Project Glass: Are The Google Glasses Even Possible?By: Chris Crum - April 7, 2012
This past week, Google unveiled Project Glass in the form of the following promo video:
The video has already been parodied a bunch of times. You can peruse our Project Glass coverage here to see some of those.
We know the glasses exist. Co-founder Sergey Brin was photographed wearing them at a dinner party. But the possibility of them existing the way they do in Google’s video may be a different story.
For the record, Google has not really presented the whole thing as much more than a concept at this point. The video itself has “One Day…” in the title.
The Verge spoke with Brin after the party, and according to the report, Brin said they’re very much in the early prototype stage, that “right now you really just see it reboot,” and to “give us time”.
It seems at the very least, they’re nowhere near what the video depicts at this time.
Wired has a very interesting report, talking to some Augmented Reality experts, however, who cast some doubt about whether it’s even possible for Google to emulate what actually takes place in the video. Roberto Baldwin reports:
However, according to Pranav Mistry, an MIT Media Lab researcher and one of the inventors of the SixthSense wearable computing system, “The small screen seen in the photos cannot give the experience the video is showing.”
Blair MacIntyre, director of the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech, concurs: “You could not do AR with a display like this. The small field of view, and placement off to the side, would result in an experience where the content is rarely on the display and hard to discover and interact with. But it’s a fine size and structure for a small head-up display.”
Mistry does point out that the Project Glass demo is a concept video. But MacIntyre believes Google may have set the bar too high for itself. “In one simple fake video,” MacIntyre told Wired, “Google has created a level of over-hype and over-expectation that their hardware cannot possibly live up to.”
It wouldn’t be the first time Google created hype that it didn’t live up to. That’s for sure (Buzz and Wave come immediately to mind), though on the other hand, they are responsible for this.
Being a prototype, it’s entirely possible that the glasses will look nothing like they do in the promo. In fact, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that a contact lens version of Project Glass could make an appearance one day.
As Martin LaMonica at CNET points out, one of the engineers on the Project Glass team, Babak Parviz, has experience in Augmented Reality and contact lenses.
In fact, Parviz recently gave a fascinating presentation about contact lenses, that you need to watch.
Think about that for a minute. Would you put a Google product, physically in your eye?