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Google Displays Technology

How Google Glass Is Evolving As It Heads For Release To Developers 140

Posted by timothy
from the answer-the-question-you-wish-you'd-heard dept.
hypnosec writes "Babak Parviz, the founder and head of Project Glass at Google, has revealed that the feature set of Google Glass and state of apps is still in flux and that there is a lot of testing going on at the moment. In an interview with IEEE Spectrum, Parviz provided insights into Project Glass, the reasons behind having such a gadget and what's there for the project in near future. Parviz said that they are trying out new ideas and ways in which the platform can be used while also trying to make the platform more robust. There is no specific feature set that Google has been talking about and 'It is still in flux.'" My favorite question / answer pair: "IEEE Spectrum: What kind of business model is associated with Google Glass? Babak Parviz: This is still being worked on, but we are quite interested in providing the hardware."
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How Google Glass Is Evolving As It Heads For Release To Developers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    You will be assimilated.

    If you hated the idea of cameras everywhere, you won't be able to hide at all in a few years except if you are lost in the woods far away from civilization.

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:14PM (#42441921)
      I read it as a teenager and can not remember the title or author's name, but there was a book where everyone wore glasses with a camera built in. The result was a society heavy on surveillance. There was no need for the government to setup a lot of cameras. Ordinary citizens were constantly submitting their videos to the police or relevant authorities.
      • by Zemran (3101) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:24PM (#42442001) Homepage Journal

        The really surreal part is that under the current legal system, transmitting./supplying child porn across the internet is a more serious crime than actually having sex with a child. The point is that seeing something, wearing these, can be more of a crime than doing it and you are going to provide the evidence against yourself...

        • I think the (broken) logic is one "causes" many others to commit crime x, while the other is one instance of committing crime x. Like the difference with inciting a riot and being a single rioter.
      • Probably not what you meant - but David Brin's "Earth" is describing something like it. Not a completely bad book, but overall a bit whackadoodle, to be honest.
      • by gnomff (2740801)
        You might be thinking of Earth [wikipedia.org]
      • by earls (1367951)

        1984 touched on it as well. Granted, the screen/camera setup was in the wall.

  • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw&yahoo,com> on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:39AM (#42441679) Journal

    In case, like me, you had never heard of this project:

    Project Glass is a research and development program by Google to develop an augmented reality head-mounted display (HMD).[2] Project Glass products would display information in smartphone-like format[3] hands-free and could interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands.[4] The prototype's functionality and minimalist appearance (aluminium strip with 2 nose pads) has been compared to Steve Mann's EyeTap.[5][6]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Glass [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by loufoque (1400831)

      You're on slashdot on the 1st of January but you don't know what Project Glass is?
      Have you been living in a cave?

      • by stokessd (89903) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @01:19PM (#42442337) Homepage

        Go easy on the guy. I'm no stranger to slashdot, but I had to run to google to verify that project glass was the VR glasses and not some other google project brewing in the labs. I had read about it at least twice, but find it so unappealing to me that I don't keep it in my mind for long.

        This strikes me as a solution looking for a problem.

    • I call it, "you think people running into things while paying attention to their phones is bad, wait until they are checking their twitter feeds in the left eye and facebook in the right...."

  • by ofcourseyouare (965770) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:42AM (#42441697)
    About business models: the only set of people I can think of who use something like Google Glass at the moment are military pilots, who have had head-up displays for decades and are getting helmet-mounted displays at the moment. Why do they find it useful? Because they need information instantly, don't have their hands free, have huge budgets available and don't care if they look like a cyborg. So there's a clue for a target market: the military. I imagine a squad on patrol would find it useful to have information on the area they're walking through sent to them in real time without having to take their hands off their weapons or look down; and their commanders would find it useful to be able to see what the troops are seeing in real time. They could afford a far higher budget than most civilians, and looking like a freakish cyborg from Hell could potentially be a bonus. Only issue: surely DARPA's on this already? But maybe Google could do it better...
    • by Dr. Zim (21278) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:59AM (#42441825) Homepage

      I'm sure law enforcement would be happy to have the same tech.

    • by alen (225700) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:01PM (#42441837)

      Landwarrior

      The army has been developing it since the mid 1990's

      • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @01:31PM (#42442427)

        Until the Army realized that putting a computer on every soldiers back only paints a target on them for any opposing force with even minimal ELINT capabilities with off the shelf gear these days.

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by TooMuchToDo (882796)

          People are still putting soldiers on the ground? That's UAV work right there!

