Google has been at the head of innovation for years, and they have continued this tradition with their recent unveiling of Project Glass. This isn’t an entirely new device, and many people have seen them in science-fiction movies. The reason Project Glass is getting so much attention is because a technology giant like Google is backing it. Just what is Google Glass? It’s an augmented reality headset that is integrated into a small pair of glasses.
Life and Technology
The idea of life and technology coexisting was strained for a long time, but the rise of mobile devices has largely destroyed that barrier. Mobile devices have allowed people to use apps, talk with friends and watch movies regardless of their location. At the same time, there is still a break between life and technology.
Google’s Project Glass seeks to completely fuse the two. Unlike a smartphone that is stored in your pocket, these glasses are made to be worn at all times. The glasses are also made so that you don’t need to use your hands. Much like Apple’s Siri, the glasses function almost exclusively with voice commands. While the prototype does force you to push a little button to take a photo or use some other functions, the button sits comfortably on the side of the glasses.
Project Glass gives you all the common smartphone apps, but they are hands-free and stored in your vision. For example, instead of pulling out your phone and opening the messaging app, you would just say, “Message Paul.” The app would open in your field of vision, and you could make your message. This device has a lot of potential, but Google isn’t the only one making it.
If augmented reality glasses become big, then you can expect every technology brand to make their own version. While it may be years before that happens, there are currently two competitors vying for the top with these glasses.
The obvious competitor is Apple. Apple has been leading the pack of technology innovation, and it is not one to be left behind. Apple has trademarked the term and design for iGlasses. The prototype looks quite stylish, and there have been hints of Apple seriously pursuing this route since 2006.
The other competitor is a little unexpected, but still a serious threat to Google. Olympus has recently unveiled its own augmented reality glasses, and many believe Olympus did this in response to Google’s unveiling. They claim to have been researching augmented reality glasses for 20 years, and their device has the working name of the MEG4.0. These glasses are made to wirelessly integrate with a smartphone or tablet, and the user will be able to see the screen from the glasses.
These glasses represent a huge leap in technology, and the majority of consumers would be thrilled to try them out. At the same time, what type of consumer is serious about buying such a new device? Project Glass’s first devices are fetching $1,500, and most consumers are not willing to spend this much for a new device.
The primary consumers will be power users and early adopters. Early adopters will buy Project Glass for the novelty of the device, but power users will enjoy their ability to save time. Power users need to save every second they can, and not having to use fingers to open apps or make documents can save a lot of time.
Will tech glasses ever be accepted as a part of society? This is hard to say so early in the game, but they probably will gain acceptance with time. Many people are worried that tech glasses will be used for intrusive advertising, and others are worried about the dystopian possibilities.
At the same time, most people said and thought the same of smartphones. These devices are now used on a constant basis. It will take time until they are accepted by the majority of society, but it will likely happen within a few years.
About the Author:
John Nettleton loves to see technology advance society, whether that be through new gadgets, medical advancements or effective web design.