Google X reveals concepts for augmented reality glasses (video)

5 Apr 2012

Google has posted a concept video and photos of ‘Project Glass’ – its Google X Labs endeavour to bring augmented reality eyewear into the mainstream.

It began to emerge in recent months that Google’s X Labs had been working on creating augmented reality glasses that would push information from the internet via the Android OS onto the glass lenses.

Google is aiming to release the glasses at the same cost as a standard smartphone, which is in the US$250-US$600 range. The glasses are believed to contain a unique new navigation system that uses head tilting to scroll and click and will be very intuitive.

They will also sport a built-in, low-resolution camera that overlays information about locations, buildings and friends.

The ‘One Day …’ video shows a person going around their home doing routine things like brewing coffee while through the heads-up display (HUD) they are being fed information such as weather, feeds from Google+, instant messaging, voice commands, transport information, maps and e-commerce applications.


Effectively, the augmented reality shades function as a communications device allowing phone calls and videoconferencing. The glasses also enable pretty cool social interaction, such as location-based check-ins and photo sharing.

As well as the concept video, Google posted photos of people wearing what look like fashionable glasses with some electronics componentry over the wearers’ right eye.

A group of Google X researchers, Babak Parviz, Steve Lee and Sebastian Thrun, posted on Google+: “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. 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.

“Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years