Google launches Project Glass - connected glasses with heads-up display

A few weeks ago, we reported on an intriguing new device in development at Google – a pair of glasses, with their own data connection, camera, GPS and motion sensors, along with an integrated heads-up display, allowing users to navigate, browse and interact with the device, hands-free. Our report was based on disclosures made by Google insiders to The New York Times, who claimed that the glasses would be powered by Android, closely integrated with Google services such as Latitude, Goggles and Maps, and that they apparently bore a close resemblance to Oakley Thumps:


That was then...

Google was, at the time, claimed to be very serious about putting the glasses on sale, and today the project has taken a big step towards that reality with the company’s official announcement of 'Project Glass'. Google marked the occasion by releasing a video, previewing the broad strokes of the concept and how it might work in practice:

It’s a fascinating vision of how our increasingly connected lives might take on a more natural flow, one that doesn’t require us to keep pulling our smartphones from our pockets to stay up to date with social media, where obstacles such as travel disruptions are swiftly overcome without laborious searches through multiple apps, and where all of the information that we come across each day can be logically organised and easily digested to quickly maximise its usefulness to us.

Of course, this being a concept video, real world practicalities have taken a bit of a back seat, but as a statement of intent, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the possibilities that the concept presents. If Wired is to be believed, though, Google has already ironed out many of the real world issues that have arisen during the company’s extensive testing of its prototypes.

One of the biggest concerns behind the project will surely be that of privacy, though – principally due to the built-in camera that the glasses use to ‘see’ and gather data from the world around them. As we reported in February, Google is said to be ‘very sensitive’ to these privacy issues, but for now, any questions surrounding those concerns remain unanswered.

Don't expect the glasses to go on sale any time soon though. Contrary to earlier reports which suggested that Google plans to launch the glasses commercially this year, with a target price below $600 USD, it seems that the company still has a great deal more work to do before they're ready for prime time.

Although the glasses don’t actually make an appearance in the video – beyond the first-person view of their heads-up display – the company did share a few images of prototype devices on Google+, and they clearly look nothing at all like the much chunkier Oakleys at the top of this article:


...and this is now - a more high-tech look for connected specs.

Geek chic? We'll let you be the judge of that. Would you prefer them to look more like 'conventional' glasses, or do you favour the more obviously high-tech look seen in Google's new preview shots? Would you buy them at all, or does the whole idea of glasses that can 'see' and track everything that you see make you uncomfortable? As always, we want to know what you think, so be sure to share your opinions below.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft finally reveals details of Windows Live Essentials 2011 update

Next Story

AT&T video promotes the Lumia 900 in new advertisement

52 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Great concept but firstly they will be able to track your every ****ing locations even a metre you walked. Secondly people like myself who wear numbered glasses will have a serious problem. Thirdly they will have to be connected to a wifi or something eventually which can cause brain damage as it will be always on and always near your brain, fourthly why would i want any one to take my pics on the fly without me knowing... and finally it can outcome as a ****ing big weapon!!!

devxweb said,
Great concept but firstly they will be able to track your every ****ing locations even a metre you walked. Secondly people like myself who wear numbered glasses will have a serious problem. Thirdly they will have to be connected to a wifi or something eventually which can cause brain damage as it will be always on and always near your brain, fourthly why would i want any one to take my pics on the fly without me knowing... and finally it can outcome as a ****ing big weapon!!!

....not sure if srs.

so Google is catching up to where IBM was almost 20 years ago in design... they where working on retina scanning HUD immersive displays in the 90's with augmented reality

Depending on the type of person you are, i can see this either being an awesome addition to your tech line-up.

I use my Android phone for a lot of things that i'd prefer to use these glasses for, only issue i have is that i wear glasses already and only have vision in one eye lol

:: Lyon :: said,
I can already see how many accidents on the road will happen thanks to this
Not when they have built in warning systems. People manage to get knocked over every day, even without looking at their phones, or with something strapped to their face. So these things could save lives in the future, rather than endanger them.

:: Lyon :: said,
I can already see how many accidents on the road will happen thanks to this

So headphones destroy lives? Can't a person use headphones while driving. I see it all the time. Bluetooth headsets destroy lives too. Cellphones destroy lives as well.

Common sense doesn't

Guaranteed that this will have a warning label about using while driving.

Guy next to me:
"Where is the closest coffee shop?"
"Ok, give me the direction"
Me:
"Are you talking to yourself sir?"

It sounds cool and all, but the idea is silly. It makes it look like your talking to yourself.

link6155 said,
Guy next to me:
"Where is the closest coffee shop?"
"Ok, give me the direction"
Me:
"Are you talking to yourself sir?"

It sounds cool and all, but the idea is silly. It makes it look like your talking to yourself.


Um, Bluetooth anybody? Siri anybody?

UndergroundWire said,
I'm throwing money at the screen, but nothing is happening. Shut up and take my money.

wow! I officially hate you

This will not work in Montreal because everything is in french.

Using google voice search
Me: Directions to Vendome Metro
Results: Directions to fondle metro

giantpotato said,
This will not work in Montreal because everything is in french.

Using google voice search
Me: Directions to Vendome Metro
Results: Directions to fondle metro

Directions to fondle metro = buy a Windows Phone, you can fondle metro all you want

I doubt many people will be using the video chat feature to show their... ukulele...

Edited by Chugworth, Apr 4 2012, 9:17pm :

I watched the full video, and at the end I was like "FU** OFF", and laughin'... Not sure why, either because I see people hitted by cars on the zebra because they looked at a map, either because the girl at the end virtually share love with this guy, instead of meeting on that roof with some romantic candles.

But hey... Overall, pretty nice ideea.

looks like something I would buy on release day for a crazy amount and attempt to dump them on ebay about a week later. concept video is real cool but features rarely end up being available or the same upon release.

stevember said,
I cannot imagine how many times you going to hear "sorry say that again I wasn't listening".

Or it also doubles as a hearing aid and some people will never have to say that again!

recursive said,

Or it also doubles as a hearing aid and some people will never have to say that again!

Ooh, or it could subtitle people talking in realtime, could translate for you in foreign countries aswell.

no-sweat said,
So basically, Neowin photoshopped the Android logo onto the image of the Oakley sunglasses?

No, I think Neowin did back when this was a rumor.