          Front lines are so 20th century. The only warriors are going to be those on the airstrip fueling and refurbing UAVs and the pilots controlling them from the airbase near Vegas.

    • by lineman60 (806614)
      Military does have a use for it but so do doctors, Let me look up the patient info/x-ray/CAT Scan info with out moving my hands. Low key what about Drivers. I would love to see a HUD with all the cops/DWI checkpoints pinpointed. Wouldn't you?
    • by perpenso (1613749) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:32PM (#42442049)
      A person driving a car would find it useful for the same reason that military pilots find it useful. A heads up display would keep the drivers eyes on the road. No more looking down at instruments, the screen with maps or rear view camera image; or looking at road signs for hazard warnings and other alerts.

      And of course since it is google there will probably be ads from the businesses that you are driving past. :-)
      • Self-driving cars don't need drivers.

      • by tooyoung (853621)
        Would it keep the driver's eyes on the road, or would their attention be split between the road and whatever the glasses are displaying?
        • by perpenso (1613749)

          Would it keep the driver's eyes on the road, or would their attention be split between the road and whatever the glasses are displaying?

          Even when "looking at" a display on the glasses you still have situational awareness regarding what is happening outside the vehicle. Its still an improvement over looking down into the dashboard at gauges.

          There are some folks who have relevant experience. Fighter pilots with the helmet based heads up display (HUD) seem to prefer them over the windscreen/gunsight based HUD and over looking down into the cockpit at an instrument panel.

    • by rocket rancher (447670) <themovingfinger@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @01:17PM (#42442327)
      The military aren't the only ones that could really benefit from this technology. I ride motorcycles for fun and profit, and I can assure you having gear, engine, and lap data displayed in my visor is pretty awesome. Adding location/terrain data in real time would be nirvana. If google can do it as well as or better than the existing offerings, and I'm fairly certain they can, then I can look forward to becoming a faster, safer rider with more (read: economically viable) commercial options for my HUD. I'm working with a friend who is passionate about aerial photography to hack together a way to stream video data from a gopro mounted on a quadcopter right to my visor so I can "see" over hills and around blind turns when I'm taking a ride on my favorite winding mountain road. Streaming it to a Nexus 10 bungeed to my tank works pretty good right now, even with the 2 second video lag that plagues the preview mode on the gopro app, but I'd *love* to be able to see the same data without having to take my eye off the road to glance down. As it is, being able to see that sheriff's deputy lurking in hull-defilade beyond the next rise five seconds before his lidar can see me is *priceless.* If google can help make that happen, more power to them. I think every snowmobiler, skier, kayaker, and off-road enthusiast would be a very likely target for this technology.
      • by BitZtream (692029)

        In my experience, if you don't instinctively know what gear you're in all the time, you probably shouldn't be racing and the lap data is most certainly going to be utterly disappointing.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        How do you make a profit from riding motorcycles? And one of my favorite memories from my early biking years was humming along at 100mph or so in a 70 mph zone (not paying too much attention to the speedometer, just going a comfortable pace on a decent road with no traffic). A cop crested a hill in front of me, and I hit the brakes hard. It takes a few seconds for a cop to get radar/lidar to a usable state, and in that time I was already back to 70. I would love to have been sitting next to him in the s
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Motorcyclists, civilian pilots, race car drivers, Police, Firefighters, everyday drivers, mechanics, doctors....
      Really the list goes on and on. I know that when riding my motorcycle I would like to see my current speed without taking my eyes off the road. Put a computer controlled zoom macro lens on them for doctors or anyone needing to do close up work. IR imaging for Police and Firefighters,

      • by ark1 (873448)
        Add also Casino cheats. Won't be long before someone implements ball tracking which will enable you to beat the odds at Roulette.
    • Pr0n! Anywhere! Anytime!

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Throw in threat recognition and location awareness, and a couple circling drones could feed down to the squad, in real time, locations and distances to all threats. Highlight them in glowing red with a crosshairs and distance, and you will decrease your losses and bystander casualty rates. Who cares if the commander can see in real time. That'd be more like Aliens where Hicks is more confused and paralyzed from all the information, rather than a real-time feedback where you have all your friendlies hilig
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @11:43AM (#42441713)

    How many ads per hour will be displayed. You thought there wouldn't be ads? haha

    • by rat7307 (218353)

      As many as get pushed to my Android phone thru the google apps.... basically none.

      Jackass..

