The Digital World with Ryan Simon: Seeing the Future with Project Glass

Today’s smartphones do a pretty good job keeping people organized and socially connected, but there may be a better and more intuitive way to accomplish these tasks. Imagine a world where technology and your everyday life work together to create a new reality. What if you could simply look up at the sky and receive weather information, or respond to a text message and check your to-do list without ever pulling out a phone or other electronic device? It may sound too futuristic to even be plausible, but Google thinks otherwise. On April 4, after months of rumors surrounding a Google augmented reality project, Google finally announced to the public Project Glass.

The idea for Project Glass revolves around a sleek and portable piece of eyewear. Its design is much like a pair of glasses, but without any lenses. Instead, the headset has a single viewing glass that is elevated over one’s right eye. This design allows for information to be accessed at the leisure of the user, and avoids completely distracting one from the real world in front of them. Google’s plan is to incorporate their full suite of software into Project Glass. In a video uploaded to YouTube, Google showcases some of the many uses its augmented reality glasses may be capable of. Search, voice recognition, listening to music, Google Maps, Google Navigation, calendar, Google+ messaging and video chat and taking pictures are all planned for Project Glass.

What makes Project Glass stand out against other competing technologies is that Google already has most of the software for the project done and in the hands of users. If anything would hold back the capabilities of something as promising as Project Glass, it would be the performance of its accompanying software, but that is something Google seems to have been planning for. Everything from voice recognition to Google Navigation has already been heavily tested and in use by Android phone consumers. Google is preparing to build the ultimate culmination of all their services with Project Glass.

Despite the very real nature of Google’s presentation of Project Glass, the company is far from completing a final and consumer-ready version of the product. Since the device is still in an early prototype phase of testing, Google is collecting usage data and trying to solve engineering issues. During a charity event last week, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was spotted wearing the glasses and was asked about how the project was coming along. Brin responded by saying that the prototypes are still a ways away from being as fully functional as the project’s announcement video portrays the device. He also confirmed that there is currently no planned release date for Project Glass.

Even without a concrete release schedule, Project Glass is a reminder to the public that Google is continuing to push the boundaries on what is possible in today’s digital world. Whether or not Project Glass makes it to the consumer marketplace in the near future is completely up in the air, but just the possibility of such a device has many in the tech world inspired by its potential. One can only imagine the possibilities.

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