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The Future of Project Glass 118

Posted by samzenpus
from the next-step dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Project Glass made a big splash not too long ago at Google's annual developer conference when they showed several users falling on to the Moscone West in San Francisco. Google's pretty bent on showing us the sharing possibilities with Project Glass, but it feels like in time that technology could become a ubiquitous part of our lives. Fortunately for those of us who lack a hyperactive imagination, a short film popped up recently that can help fill in the blanks. The world created in the film was made possible by wearable tech. Games, cooking challenges, information in real-time about the person you are talking to, all made possible by the contact lenses being worn. And of course there's a darkside to the equation, the potential to hack and therefore influence the actions of others. Ultimately, it's a realistic idea of the future we all face."
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The Future of Project Glass

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 29, 2012 @12:22PM (#40808425)

    Showing how life would really be with Google [youtube.com].

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Look if they can shrink it down to something fashionable they might have something. But most people aren't going to wear something that makes them look like freakish cyborgs.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Apple will release their version as an out-of-sight contact lens (available in prescription strengths). A year or two after this happens, you'll start seeing a few others as contact lens. Apple will sue (they've of course patented this) while others claim it was totally obvious to do that, and that if Apple hadn't, someone else would've anyway.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The fact that you can come up with this right now makes it clear that it really is blatantly obvious. We simply don't have the technology yet, but once we get that far in miniaturisation and power supply, it's the next obvious thing to apply it to contact lenses instead of glasses. Which of course won't stop Apple to patent the very usage application, because they don't have the heavy R&D necessary to achieve and patent advancements in the actual base technologies.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Just because I can imagine some future product (oh, flying car! jet pack!) doesn't mean I can imagine the detailed technology necessary to make it happen (oh! anti-grav powered by manipulating the higgs-boson!).

          If Apple were to be the first to market with a contact lens hud system like this, and did it by a few years, wouldn't you have to say that perhaps they figured out how to make it work and deserve some reward for that?

          • by ZankerH (1401751)

            If Apple were to be the first to market with a contact lens hud system like this, and did it by a few years, wouldn't you have to say that perhaps they figured out how to make it work and deserve some reward for that?

            Yeah, the "few years" of being the only company to sell those. Past that, once other companies reach the same capabilities and technologies, it should be fair game, otherwise you're just punishing them for not being Apple.

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      Have you seen the final production version, Nostradamus?
    • by Whalou (721698)
      I want a version that can clip to an Oakley Medusa helmet (http://ca.oakley.com/products/2034/5519 [oakley.com].
    • by openfrog (897716) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:35PM (#40809009)

      Polished piece of work... must have been quite a bit of work, but there is a major inconsistency:

      For the major part of the film and during most of the interaction with the girl he is dating, the info he gathers on her is a distraction and makes him look like a dork.

      Indeed, this is all information (her Facebook profile) he could have read beforehand, which is already possible and happening in the real world. As his prior gathering of info would have been rather uninteresting in the story (although it would surely have been more efficient for him achieving his goal), here it is shown happening in real time. It can only be a distraction, especially in a live conversation, and the film carries this quite well. The guy looks like an idiot.

      Then, at the very end, what has been portrayed as a debilitating distraction suddenly turns into an absolute power of manipulation, out of all conventions built during the preceding scenes, and without letting the viewer know what would be the source of that power. He stops her going out of his apartment by a simple voice command, and presumably rewinds her memory to prior her discovery of damning information on him. All of this happens in the very last seconds of the film, where we are suddenly thrown in deep sci-fi territory, in a completely inconsistent way. The film concludes on that little surprise, and it is obvious that it could not have carried on after such a stunt.

      So, I see this as a slick flick without much depth, attempting to piggyback on the publicity surrounding Google Glass. Clever.

      • by oakgrove (845019)
        Maybe it was a blind date.
      • During the date he said he worked at the SIght company and was a programmer.

        The woman commented that she heard rumors they could plant ideas in people's heads, which he denied but was obviously more than true.

        He also did look at her profile beforehand, he picked out the restaurant without knowing she was Veg.

        I agree accessing the information distracted him and at first made him look like a dork, but it was also an interesting thing to think about - when we can have invisible access to apps any time without

        • by oakgrove (845019)

          I thought that movie overall was a much more interesting look at what is possible than the Glass videos Google put together.