  • Does not bode well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:07PM (#42441877) Homepage Journal

    This does not bode well. You cannot just have a new computing form factor and throw stuff at it to see what sticks. I figured this far in development google would have a very clear direction for the platform. I hate to constantly make comparisons to apple, but if you look at their successful products, you'll see they had a clear focus and vision for it from the software standpoint. One of the main reasons the iPhone was a success (besides the capacitive touch breakthrough) was the software. That's how apple beat Microsoft's Windows Mobile, which even after a decade, never managed to provide a proper 100% touch only (aka no stylus) experience.

    It looks to me like Google is treating google glass like a hardware web browser, for which they will have a bunch of "beta" projects and see what works and what doesn't. They'd better be careful, or software-wise a competitor will come along with a focused, unified, well rounded software experience and blow them out of the water.

    • by Nerdfest (867930) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:13PM (#42441913)

      I'd rather have a pure hardware platform that can do anything, try it at a series of things and see what it's most useful for. That's how actual creativity and innovation happens. A 'targetted' product is a more limited product. I'd like to see things run as open platforms, not appliances.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:19PM (#42441965)

      You cannot just have a new computing form factor and throw stuff at it to see what sticks.

      I don't think there is any other way to do it. Hardware and software advance in lockstep (or maybe a 3 legged race?)

      I hate to constantly make comparisons to apple, but if you look at their successful products, you'll see they had a clear focus and vision for it from the software standpoint.

      Apple's App Store didn't exist for the first year after the iPhone was released. The iTunes store wasn't opened until a year and a half after the iPod launched.

      • by alen (225700)

        iTunes was selling apps in the days of the hard drive iPod classics. Simple games

        iPhone didn't have a sdk for the first year probably because it wasn't ready

        From all the stories I've read it took apple a lot of work just to ship the original product on time and barely stable. There is no way they started on the sdk from scratch and had it ready a year later. It was probably in development but couldn't ship on time and Steve jobs just lied like he always does to throw the competition off

    • by thenendo (523849)

      They'd better be careful, or software-wise a competitor will come along with a focused, unified, well rounded software experience and blow them out of the water.

      But fortunately all the hardware and software patents involved make this impossible!

    • by alen (225700)

      I still can't figure out which problem it solves

      Mobile phones give you computing power on the go
      You can do the same on a laptop but sometimes you want a computer there with you when you're out of the house and about

      What does google glass do other than bombard me with data when I'm outside taking a walk to relax?

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      " You cannot just have a new computing form factor and throw stuff at it to see what sticks."
      No, you're wrong. That is exactly what happened with PC or as we called them back in the day home computers. The same is true with mobile phones and even tablets. The first iPhone didn't even have an app store while Windows Phone, Nokia, and Palm all offered apps of different kinds. Heck even my Samsung a900 had apps like navigation, the Opera browser, and games.
      Your remembrance of the iPhone is way off. The origina

    • by AK Marc (707885)

      You cannot just have a new computing form factor and throw stuff at it to see what sticks.

      That's what the iPad did, and it worked fine. Let the marketplace invent the demand, let the developers sell it for you. I can see a few drive-cam applications being killer apps for these, or a navigation with lane-feedback(since the glasses can tell which lane you are in better than GPS) to let you know which lanes to be in for exits, traffic, and turns. Hopefully not too much drive-porn. Maybe a driver-safety app that measures eye movement per second and eye flick speed to alert when the driver appears

    • This does not bode well. You cannot just have a new computing form factor and throw stuff at it to see what sticks.

      I vehemently but respectfully disagree. When you are in utterly "new" space, you can not imagine what could be available until the realities of the space you are in impinge upon your consciousness.

      It looks to me like Google is treating google glass like a hardware web browser, for which they will have a bunch of "beta" projects and see what works and what doesn't.

      I am of the opinion that your view of reality is too restricted to be valuable in undiscovered country. That is not an insult, just an observation. The world needs all types.

    • Google supposedly never had a vision. More at 11: https://plus.google.com/112678702228711889851/posts/eVeouesvaVX [google.com]

  • by AltGrendel (175092) <ag-slashdot@@@exit0...us> on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:20PM (#42441975) Homepage
    My favorite question / answer pair: "IEEE Spectrum: What kind of business model is associated with Google Glass? Babak Parviz: This is still being worked on, but we are quite interested in providing the hardware."

    Probably my favorite non-answer answer of 2012.
    • My favorite question / answer pair: "IEEE Spectrum: What kind of business model is associated with Google Glass? Babak Parviz: This is still being worked on, but we are quite interested in providing the hardware." Probably my favorite non-answer answer of 2012.

