updated 12:35 pm EDT, Wed April 4, 2012
Google Glass appears in test phase
Google ended speculation about its computing eyewear by confirming Project Glass. While providing few details in the tease itself, the company showed a monocular set of augmented reality glasses that would provide a way of both getting information and communicating without needing to hold anything. In a concept video (below), Google suggested it could be used for everything from holding video or voice conversations to providing the weather when looking outside or getting live map directions.
As shown, the interface would be very different than Android and would keep elements to a minimum, popping them up only as they become relevant.
The team, originating out of Google's semi-secret Google[x] labs, didn't have immediate plans for a launch. They were jumping in early to "start a conversation and learn from your valuable input," the company's Babak Parviz, Steve Lee, and Sebastian Thrun said.
Leaks have suggested that Google intends to ship Project Glass by the end of the year to real users, although it may be a limited run for those willing to experiment. Prices could vary sharply, between $250 to $600, depending on what they ultimately include. The need for always-on data and GPS suggests a price towards the higher end of the spectrum.
Wearable computing eyewear isn't new, but it has typically been based either around traditional desktop platforms or otherwise been targeted at very specific uses. Project Glass, if translated to a shipping product, would both be one of the first major efforts to bring it to everyday users and one of the first to keep the apps and the headwear itself optimized for places beyond work.