          That's kind of like saying Minority Report is a much more interesting look at what is possible than Beyond 2000 (debatable I know). The former is just fantasy that while rooted in a reasonable version of the future isn't constrained by "this is actually being worked on by us and we're just teasing you with what we will deliver" which is the case with the Project Glass video vs. what this other guy put together. Not taking anything away from his vision as I found it entertaining but with obviously no const

          • The project glass video was just a little closer to reality than the Vimeo video. But not a great deal more. Sure Google has headsets coming out but how much of what was displayed in the video will they be doing out of the gate?

            Still plenty of things in the Glass video that are not going to come to pass for some time, it also was meant to be a showcase of what is possible.

            The two videos are way closer than you are making out. Both are fantasy.

            • by oakgrove (845019)

              The project glass video was just a little closer to reality than the Vimeo video. But not a great deal more.

              To do a comparison I'll start with what I see wrong with the vimeo video. Firstly, the contact lense full AR system is wildly futuristic. As in decades away. You would have a pair of displays directly adhering to your eyeballs that presumably allow for natural focusing on far way objects like seen in the dive at the beginning, can convincingly reproduce the full color spectrum and lighting all the way from opaque black (harder than it sounds for what we're talking about here) all the way up to what it wo

              • To do a comparison I'll start with what I see wrong with the vimeo video. Firstly, the contact lense full AR system is wildly futuristic. As in decades away.

                The one in the Google video is briefly shown as a thin strip, obviously with no cords; It has been laying around somewhere as there is no dock in sight. The viewer is left to image it is just as non-intrusive.

                The real Google Glass differs wildly from both videos.

                The only difference is that the Vimeo one uses a lot more AR, otherwise it gets the same co

                • by oakgrove (845019)

                  The one in the Google video is briefly shown as a thin strip, obviously with no cords; It has been laying around somewhere as there is no dock in sight. The viewer is left to image it is just as non-intrusive.

                  We know that Glass at this time has the electronics housed on the right hand side of the unit with the rest as essentially a thin strip and nose bumpers extending to the left to wrap around the user's head. In the video, you can't see the right side of the unit as it is out of the frame. Also, the video, I presume, was not intended to focus on the form factor of the device but what you could potentially do with it so showing the business side of it would be a bit superfluous. I also am quite certain that

      • by fermion (181285)
        This kind of reminds me when I saw a couple on a date. His shirt said "I'm not listening".

        At first I was thinking these would not catch on because they do exactly oppositie of what many people want. Instead of getting rid of excess reality, they just make it worse. Look at the return of the ugly big headphones that are all the rage again. Look at the number of kids that still get high. These glasses may have a market. In terms of dating the question is how to pass the time until it becomes socially a

        • by oakgrove (845019)

          Look at the return of the ugly big headphones that are all the rage again.

          Honestly? They sound better. Yes, I realize the irony of wasting this on lossy compressed music. I'm just waiting for the return of the grooved analog medium. Can you just see the hipsters running around with some kind of modern day record player strapped to their belts? I'm sure there is some way to miniaturize the whole thing and maybe go back to cylinders but it would still be something to behold. Maybe I should patent that shit. Could throw in a tube for good measure.

          Look at the number of kids that still get high.

          Pro tip: Almost every single

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I took the thing to mean that it was an overall integrated dating game.

        In other words, she wasn't real. Never was.

  • Nothing of note (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @12:48PM (#40808605)

    games, cooking challenges, information in real-time about the person you are talking to, all made possible by the contact lenses being worn. And of course there's a darkside to the equation, the potential to hack and therefore influence the actions of others. Ultimately, it's a realistic idea of the future we all face."

    I'm not worried about hackers influencing the actions of others. They've had many, many other avenues for doing this, and for the most part they don't. The only thing anyone who's up to no good is regularly interested in is money: Either by browser hijacking or identity theft. What I AM worried about is businesses. Getting by in modern society increasingly requires that we surrender our personal information to faceless corporations who can do pretty much whatever they want with it. Want a job? Give us your Facebook password. Don't have a Facebook? That's a disqualifier. Want to buy anything? We only take credit cards here. Want to get on the internet? We'll be monitoring everything you do, storing that information forever, and selling it off to anyone who wants it. Cell phone? Same deal. Even your electric meter on your house is now phoning home with details of when you watch TV, cook dinner, etc.