      I don't get it. It's a perfectly good answer. He's saying they intend to make money on selling the hardware, but that this is also probably not the only way in which they'll monetize glass. Not ambiguous at all, and considering the development stage at the moment, about where I'd expect them to be.

      • He's saying they intend to make money on selling the hardware

        He totally did NOT say that. As stated, it was a non-answer. There is no way you can get from "we are quite interested in providing the hardware." to "we intend to make money on the hardware". Totally on the table are still things like advertising, carrier subsidy, branding, etc. Basically anything you could imagine a way to make money on with these glasses is possible with the answer Google gave us, selling the hardware at a profit is only on

    • by swillden (191260)

      Probably my favorite non-answer answer of 2012.

      I don't think it's a non-answer. I think it's the truth.

      I work for Google, and the attitude expressed in that quote is pretty typical of the way people at Google think. The primary goal is to do something cool and world-changing, and the assumption is that if you do something sufficiently cool and world-changing there will be some way to make money off of it. If you think about it, that's pretty much what happened with Google's first product -- it got widely-used, got funded, moved off of Stanford and sta

  • As an output device, a pair of glasses makes a lot of sense â" the problem is inputs. Voice is very suboptimal (if you feel stupid talking to your phone, imagine talking to your glasses). A touch screen on a watch is pretty poor too. The only way I can see this succeeding is as a purely AI-driven, input-less device, which â"based on location and heuristicsâ" would basically know what to do in any given situation. In other wordsâ"this is a much harder problem than simply making a screen
    • Re:Inputs. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sandytaru (1158959) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:57PM (#42442193) Journal
      The Kinect has shown that gestures are a completely useful and acceptable means of input. If they have any technology similar, then we'll be making sign language - esque gestures to interact with the glasses.
      • by Rational (1990)
        Having been involved with some Kinect development, I came to the complete opposite conclusion, but that's neither here nor thereâ"it's possible that more advanced devices like the Leap will show that gesture input doesn't necessarily involve jumping around and windmilling like an imbecile. Still, even if we agreed about Kinect, I think that gesturing in front of your face would make people talking to their glasses seem relatively sane in comparison.
      • Not just Kinect:

        https://flutterapp.com/ [flutterapp.com]

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:25PM (#42442011)

    I think for me, the killer application would be having such a device record everything I see into a circular buffer, and then if some cockhead does something obnoxious or criminal in the street, it can be kept to either hand timestamped footage to police, or to shame said people on the Internet.

    The doomsayers may call it a totalitarian hell, but I think it could yet be a renaissance for the polite and law-abiding majority.

    • by russotto (537200) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @12:40PM (#42442111) Journal

      I think for me, the killer application would be having such a device record everything I see into a circular buffer, and then if some cockhead does something obnoxious or criminal in the street, it can be kept to either hand timestamped footage to police, or to shame said people on the Internet.

      I'm going to go right ahead and call this a totalitarian hell. Millions of Mrs. Grundys with always-on recording. Having to justify after-the-fact every action I took that someone in the area took offense to would be a full time job.

      The doomsayers may call it a totalitarian hell, but I think it could yet be a renaissance for the polite and law-abiding majority.

      There is no polite and law-abiding majority. There are too many laws and too many rules (many conflicting) associated with "polite".

      • There quickly will be. Laws and rules and all the other hypocritical bullshit that plagues our society today will be erased. Justice, finally. Until they make you take the device off to enter a Government building.

        • by russotto (537200)

          Hah hah, yes, right, a surveillance society really erases law and rules and hypocritical bullshit. Tell me again how East Germany disposed of all its laws and rules.

      • Having to justify after-the-fact every action I took that someone in the area took offense to would be a full time job.

        If there's video then you shouldn't have to justify anything, right? Because it records the whole interaction.

        The whole people who sweat bullets about recordings everywhere are people who cannot control being an asshole in public.

        • Having to justify after-the-fact every action I took that someone in the area took offense to would be a full time job.

          If there's video then you shouldn't have to justify anything, right? Because it records the whole interaction.

          The whole people who sweat bullets about recordings everywhere are people who cannot control being an asshole in public.

          Raeally? You , sir, have clearly never heard of "video editing". (nor have you ever watched the movie "Sneakers").

          Security! Come here and immediately revoke (with extreme prejudice) his Slashdot login.

          • Raeally? You , sir, have clearly never heard of "video editing".

            And you would edit your OWN video to make yourself look bad? Because obviously in such a world we are ALL recording video.

