yeah, it makes you look like part of an Augmented Reality Smartphone Environment...

    We are moving towards a future where whomever has the most information, wins. These may look ridiculous and appeal mainly towards the hipster/poser crowd, but they are a step towards a future of human augmentation and ubiquitous and persistent data access.

      Despite my (hesitation) comments below, I agree.. and in the right hands, with the right governance.. these things are a step forward in the right direction. What I don't like is corporations controlling them.

    I'd love to have a pair of these for when I'm driving. It would display satnav instructions, caller id for incoming calls, a virtual dash with info from the OBD port of my car. For day to day life it would be a pain, and still require an input device (probably the phone itself) because there's no way I want to talk to the phone, nor make the people around me listen to my private life.

    One thing google HAVE to do though, is make them look less like augmented reality glasses, and more like normal glasses. If that means flat glass lenses over BOTH eyes, then so be it.

      i would love these for riding motorcycle (or embedded into helmet?)
      maybe even connect to cameras in my mirrors for checking blind spots or HUD odometer so i dont have to move my head

        best idea ever... apply this to the inside of a bike helmet, you've got yourself a winner.

    Since I wear glasses and would probably need to wear contact lenses for the first generation or two (or three) of these, it might be a bit of a stretch to say I would jump out and grab them on day one. Also, it could just be my years of watching scifi.. but I'm a little hesistant to put some corporation owned/controlled device directly on my face, with a pipeline direct to my subconscious through my eyeballs.

    I have mixed feelings about this: it is tempting/exciting on the one hand, and hesitation inducing on the other.

      Kinda reminds me of the episodes from TV shows, such as:

      Sliders S04E04 - "Virtual Slide"
      Sliders S04E15 - "Net Worth"


      Star Trek: TNG S05E06 - "The Game"

      Just sayin`...

        I'm on level 37!!!!

          Also this.

        Sliders mention. You win 50 internets.

        Season 4 mentions.. . aw :(

        Futurama's EyePhone comes to mind, too.

    This is the future.

    "but I’m a little hesistant to put some corporation owned/controlled device directly on my face, with a pipeline direct to my subconscious through my eyeballs."

    Light487, how is it different to owning a smartphone? I'm sure the device can be tailored to give you more / less notifications if wanted, the only difference being that you don't have to take it out of your pocket each time.

      The difference is that it will be directing the images into your eyes, non-stop, it only takes a frame here and a frame there to insert suggestions.. and since they are going to eb creating an augmented reality, the societal implications are enormous. Instead of using your own brains to figure out, judge, evaluate (etc) what you see in front of you, the AR is going to tell you what you are seeing.. shape the way you think about the thing you see in front of you.. it will change the way you see the world around you.

      This is not only some new way to receive your SMS, Emails and other social feeds in a handsfree method, they're talking about AR as well.. and that is vastly different to a handset.

        Yeah, but as Jinn said, you'll be able to customize how much reality augmentation you want. Yes, there'll be plenty of people who'll want tons of info to pop up about every single thing they look at, but you'll be able to scale it back so that nothing happens except maybe a train schedule shows up when you're in a railway station.

        Whatever the case, this sort of thing will indeed be the end of us. Wall-E was a prophecy.

    The idea is brilliant. This has long been the dream, but the technology is only just starting to catch up to it.
    But, god they are ugly. We've had transition lenses for some time now, can we please do something about the design, and intergrate some sunglasses into the frame??!! Without lenses, they are just pain stupid looking.

    Heads up display that's ripe for hacking? Bring it on!

    Until they're integrated into actual glasses I'm giving them a miss. But as soon as I can tick anARG box on my prescription, that is what will happen.

    Yep, even if they don't work, I'll still wear them, they look so damn good.

    You've seen the future, hipster douchebags everywhere. Yay!

      The title clearly says Google not Apple.

        Apple is the OPPOSITE of hipster, broseph. Basically everyone has one... :P

          And everyone uses Google too.

    I love the idea, but I don't think it'll be as seamless as Google suggests. You'll stand there shouting over and over "where is the music section?" because ambient noise will make it into "why is muesli traction?"

    Also, as someone who requires glasses for everything, it wouldn't really help me, unless it came as an attachable accessory. But I can't wait to see what hackers do with such a gadget. The first app? A DBZ scanner which will inform you when someone's power level is OVER 9000!

      Oh man that app would make me so happy. OVER 9000!!!!!!!

        Hell yeah! Worn-out Internet catchphrases 4 LYFE!

    I dig 'em. I already wear specs, though, so I hope they can just clip on to the existing specs without needing the whole frame.

      no, you will see all of reality through the video capabilities of the glasses and never have to buy a new pair of prescription glasses as it will change the diopter settings as your eyesight gradually gets worse.

    Personally I think they look alright. Would love to see a real-world demo showing how they work and how well rather than just a concept vid. I mean concept vids are always awesome to watch, but by that same token they're always idealised so you're stuck wondering how well they'll translate into a real product.

    If anything at least it may help stop people from messaging and falling into fountains...

    Voice activation is not the future, I still think a good old button press is better and less annoying.

      Voice commands are of course ridiculous, but buttons are relics. Brain control is the future. It'll take some practice, and of course a bit more technological advancement, but soon we'll be controlling these things as if they were just another muscle in the body. Which will finally remove all need for us to possess any knowledge of our own, since we can just brain-Google everything. I can't wait, because knowing stuff is a total drag.

        I will pull out my power drill and implant that chip for you then shall I?

        But once you've brain-Googled something, what's stopping you from retaining that information?
        In the future-future, we can just click "save" and it'll be directly downloaded into our long-term memory.

    All you haters will be hating!! I'll be getting these for sure.. I'm not expecting them to work 100% like the video for the first gen, especially in Australia, but will be cool never the less. I love this shit :)

      Hell yea! +1

    In the video, when he's talking to his girlfriend... what is she looking at?
    A close up of his eyeball?

      Initially nothing, or maybe just a photo of him, but then when he activates Dude Vision or whatever, she starts getting a live feed from the glasses and sees what he sees.

    They are already beaming stuff into your eyeballs. How about paying attention where the user is looking to control the 'cursor' or whatever and then blink once or twice to select. Shouldn't be too much more difficult

    Anyone else remember when those university students created some glasses that mapped whatever you were looking at, and turned your real world into a game of Quake? That needs to happen here.

    what are the expectations of battery life? will the first couple of generations have very large bulky arms with mounted batteries or a cable to a belt pack?

      think the matrix. you are the battery

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