    I might as well not wear clothes anymore; Corporations already know everything about me, and for a pathetically small fee, so can you. Why the hell should I be modest about showing a little skin too? It's about the only thing you don't have pictures of. Wait... pictures from the full body scanners at the airport are being posted online? Sigh... nevermind...

  • I think Google is missing the point when it tries to focus on "fashionable" side (or lack of) in the glasses.

    Once it becomes useful, it has a potential to replace all displays and soon after the fashionable point becomes moot as people really want the thing. Yes it will be ugly first, but just like tablets, hands free dongles, USB sticks etc. the exterior will mature once it's useful.

    But I'm afraid Google is doing this wrong, just like Bill Gates and Microsoft as they tried to introduce concept of table

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      Think they're focusing on both actually. A lot of people work there these days so they can spread them around a little bit you know.
  • by oakgrove (845019) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @12:56PM (#40808677)
    Here [valvesoftware.com] is an excellent blog post by a Valve Software employee about the potential of augmented reality. Basically, the real thing like what you see in the video above while the guy is cutting the cucumber is very hard. Things like perfect motion tracking, contextual awareness, seamless overlays are science fiction at this point. But this is a very compelling scenario and very smart people are working on it so sooner or later it's happening. Hopefully Google Glass will get us one step closer. Ironically, one of the best uses for it is real life ad block. Imagine riding down the freeway and every billboard is replaced by a giant sequoia. Or a mushroom Smurf house.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Things like perfect motion tracking, contextual awareness, seamless overlays are science fiction at this point

      Wanted: eyetap product. Maybe someone will bring us one as Glass gains popularity.

    • by deimtee (762122)
      That would be interesting. You could go invisible by covering yourself with ads.
  • by Hentes (2461350) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:08PM (#40808767)

    VR has been there for quite a while, and the reason it is not widespread isn't lack of imagination but its prohibitive costs. And since Google Glass still costs an arm and a leg, it won't start any revolution.

    • by oakgrove (845019)
      Um, it's not even for sale to the general public so how would you have any idea what it will cost? And if you think the explored kit they are selling to the Google I/O attendees is indicative of the real price, I ask you, have you priced console dev kits vs. The price of the consumer hardware lately? The two have nothing in common.
    • by Krneki (1192201)

      VR has been there for quite a while, and the reason it is not widespread isn't lack of imagination but its prohibitive costs. And since Google Glass still costs an arm and a leg, it won't start any revolution.

      The real reason VR is not here is technical limitation, not cost. The best glasses for now only offer 720p@60Hz (700E) and still weight a little too much. Wait 2 years and you will see VR in hardcore gaming rings.

  • M.T. Anderson envisioned a fairly dystopian society where everyone receives an implant at birth. While the book was a simple and fun read, the implications of such tech were definitely scary. http://www.amazon.com/Feed-M-T-Anderson/dp/0763622591 [amazon.com] ("Feed" by M.T. Anderson). **spoiler alert** - The scary part of the story involved a character who was hacked into (more like, was given some malware) and many physical problems arose as a result.
  • More and more I feel as though I'm the mark of the information age, rather than benefiting from it. Google, Facebook, 100 advertising sites, are all busy trying to gather as much information about me as possible, and not giving me any control over it. I've long been a fan of augmented reality appearing, but it's coming in an age where user control is removed, and the information sources to which it has access are filtered, censored, and engineered by others, who have their own agenda. Soon we'll all be l

    • by oakgrove (845019)

      Google, Facebook, 100 advertising sites, are all busy trying to gather as much information about me as possible, and not giving me any control over it.

      Um, really [facebook.com]? Really? [google.com] and if that's too much trouble, you can probably hire somebody on mechanical Turk to do it for 10 cents.