            Read EARTH and do not return until having done so.

        • by russotto (537200)

          If there's video then you shouldn't have to justify anything, right? Because it records the whole interaction.

          The proposal was a circular buffer, so by the time I found out a complaint had been made, my own video would be gone and only the accuser's would exist. But even if my video is available as well, it doesn't necessarily exonerate me. Something could have happened that was not visible in either video (either by chance or design). Even grade-school bullies can figure out how to blindside someone and

      • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

        Having to justify after-the-fact every action I took that someone in the area took offense to would be a full time job.

        There is nothing quite as pathetic as an asshole full of excuses.

    • by earls (1367951)

      If Google doesn't deliver it, someone will. Maybe it's better that Google doesn't - you know they'll be targeted directly for "invading privacy!"

  • I've never tried Google Glass, but I peeked through a few early AR headsets at the VR lab in school. I wonder if anyone's working on a solution for those of us with monocular vision? It would suck to be cheated out of 3d movies AND "The Next Big Thing"
    • Today officially marks the future! Grab your robot eyes today!
    • by stokessd (89903)

      It would suck to be cheated out of 3d movies...

      As someone with binocular vision, I would also like to be cheated out of 3D movies. Please please never let me see that gimmicky crap ever again.

      And the glasses can go suck it too...

      Sheldon

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      The medical term is non-binocular, not monocular, unless you mean you have one eye.

      I have two eyes and non-binocular vision, meaning depth perception is a bitch.

      • Thanks, I guess I have non-binocular vision, too; amblyopia. If I could just get that damned third-eye working...
    • In its current form, Google Glass is not binocular, and not AR. It's a simple HUD screen for one eye, and should work equally well for one eyed people, assuming the screen is on the correct side.

      • OK, well I guess I was wondering if the HUD display would obscure my ability to see at all, since I only use one eye.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday January 01, 2013 @03:04PM (#42443361) Homepage Journal
    I'm still waiting for some skydiving goggles with a heads up display. Looking at my altimeter fucks up my airflow while I'm tracking. It'd also be really helpful to know my fall speed as I'm falling, so I can work on falling more slowly. I fall like a bat out of hell -- normal human terminal velocity is around 120 mph, but this is largely weight dependent. I know Galileo fans just had an aneurysm but you know what, fuck that guy! If you want to fall faster in skydiving, you add weight! Look it up! Anyway, I fall around 140 mph. Body position can also affect this, and I can fall much more slowly, but not consistently. Having some way to practice this other than exiting linked with someone and trying to maintain my speed relative to them would be really nice.

    Recon instruments has some heads up display ski googles and are releasing a modified set for skydiving, I'll give these a try, but it'd be neat if there were more options.

    • by swillden (191260)
      I'm sure you've seen this, but for anyone who hasn't: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxmbbtuRszA [youtube.com]
    • by Seahawk (70898)

      What about making a simple variometer that gives of a tone depending on the rate of descent?

      I guess something crude can be made with a simple atmospheric pressure sensor, and an AVR.

      • by Greyfox (87712)
        Hmm. It's not uncommon to use a vario in hang gliding, to tell when you've hit a pocket of lift. I'll have to look at some of the commercial ones and see if they support that sort of functionality, if Recon's goggles don't pan out. For tracking, I could always just put an audible altitude alarm in my helmet and set it for turn-back altitude (Around 7K) and wave-off altitude (Around 4K) for tracking. In the spring I might have a jump buddy who'd be willing to work on fall rate with me. I'm also planning to p
    • by renoX (11677)

      Yes, you're right that it would be nice.

      I used a sonar altimeter, but had to use a helmet otherwise I was never sure that I would hear it, other add a chest-mounted altimeter: cheap and easy to see while tracking, both solutions are not as good as a HUD of course..

  • I'm not sure why someone would want to buy a product that will allow google to track your every move (and therefore the government) and you look like a complete penis.
    • by godrik (1287354)

      beside the penis thing, I do not see much difference with your average phone.

      • True, a phone is close but it's not strapped to my head with a camera always showing what I'm looking at and more importantly it's not always on me.

        Maybe I'm different but I don't feel the need to always have it on me. But I do primarily use it for the internet so I need it to occupy my time on my commute or while taking a dump at work but elsewhere it's not that necessary.
  • When will it come to the market ?
  • 'Live' feed from all the blog wh**es out there, all their stalkers have to do is open their blogs in their own Google Glass. Wonder if SEO would still matter or just how little you wear when you look into the mirror.

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