- Google co-founder now working exclusively on glasses
- Could be released as early as 2013
- Have been in development for 2-3 years
- Glasses have built-in camera, GPS and offer email and web searches on surface of glasses
- Prototypes now being tested outside Google’s offices
- Pictures taken while running and on trampoline
- Hi-tech Android glasses ‘layer’ computer information over the world
By Rob Waugh
PUBLISHED: 08:12 EST, 30 May 2012 | UPDATED: 09:07 EST, 30 May 2012
Google co-founder Sergei Brin has revealed that the company’s ‘Project Glass’ techno goggles could be on sale as early as next year.
‘I have some hopes to maybe get it out sometime next year,’ said Brin in an interview with Current TV host Gavin Newsom.
‘The project is a heck of a lot further along than people have imagined,’ says Brin, who also revealed that the glasses have been in development for ‘two or three’ years.
The demonstration also showed off some of the technical details of the glasses, such as the fact that they have a ‘trackpad’ at the side which is used to navigate.
The glasses are also voice-controlled.
Brin, who co-founded Google with current CEO Larry Page is now working exclusively on the glasses, he said.
Last week, Google showed off the first video taken with its ‘Project Glass’ techno-glasses – hi-tech specs that ‘layer’ computer information over the world.
The glasses also have a camera built into the arm – and the glasses are starting to be seen increasingly outside the Google offices, with co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin both wearing the techno-specs at public events.
‘This one makes us a little queasy, but our prototype nailed what it’s like to be on a trampoline,’ says Google via – what else? – the official Project Glass home page.
Google’s glasses in action: Google has shown off a picture taken with its ‘Project Glass’ techno-glasses – hi-tech glasses that ‘layer’ computer information over the world
‘We’d love to hear about the types of moments you’d capture if you didn’t have to wait to pull out a camera or your phone,’ says the team.
The prototypes are also being tested ‘in the wild’ by Google co-founder Sergei Brin, who was pictured weariing a pair of the glasses.
The wraparound glasses feature a miniature display that sits above one eye, allowing users to surf the internet, make video calls, listen to music and update the diary without lifting a finger.
‘We announced Project Glass in part to let our team start testing prototypes outside the office,’ says the Project Glass team, via its Google Plus page.
The screen is controlled by voice and by tilting your head, so one catch may be a few funny looks in the street.
A prototype is being tweaked and tested in public by the company’s employees before it goes on sale.
The technology is known as ‘wearable computing’ and is expected to launch a new generation of gadgets which display a layer of information over everything the wearer sees – bringing together the search engine, GPS tracking, a phone and a camera.
‘We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t,’ says Google.
The glasses appear to run a variant of the Android operating system, using the same microphone icon and other recognisable parts of Google’s mobile OS.
The glasses layer information ‘over’ the world, and offer directions – as well as allowing users to ‘locate’ one another in the real world, as with Google’s current Latitude system.
‘A group of us from Google X started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment, ‘says Google.
The demonstration shows off a weather forecast layered over a view of the world
‘We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.’
Various leaks had hinted that Google wanted to move into wearable computing.
‘Many of the features – voice commands, embedded camera, Google Maps integration – have been previously rumored, but it’s compelling to actually see them in action. Whether they will work quite as well in reality is, so far, uncertain,’ says ZDNet.
No release date has been confirmed for the glasses – nor has Google explained exactly how the glasses work.
The world is just an eyeball away: Models demonstrate how the goggles look in practice
‘Google X’ is where the search giant’s scientists work on wild, out-there ideas.
‘Google has always invested in speculative R&D projects – it’s part of our DNA,’ said a spokesperson when the first news of the lab leaked.
‘While the possibilities are incredibly exciting, the sums involved are very small by comparison to the investments we make in our core businesses. In terms of details, we don’t comment on speculation.’
The lab is reportedly located in Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters – known as ‘the Googleplex’.
Engineers are free to work on projects such as connected fridges that order groceries when they run low – or even tableware that can connect to social networks.
Other Google engineers have reportedly researched ideas as far-out as elevators to space.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is reportedly deeply involved in the lab. His business card is said to be simply a piece of silvery metal decorated with the letter X.
Brin, a robot enthusiast, once attended a conference via a robot with a screen showing his face.
It’s not unusual for tech companies to have ‘ideas labs’ hidden away from their ordinary workers – at Apple, for instance, Jonathan Ive’s design lab where devices such as iPads are perfected, is guarded as if it was a weapons facility.