  • by oakgrove (845019) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:21PM (#40808859)
    The Internet is a funny place. About half the comments on any blog post about Glass are comments mocking it. Yet in the next breath, the same commented will decry "lack of innovation" in the tech industry. Personally I don't need yet another way to edit my spreadsheets or unlock my phone. I'm ready for something new and consumer palatable augmented reality is it. Google might still get it wrong but I'm with them all the way for trying.
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @01:51PM (#40809199) Homepage Journal
    If you want to go full to the future, those novels from Dan Simmons references what could be the a far future from the project glass, both from "interaction" (i.e. thinking in geometric shapes to activate some function) to going so far to become unusable (i.e. activating the wikipedia-like function to know everything in detail of what you are seeing around, at the point of becoming unpleasant to use)
    • by oakgrove (845019)
      For further reading, I'd suggest The Golden Age [wikipedia.org] trilogy by John C. Wright which is an absolute tour de force in full on hard sic-fi post human futurism. Predicting 10,000 years into the future is basically impossible but the author weaves a very believable scenario. Not to put too fine a point on it but these books are the primary reason I lost interest in popular "fantasy" science fiction aka skee-fee.
    • by robi5 (1261542)

      Another must read is Vernor Vinge: Fast Times at Fairmont High.

      *** SPOILER ALERT ***
      *** SPOILER ALERT ***
      *** SPOILER ALERT ***
      An interesting concept is that instead of decorating your wall and environments, you just augment reality.
      Also, depending on the level of intimacy, family members and some guests are granted the privilege of seeing through the wall (achieved by cameras dispersed all over and a view reconstructed from several of them from the viewer's position, overlaid on the wall).

  • Whuffie [wikipedia.org]

  • ... But i can't help thinking we'll have to buy buckets of blue pills, if we really come to this...

    And, to speak of the Google Glass project, i'm not sure : people that don't wear glasses will have hard time to acustomed to this (i mean, if you don't really need it all the time, you don't wear glasses beside the few minutes the 3D film is cast in the cinema). And people that do wear glasses... Well they need special glasses so they can actually see...

    And i won't even mention the need for something that actu

  • Face Blindness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrLogic17 (233498) on Sunday July 29, 2012 @05:28PM (#40811197) Journal

    As someone with mild associative prosopagnosia (google for Face Blindness), I *really* want this. Way too many people look alike to me, and I miss out on a lot for the first half of most conversations. I have to avoid names and only talk about general, common topics until I figure out who the heck I'm talking to. With a VR system, I might be able to follow the plot of more movies, too!

    From a technology angle, contacts simple can't work for this application. You can't read text that's not directory in the center of your view.
    See also: http://www.xkcd.com/1080/ [xkcd.com]

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Curious, and hope you don't mind me asking, but... I assume the disability is only limited to visual recognition. So can you still differentiate people based on voices, smells, posture or "quantitative" facial cues like beards or glasses. How do you typically go about recognizing individuals?

      • by MrLogic17 (233498)

        I'm a mild case, so most people don't notice in day-to-day interactions. Your average Hollywood actress looks like a clone.

        Every day I have a "Is that Bob?" moment walking past people I haven't met. I'm quite reserved in saying "hi" to people I'm not 90% sure I know. A lot of people think I'm a friendly stranger because I wave, then a few second later think "whoops, not who I thought that was" when their reaction doesn't match Bob's.I almost never greet by name- it's always generic "Hi there" type, to co

    • From a technology angle, contacts simple can't work for this application. You can't read text that's not directory in the center of your view.

      Ah, but you don't look at things that aren't in the center of your view... You're thinking of traditional 2D displays, but that's not how this will work.

      I've been working on a 3D GUI system. [youtu.be]
      Other game developers are toying with 3D UI as a decorative gimmick, but I'm focused on usability -- a GUI must be usable above all else. Once I removed the limitations of having everything conform to square regions of pixels I realised that a more natural and usable user interface could be created.

      For instance, I

  • I, and I am sure many many others, will not resort to being fed continuous streams of disinformation wearing gimmicky hipster devices.

  • by Thuktun (221615) on Monday July 30, 2012 @01:15PM (#40819677) Homepage Journal

    For a better idea of what could happen if you have total control over sensory overlays, there are much [wikipedia.org] better [wikipedia.org] examples [wikipedia.org] that don't require unspecified, magical leaps in brain manipulation.

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